The Female of the Species – Book Review

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This book was sent to me by the Publisher. This in no way influenced my review or thoughts on this novel. This is spoiler free, and short and sweet as most of my reviews are. I don’t want my opinion on a novel to spoil the story.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis is going to come for your emotions, your expectations, and your soul. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this–A story similar to Dexter where the killing is done to those who some may say deserve it? It’s so much more than that. This book takes you on the ups and downs of being a female in a world where many times that means you look like lonely prey.

You learn right away that Alex is a killer. Her sister was sexually assaulted and killed, and the man who did it walked free for lack of evidence. It’s a story we have all become a little too familiar with, but Alex takes matters into her own hands. She murders that man in a brutal way, and never gets caught. That’s where the story really kicks off.

The Female of the Species is told in three points of view. One being Alex, the other is Peekay, and then Jack. Peekay and Jack sort of bring Alex out of the shadows and the social isolation she’s placed herself in because she feels she cannot be trusted around other human beings at all times. One night and one incident sort of brings them together, and a few other side characters as well. This book examines rape culture, the female anger that we feel when we are not heard or when perps walk free when they should spend years and years behind bars, and a closer look at slut shaming and the affects it may have. You get the view of the angry, the innocent, and the guy who doesn’t realize his words and behavior are shitty. Taking a look at the “boys will be boys” line of thought.

The writing is magnificent and the different POV’s were done really well. I feel that this is a book that should be read by young men and women, and should not be taken lightly. The subject matter is tough to handle, but look at the news today, it’s all around us.

A quick note: The book says that it is ages 14 & up, but I feel that some of the crass speech and even subject matter may not be for every 14 year old. I would advise that people take the maturity of the younger teens into consideration before handing them this book.

TRIGGER WARNING: It’s been made obvious by my review that rape and sexual assault is the main topic. There is also animal abuse and child molestation within the pages of this book, so please be aware if those are triggers for you.

I give this book 5 out of 5 metal horns!!

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Lego Harry Potter Games Remastered for PS4

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The Lego Harry Potter games were possibly some of my favorites of the Lego Game franchise. It was the first to have a really great open world concept and the games were just done in a beautiful manner. I might be bias here as a Potterhead, but I think a few people out there would agree that these were some fun games.

Well now the two separate games Lego Harry Potter years 1-4 and Lego Harry Potter Years lego-hp5-7 are being combined into one disc and one collection for the PS4. It will be remastered meaning enhanced graphics, enhanced lighting and visual effects and even some additional content. This new content comes in the form of a new character pack and a new spell pack.

Character Pack:

  • Godric Gryffindor
  • Harry (Yule Ball)
  • Helga Hufflepuff
  • Lockhart (Straightjacket)
  • Luna (Lion Head)
  • Peeves
  • Hermione (Pink Dress)
  • Ron Weasley (Ghoul)
  • Rowena Ravenclaw
  • Salazar Slytherin

Spell Pack:

  • Cantis (makes you sing)
  • Densaugeo (makes your teeth grow way too much)
  • Ducklifors (turns you into a duck)
  • Melofors (turns your head into a pumpkin)
  • Tentaclifors (turns your head into a tentacle)

The Lego Harry Potter remastered collection will be released on October 18th this year. Just in time for The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie release as well as Christmas.

If you are looking for Fantastic Beasts characters in this Remastered version though then you may be disappointed as you will have to get the story pack that can only be played with The Lego Dimensions game. This is a separate game and disc that is not connected to the Remastered Lego Harry Potter Games. With Lego Dimensions you can have Gandalf jump on the TARDIS, and now you will most likely be able to have the Doctor standing next to Harry Potter. It’s a geek’s dream come true. ( As long as you own the different packs) These are the two Wizarding World packs being released for Lego Dimensions:

I beat both of the Original Lego Harry Potter games to 100% numerous times, and I am really looking forward to doing it again. This time on my PS4. Currently there is no news about it being released on any other system. If you have never played these games before and you’re a Harry Potter fan, I highly recommend you give it a shot. It’s a whole lot of fun! And also check out the Dimensions game. It’s so wonderfully geeky!!

Warbreaker – Book Review

If you have been following this blog for a while, then you know that I don’t like to over share information about a book when I write my reviews because I’ve had a story spoiled before because a reviewer decided to chop down every detail of a book. I will give you a nice rundown and then my rating. Let’s jump into it.

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Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – Book Review

Brandon Sanderson is probably best known for his Mistborn series. I actually did not love the first book in that series and almost never gave him another try. Then I read The Rithmatist, and suddenly I was in love with his writing style. That is when I decided to give Warbreaker a shot. Warbreaker is about two sisters. These two sisters are princesses and they live in a world where people who die in glory come back as gods known as the returned. These gods live in a pantheon in the capital city of Hallandran.

In this world the magic system is called BioChroma, and deals with breaths and colors. Sounds insane? That’s because Sanderson’s mind and imagination is on a whole other level than ours. It is a really intriguing and beautiful magic system, and that is something I remember even from the Mistborn book. He is just really amazing with magic systems and world building. The whole idea of the gods and the pantheon gave me Greek mythology vibes and that was really cool.

Now the story goes back and forth between Siri, Vivenna(the two sisters), Lightsong, and Vasher. I loved these characters but I have to say the self doubting god Lightsong is my absolute favorite. He’s got sarcasm for days, and really questions his own identity as a god, and questions people’s faith in him. While Vivenna and her uptight ways was possibly the most boring for a while. There are a lot of political aspects in this book, but once again Sanderson knows how to write this in an interesting way.

I did find this book at 652 pages to be a bit long, but that’s never really stopped me from reading anything, the problem here is that it is a bit slow paced for a fantasy novel. Which is where it lost a star for me. Other than that the story is wonderful, filled with plot twists and crazy characters. Also I hear this story sort of connects to the Words of Radiance story from Sanderson. I will let you read it to find out how it does that.

 

I highly recommend this book, and it’s made me really appreciate Brandon Sanderson’s writing and storytelling. This gets 4 out of 5 Metalhorns from me!

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A Little Louder for the People in The Back – A Look at Mental Illness

Mental_illness

I feel tired.

I feel tired all the time.

Anxiety and depression can do that, but having to explain myself a million times also does that. I get tired of getting skeptical looks, and strange waves of anger from people because I don’t and CANNOT fit into their mold of what a sick person looks like. Because I am not running a fever, I cannot be ill. Really there’s so much more bullshit that I have dealt with through out my struggles with anxiety that I felt the need to once again talk about it.

Everyone who deals with mental illness deals with it in their own way, not only that but not everyone will have the same feelings and symptoms even when they deal with the same illness. That’s always something that many people can’t seem to grasp. I cannot tell someone else’s tale of struggle, but I can tell you mine.

I was always a really shy kid. I also cried A LOT. When my parents would say that they would pick me up from say the babysitter at a set time, and they didn’t show up at that exact time, I would instantly start to sweat and I would begin to pace and ask a million questions because my mind was imagining the worst kind of car crashes in the world. At the time most people chalked it up to me being an emotional kid, but looking back I think that was just the beginning of my anxiety. I was definitely always known as the weird quiet child who liked to read. I was never a super talkative person, to this day I am not a talkative person, UNLESS of course I feel comfortable with you.

Let’s get a little darker now. I remember a time when I wasn’t aware that what I was feeling wasn’t just normal anxious feelings. In high school, I was told that I definitely had social anxiety. But it wasn’t until my early twenties, that at some point where I was having trouble breathing, I was crying nonstop for what felt like decades, and I dug my finger nails into my face that I finally realized something was really wrong with me. Since then I have sort of learned to manage it but it isn’t something with a cure. I have my really good days and I have my really bad days. I don’t hurt myself anymore, but I do still deal with panic and anxiety attacks.

The thing is, sometimes my anxiety is exacerbated by all of the negative shit that has been thrown my way in the past or even recently. I talk very openly about my struggles for a number of reasons:

  1. I want to be open with the people closest to me and also to the people I work with. Not for pity, but for understanding. There can be days where I have a hard time functioning.
  2. I want other people who are fighting this to know they are not alone.
  3. I want people who are completely ignorant about this, to learn how to deal with someone close to them and their anxiety or depression.

I also do it, because I always get asked weird shit, or talked about in a negative light because people just don’t understand. When I cancel plans with people because the thought of having to be around a group of people or public transportation is just terrifying that day, I don’t need to be told that I am flakey. I am not flakey, I am putting myself and my mental health first. I don’t feel that it is necessary to possibly be alone on a train, having an anxiety attack just to meet up for a drink. That’s not what I will ever do. Many friends stopped inviting me to places in the past, and many people were extremely rude and aggressive about me canceling plans. So when I find someone who understands without missing a beat, I try to hold onto those people. My advice to anyone who has dealt with this is to let go of the ones who tear you down over your struggles, and keep close those who let you take care of yourself first.

Recently someone said that they knew I was trouble when they first met me because I couldn’t look them in the eye when I first met them. This angered me greatly. Not because they don’t like me, not everyone has to like me, I really couldn’t give two flying dicks about that part. It angered me because when I first meet people, I tend to have a hard time making eye contact. Meeting new people causes an alarming amount of stress for me and I have a hard time making eye contact. They took that as me being –I don’t know…some kind of vixen? An evil queen wannabe? Don’t know. It’s just one of the many times someone has misunderstood something about my anxiety and twisted it to make me look bad. It’s not new for me.

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When someone has a physical illness everyone is ready to be helpful, supportive, and show empathy. As it should be. I am quite grateful that physically at the moment I am healthy. The thing is that many people don’t see anxiety and depression as a real illness. They seem to think we are all drama queens who can’t get our shit together. I wish I could be that good at acting because I would probably have an Oscar sitting on the mantle of my big ass house on a hilltop in Portugal. I hate when I have a bad moment in front of people I don’t particularly like or trust because I know from experience how they will use that against me. I also hate getting “advice” from people who have never in their lives dealt with anxiety or depression themselves. Stop telling me to do yoga or to drink tea. I’ve done those things and they don’t work for me. Everything you can possibly name, I have tried it. I already have my ways of dealing with it, but again there ISN’T a cure. You get better with time, and then you will still have a few bad days here and there. It’s just how it goes.

None of us want your pity. We want your respect and yes a little bit of empathy would be nice. If I feel so tired that I need a nap, then let me nap. My brain doesn’t function like yours. It spends hours and days sometimes trying to untangle my thoughts, and that in itself is really exhausting. Pretend my brain is running a bunch of marathons through out the week there comes a point where I just can’t take it anymore. I am drained of all energy.  I do not nap on a daily basis, but if there’s someone out there that does and needs it, then let them. This is another one of those moments where we get told that we are being lazy.

So when I am asked why I constantly talk about my anxiety, my response is because people still think I am being rude, lazy, stuck up, or generally awful all because I choose to do certain things to better my mental health or I do them because my anxiety sort of makes me do things that people find strange. I shouldn’t have to constantly explain myself, but because mental illness is still a topic that many people ignore, I HAVE TO explain myself so I can hopefully make a break through with some people.

Know that this is a REAL illness, and millions of people are struggling to move forward every single day. Stop treating us like we are liars and stop telling us to relax. I promise you, it really doesn’t work that way.

J.K.Rowling Doesn’t Owe You SHIT

You’re thinking, “ANOTHER Harry Potter Post?” Yes and if you don’t like it you are free to read something else entirely. Since you clicked on the link though you might as well stay for the long haul. I always feel the need to state this though, don’t bother trying to comment with hateful words, because I moderate the comment section, and they won’t appear anywhere. I also won’t bother to respond. JKRowlingThese are my opinions, if you want to share your own, start your own blog. It’s been a couple of days since I finished Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I have my review up and I said what I needed to say. Or so I thought.

Then suddenly, people started bitching left and right about The Cursed Child scriptbook, and it started to leave a sour taste in my mouth. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and feelings, but it is when those opinions and feelings start to show your sense of entitlement that I start having some serious issues with what you have to say. To put it mildly, J.K. Rowling doesn’t OWE YOU A FUCKING THING. I know some of you are going to really hate how I say these things, but this is aimed at all of those people tearing into Cursed Child, being rude, condescending assholes about it and towards people who actually love it, and so deal with my opinions about how I see all of you as well. If you feel angry, maybe that’s your conscious talking.

ALSO: Please Note there ARE spoilers ahead, read at your own risk.

“This is only a SCRIPT!”

Yes. Yes it is. For months, it has been promoted as a script, Rowling herself said more than once on social media that it is a SCRIPT and not a novel, and the word SCRIPT is on the cover. Yet somehow your dumbass brought that book home and still decided to go “Huh? This is only a script?!” I’ve heard of captain obvious but I guess you’re captain oblivious. What the hell did you think you were going to get when the book itself is only 330 pages and the word SCRIPT is on the cover??!!! Open your damn eyes at least. It seems a little unsafe to be out in the world with your eyes closed. Watch your step.

falling

Rowling Owes Us a Book

You know who’s saying this a lot? The youths. I know I am not old, but I am older than a lot of people who are a part of this online book community, and the ones most upset by this play, or script are the youngins. Especially the overly entitled ones who have never heard the word “NO!” a day in their lives. Your entitlement is showing, and you need to turn that shit down 20 notches. Rowling doesn’t owe you anything. You made the very conscious decision to buy this book, it is NO ONE’s fault that ONE: You really thought you were getting a novel, TWO: you have NO idea how to read a script, and THREE: If You do know how to read a script and don’t like it, she STILL doesn’t owe you shit. That is not the way the world works.

Harry Potter doesn’t seem like Harry Potter in this!

This is another thing I am picking up from a lot of the younger crowd, and I can excuse this one a bit because in my opinion they’re either still teenagers and haven’t been handed a sucker punch to the gut of life, or they are in their early twenties and are still too close to their teens to realize, you change as you grow up. As a teen and well into my early twenties I was shy, extremely quiet, and overly nice to absolutely everyone. At 30, I am still not the most talkative person on the planet, but I learned that being overly nice is an open door for people to stomp all over you. So I am way more careful about who I allow in, and I have also built a stronger backbone. You will think twice before being an asshole to me, because honestly I’ve gotten really good at taking no one’s shit. Also as a teen I went through some rough moments, and those moments also molded my life into what it is. That is a hard fact, life changes you. This script has made Harry so real to me. I knew he had to be struggling with life as an adult. Also when you’ve had a father figure for maybe a day, you probably have some trouble trying to figure out parenting, especially when your child sort of resents you and all of your fame and glory. You have literally set up your kid for failure by saving the world. How shitty must that feel? And maybe you’re thinking “He only seems to have trouble with Albus, not the other kids.” Well kids are different. My brother and I may have similar personalities but we deal with certain things differently. I know siblings who barely get along or even see each other because they’re complete opposites. Two kids from the same parents will not always come out the same in the personality and the how to deal with life departments. It is pure fact, and if you have siblings, you know that. But back to the main point, YES Harry is different, but you will be too in your mid thirties, just wait for it.

This is too far-fetched

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This one deserves to be started off with a major fucking eye-roll. SERIOUSLY?! THIS is far-fetched. The completely secret magical world is cool with you, but this is too much?  Where the hell do we draw the line in our imaginations anyway? confused

In a world where there’s a secret shopping street for wizards in the center of London, where children are just allowed to fly around on brooms and play a dangerous sport, where a troll gets taken out by three 11 year olds, where a ghost is called Moaning Myrtle, and where there’s a MASSIVE FUCKING CASTLE that no one but wizards can see, you’re having a hard time grasping the fact that the little trolley witch is the one who keeps the kids onboard the Hogwarts Express? I mean didn’t you ever wonder who took care and watched all of those kids onboard the train? The only time there was an adult onboard was with Lupin. The rest of the time everyone seemed pretty unsupervised. All the prefects in the world aren’t going to stop kids from being kids. So there had to be some sort of safeguard in place. You can’t believe that Voldemort has a wicked daughter out in the world?  I highly doubt he got it on with Bellatrix, pretty sure this was done in some other way, and it would also explain her unrelenting OBSESSION with him, because if you never noticed, she didn’t just follow him, she LOVED little ol Tom Riddle. I think we received a more in depth look into why.

You need a dose of Imagination

I am going to tie this off nicely with a very quick tip. You NEED a vivid imagination to read this. It is a script so details aren’t going to be there. You need to try to picture a lot of things even more than when reading a regular novel. Scripts are brought to life by the actors and the stage set. There were some aspects of the script where I needed to stop and think about it. For instance, the time traveling seems to have changed drastically from when Hermione used a time turner, but in the story we are more than two decades past that, and this particular time turner isn’t like the Ministry assigned ones that Hermione used, so maybe the magic involved and technicalities are different. This seems more Doctor Who inspired and filled with paradoxes and fucked up alternate timelines. I can dig it. Also, the polyjuice potion that seemed to be brewed in a day? I have come to two separate conclusions on this: ONE is that it was already brewed and they just added the essence of whomever they were turning into or TWO, Potion brewing has made some strides and this can be brewed much quicker. It is not hard to grasp people, I mean you can fit an entire computer into your damn pocket or wear it around your wrist. Imagination will take you far!! That’s just fact. If this seems lackluster to you, then you just may need a dose of imagination. Too bad that doesn’t come bottled then huh?

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Scriptbook Review

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Before I get started I will keep the top half of this review completely spoiler free. I will write a HUGE warning when I am about to jump into spoilery territory so you can choose to bow out if need be. I am going to warn you NOW internet trolls, my comment section is moderated, and you can leave all the hate you want here, but it will never see the light of day, and I will never respond. YOU ARE WASTING YOUR ENERGY even trying to leave a nasty comment. I have very strong opinions about this story, and I am unapologetic about it. Are you ready? I am going in.

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To start off I want to say that I loved this story. I went in knowing very deep in my heart, that this was always going to feel distant and apart from the original seven novels for me. I know that it is canon, and I can accept it as such, but it will still feel different for me. The reason for that right now is that I know this story is meant to be seen, and not read. I have never ever been a fan of reading plays. Watching them? Absolutely! Reading them? Not so much. Still I won’t be going to London anytime soon, and I needed to know the story. So my warning to you is, if you’re a hardcore fan but hate reading plays and scripts, I would advise you to steer clear. I on the other hand have a crazy and vivid imagination and enjoyed it anyway. I am going to make a controversial statement here, and take it or leave, really don’t care how it makes you feel but the people who I have seen complaining and saying this story is awful sort of fall into an age group between 16-24. NO I am not calling anyone stupid for not liking it, or saying that because they are younger that they have a hard time grasping the concepts. I do however think the age plays a huge impact on how this can emotionally affect you. Take that as you will, it’s what I have seen. The people most disconnected from this story, are really young.

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I grew up WITH Harry, Hermione, and Ron. I was 12 when I read the first book, and then really got into it at 14 when Goblet of Fire was released, and I decided to read the entire series from books 1-4. I was 17 and angsty as hell when Order of the Phoenix was released and Harry was in the midst of his angsty teen phase as well. I felt a connection with them as they grew up, and it is a connection that runs deep in my veins. Now at 30, I was curious about how Harry turned out as an adult. A man who spent his childhood trying to stay alive and dealing with death left and right must have something going on in his mind and life. When you go through rough moments at a really young age, they stick with you, believe me. Sometimes all the therapy in the world won’t erase those memories. That’s what being human is all about. We are all flawed in one way or another for a number of reasons. Perfection, is not a real thing. Enter Adult Harry..in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

**** CURSED CHILD SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK ****

IN CASE YOU ARE STILL HERE JUST TO BITCH AT ME LATER THAT I SPOILED IT FOR YOU…SPOILERS ARE AHEAD AND YOU NEED TO BACK AWAY IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE CURSED CHILD!!! SERIOUSLY…BACK THE FUCK UP!!

 

I have now officially warned you to turn around and exit, so do not complain about spoilers. The script picks up exactly where we left off at the end of Deathly Hallows. Harry and Ginny are dropping their kids off at Platform 9 and 3/4. Albus, their son, is nervous…very very nervous about the possibility that he will be placed in Slytherin. This we already knew. What we see happening in the Cursed Child is that he IS placed in Slytherin. That’s right, the son of Harry Potter is a Slytherin, along with his new friend Scorpius Malfoy, YUP , the son of Draco Malfoy. Albus and Scorpius become the best of friends because they are both fast becoming the lepers of Hogwarts. Albus is being called a Slytherin Squib, and Scorpius is just being haunted by an awful rumor of his parentage. We  zoom through their first year, and I am sure it looks cool on stage. Harry and Albus are not getting along. I think Harry has trouble being a super understanding father, because he had a father figure for about 2.8 seconds as a child. This shines through very clearly. He is one deeply flawed man. Something that also still shines, is that trio’s friendship. I love them so much, and you can tell that now, they are indeed family. I also love this script because it shows Harry in a more realistic light for me. The “All Was Well” line in The Deathly Hallows always felt like such bullshit to me. You are telling me that a child that was abused for the first decade of his life and then spent the rest of his formative years simply trying to stay alive, and watched so many loved ones die around him turned into a fully functional adult? Fuck outta here! The way he snaps at Albus at one point is WAY more realistic to me, than some cookie cutter Harry Potter version we were all left with at the end of the last book.

A lot of things happen in this script, and I don’t want to give you a huge run down of everything, you read it if you are reading this portion, and if not then go look for a half assed summary elsewhere. I think there are some lines in the script that could be written better. I also think there are places in the story where Rowling really shines through. Some things seem to be really OUT THERE for my tastes as well. Like Voldemort and Bellatrix got it on and had an evil spawn of a daughter. I mean the man had practically no soul, but I guess that has zero effect on sperm count? :: Shudders :: Though the actual reveal of this information was done exceptionally well. She was in the shadows all the time like a creepy little Tom Riddle.

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I do have to ask…HOW the hell did they brew Polyjuice Potion in a day? Or was it that it was already brewed and they were able to just quickly put the essence of whomever they were turning into so that it is ready to drink? I am guessing that it was already brewed. I don’t think Rowling would forget that it took Hermione a whole damn month to make that potion. Which brings forth my main argument about why I loved this book. People who seem to be hating this, are saying that it lacks plot, and we don’t get to see enough of each character, but I think people are forgetting that they are reading a script. A script contains actions to be seen on a stage, it does not and will not give you details or character depth. This is not a novel, and you need to go in knowing that, and realizing that or you are going to be sorely disappointed. Still, I enjoyed venturing into Harry’s adulthood. I think until I have the chance to see the play on stage I will still probably keep this a bit distant in my mind from the other seven books. I adored it nonetheless. I could go on and on about it, and would love to discuss it more with someone who has also read it and enjoyed it so I can really get into it. haha Follow me on Twitter and let’s chat about it.

I give Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 5 out of 5 Metal Horns!!

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Harry Potter and the Portuguese Influence

There’s a certain kind of feeling that comes from reading Harry Potter, especially if you have been a fan for a long time and are jumping back into the world of Magic and Hogwarts. When you read that first line, in the very first book, there’s this wonderful sense of peace and joy that comes over you. Almost like you drank a little elixir you brewed up in Potions class. When the final book in the series was released, Potterheads the world over, thought that was the end and we cried for all the characters we’d miss, and the world that we loved. But suddenly, there’s MORE to the story, and So many of us are just sitting here impatiently waiting. Personally I am a little upset that I live in Germany, and ALL SHOPS ARE CLOSED ON SUNDAYS, so I have to wait until Monday to grab my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Yes I am well aware that this is meant to be seen more than read, but I cannot make it to London anytime soon, so reading the script is the best I can do. On this wonderful weekend of Magic, I thought I would write about the rumored influence that my beautiful country Portugal had on Ms.Rowling very early in her writing process about a magical boy, who was about to change the world.

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Lello Bookstore in Porto & Harry Potter

Back in June when I went to visit my family in Portugal, my brother asked me if I would like to visit Porto and more importantly visit Livraria Lello, which is the beautiful bookstore that first opened its doors in 1906. I automatically said, “FUCK YEA!!!” because I am a booknerd and child at heart first, but a sailor when speaking. When we arrived there, we were first making sure we were in the right location for this wonderful shop, and unfortunately the outside of it was covered in scaffolding and a tarp as they were doing some renovating and restoration to the front of the shop. Possibly in preparation for the fact that Levraria Lello is the Official site for the International Release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The shop ordered more than 5,000 copies of the book, and from the looks of their Facebook page, people are already lined up outside the shop ready for all the magical festivities they have in store for the midnight release. They say the shop itself heavily inspired Rowling. When I walked in for the first time, my breath literally caught in my throat and my heart rate sped up. It is just THAT beautiful. The red staircase, the shelves, and just the atmosphere of the entire shop. It would be hard to walk into that place as a writer and not feel some form of inspiration.

 

J.K. Rowling lived and taught English in Porto between 1991 and 1993. It is said that it was at one of the tables in a cafe in Porto that Rowling wrote a very early draft of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. In fact, I found a quote where she supposedly states: “In those first weeks in Portugal, I wrote what has become my favorite chapter in The Philosopher’s Stone, ‘The Mirror of Erised’ — and had hoped that, when I returned from Portugal, I would have a finished book under my arm. In fact, I had something even better: my daughter, Jessica.” I could no longer find the source of this quote, so I am not sure how accurate and true it is, though the timing of when she began plotting the stories and writing sort of fits. The bookstore had to have some kind of influence on her, but I would say the entire city of Porto would be a great influence to anyone who visits the city.

Other Possible Portuguese Influences on Harry Potter

One that comes to mind instantly is where the name for Salazar Slytherin comes from. Here I am just playing some guessing games, but it’s a possibility that there was some influence that stems from Portuguese history. Quick little history lesson here: Antonio de Oliveira Salazar was the Prime minister of Portugal from 1932 until 1968. He started what was called the Estado Novo (New State) which was essentially an authoritarian form of government. There was heavy censorship and even a secret police to quiet down the opposition to the government. This form of government was in power until 1974. It is likely though not proven that Salazar Slytherin’s name was influenced by this less than likable figure of Portuguese History.

Another thing that might be of interest are the cloaks and outfits that the students of Hogwarts wear, could have been influenced by the outfits that the University of Porto students wear. They have traditional outfits that are made of black cloaks and once again while there is no sure fire proof that this was the inspiration, it can be seen in the photo I found below that these could be Hogwarts students.

traje-oporto

There is a chance I am reaching for details and influences, but I write my own stories and living in Germany I have been heavily influenced by architecture and history here as well. I would go as far as saying that it would be impossible to live in a city as beautiful and as rich in history as Porto, Portugal and not have it influence your writing. This was just fun to research and look into on the eve of a the long awaited release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Cheers, Happy Birthday, and Congrats on the Magic you have let loose upon the world J.K. Rowling.

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