Size Doesn’t Matter (15): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

Size Doesn’t Matter (15): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Narrator: B.J. Novak, Greg Daniels, Marc Thompson, Mindy Kaling, Rebecca Soler
Series: Harry Potter #1
Published by Scholastic on November 1, 2003
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Pages: 310
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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five-stars

Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the "Harry Potter" series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts.

HAHAHAHAHA. It’s Harry Potter, bitches. Obviously it’s amazing.

Seriously, though, The Sorcerer’s Stone was actually better than I remembered. TBH, it had been so long since I read HP that I was afraid maybe I’d only loved it so much because I was young and stupid. I mean, not that they would be bad, because I’m not that ridiculous, but I feared they wouldn’t be as amazing as I thought, as perfect. Even the first one really is fucking perfection. I will never understand how there are people who do not like these books or don’t want to read them. *glowers at boyfriend*

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (15): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerWhy Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Narrator: Mindy Kaling, Greg Daniels, B.J. Novak
Length: 4 hrs, 57 mins
Published by Random House Audio on September 15, 2015
Genres: Nonfiction, Humor, Memoir
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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three-half-stars

From the author of the beloved New York Times bestselling book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and the creator and star of The Mindy Project comes a collection of essays that are as hilarious and insightful as they are deeply personal.

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate – this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses. (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

It will surprise no one to know that I’m a big fan of Mindy Kaling. I love what she “stands for,” which, as she discusses in this book, is sort of weird for her. She’s just doing what she loves and it shouldn’t be abnormal for her to be a star. Still, it is, and I love her and will throw as much support behind her as I can in my limited way.

Why Not Me? is a fun collection of Mindy’s thoughts on various things. Obviously, they’re pretty surface level and told in a humorous style. It’s mostly not anything you wouldn’t expect, but Mindy’s hilarious, and the audiobook narrated by Mindy herself is fabulous. I can’t imagine not reading this on audio actually at all.

The high point for me was definitely Mindy’s fictionalized version of her life where, instead of going into acting and comedy she worked as a latin teacher at a New York prep school. It’s basically The Mindy Project meets Meg Cabot’s Boy series. So basically it is MY CATNIP. The low point was the speech Mindy gave at Harvard Law School, which felt completely out of place with the rest of the content; it felt like they needed just a couple more pages and so they shoved that in.

If you’re a Mindy fan, obviously you should read this in whatever format you like most. I need to get to her first book soon. 😀

Size Doesn’t Matter (15): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken
Narrator: Marc Thompson, Rebecca Soler
Length: 5 hrs, 5 mins
Series: Star Wars Illustrated Novels #1
Published by Listening Library on September 22, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Retelling, Adventure
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Goodreads
two-half-stars

The galaxy is at war.

Although the Rebel Alliance has won a few battles against the Empire, hope is fading. The Empire is about to unveil the greatest weapon the galaxy has ever seen--the Death Star. The Rebels' only chance to defeat it now lies in the unlikely hands of a princess, a scoundrel, and a farm boy....

The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy purports to be a retelling of a New Hope. Mostly, it feels like a novelization, but there are a few things that Bracken added that are, to my limited knowledge, original to her. However, any scene that was in the movie, which is a lot of them, directly recounts what happened in the film.

Initially, I was quite liking this, because it opens with Leia’s third person POV, and it’s basically about what a boss bitch Leia is. Most of what happens in Leia’s section isn’t covered in the movie, so it’s much more original than the rest. I wish the whole series had been what Leia was doing throughout, because that would have been awesome. However, Bracken moves on to Han and then Luke, which is much more directly transcribed.

The biggest problem, aside from the fact that you mostly could have just watched the movie and gotten the same information in much less time, is the writing. It’s written in what I would consider pretty generic middle grade style, but not a good middle grade style. It recounts what people are doing in pretty simple sentences. There’s absolutely zero feeling coming from the text. See Luke lightsaber.

What really propped this book up in my estimation was the audiobook. Marc Thompson and Rebecca Soler do a fantastic job, as did the editors who put everything together. They really spared no expense. It’s got the music and the sounds to bring this tepid novel to brilliant life. The writing might not give me feelings, but the music does automatically. Thompson also does an amazing job with the voice imitation; it’s not perfect, but it’s close.

Though it was a pretty fun way to spend five hours driving around and getting ready for bed, I’d still say you’re better off just rewatching the movie. It might be nice for a kid who is having trouble understanding the film.

Size Doesn’t Matter (15): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #2
Published by Bloomsbury on June 17, 1999
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Pages: 251
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Goodreads
five-stars

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself.

Duh, it’s Harry Potter, so obvs it’s brilliant. And if you are one of those people who does not think that, 1) I do not get you and 2) we do not need to discuss that fact. I’m fairly confident Chamber of Secrets is the weakest in the series, though admittedly I don’t remember the latter books very well. That said, it’s still amazing. No, really.

My favorite things about Chamber of Secrets are as follows:

  • Harry and Ron driving to school because they have excellent common sense skills.
  • Snarky Harry, annoyed by Lockhart, Creevy, and Ginny.
  • Ginny’s poem to Harry, and the way it’s delivered.
  • Moaning Myrtle – I didn’t give her too much thought when I was younger but she’s such a macabre delight.
  • Harry and Ron trying to figure shit out with Hermione, aka going to Lockhart for help.
  • Sassy Ron who’s getting to like Lockhart at the end.

7 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (15): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger”

  1. Aww Harry Potter. <3 I started my re-read this year and I only got to 3 before I went back to review books. I plan on starting 4 sometime soon because winter always makes me want to read Harry Potter. And Tuesdays. And every other day basically. I always felt #2 was the weakest too and is definitely my least favorite of the bunch.

    Sad about the Star Wars books.. I was kind of looking forward to those.
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – What’s Next in 2016?My Profile

  2. Jessie says:

    I am not even a major Star Wars fan and I was so so tempted by the new novels, especially Alex Bracken’s after her post about her dad and SW and fandom. I don’t think it will be for me, though. If I know the story, I need fantastic writing. MG is a hard sell for me anyway lately, so I guess I shall pass.

    YAY for HP rereads! I am prioritizing this in 2016. It’s a series that just gets better every time.
    Jessie recently posted…Top Ten NaNoWriMo NovelsMy Profile

  3. The second HP book is definitely my least favorite. They’re all amazing, though, so it’s tough to say that :p

    I forced my non-reader, Harry-Potter-hating boyfriend to read the Harry Potter books in high school (4 years ago) and it’s probably the best decision I ever made, lol. We still nerd out together and it’s hard to remember what it was like before he was just as obsessed as I am!
    Jordie @ Jordie’s Shelf recently posted…November TBR Pile – Fix the Reading Slump EditionMy Profile

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