Why I love Fairy Tale Adaptations

Did the title of this blog post give you déjà vu? If so, then you know that I’ve already nerded out once before about adaptations. What can I say, they’re a fun genre that I can’t resist.  But I’ve scratched the smallest surface of the genre. Last time, I spun a tale of my history with mythology adaptations. Today, it’s time to jump back down the adaptation rabbit hole. I wanted to nerd out over my first literary adaptation love: fairytale adaptations. 

Like many kids, I grew up reading fairy tales. My personal favorites were Grimm’s fairy tales. I loved the countless little stories about animals, heroes, and magical creatures. My childhood book of fairy tales had a worn spine by the time my sister and I got older. Even as a 25-year-old, I still have a book full of the complete Grimm’s fairy tales. But I did go through a phase where the traditional fairy tales seemed a bit stale. Sure, I loved the classics, but there are so many times that you can reread The Golden Goose. During that time, I began to notice a lot of fairytale adaptations entering the reading scene. There was Y.A. rom-com adaptations, more adult takes, and the classic “dark-retelling” of some classic tales. 

One of the first adaptations I remember reading was Cinderellis and the Glass Hill by Gail Carson Levine. It was a fun twist on the story of Cinderella, with some elements of other stories sprinkled in with a bit of humor. Levine has done many other fairytale adaptations, like Ella Enchanted and Fairest. Her versions of these classic tales made me interested in the art of storytelling. When I was older, books like Geek Charming introduced me to a fun and quirky way to retell some of my favorite fairy tales. 

Reading these stories excited me because of the creativity involved. Sure, these stories aren’t new, but it’s so fun to see where the twist comes in. Sometimes it’s witty humor or a deep sense of world-building.  Or it could be genderbent characters and modern settings. These elements give fresh life to the stories, and even expand on some parts of the original tales.   You could read the banter of characters interacting who are from different stories. Or you could enjoy a steampunk version of a classic story. The possibilities are endless!

One day, I want to write my own fairy tale adaptation with a twist. In the meantime, I’m delving into interesting fairy tales from many different cultures. It’s so fun to learn about the folklore of these parts of the world. I also love seeing how iconic stories translate in different cultures. What is your favorite fairy tale that you’d love to see adapted in some way? What’s your favorite fairy tale adaptation? Let me know in the comments below! I’m excited to hear your thoughts, and hopefully learn about some new tales. Happy reading everyone!

Why I love Mythology Adaptations

When I was a young girl, I lived in a world of stories. Bedtime stories full of adventures and the lives of little women, TV shows teaching me to read, and more. When I could put the sentences together on my own, I opened myself up to a new world of imagination. One day, my mom bought me a kid’s version of Greek mythology and the rest is history. 

Since that time around the age of 7, I’ve gone through an on and off relationship with mythology. It was fascinating to hear the stories of people thousands of years back in time. I could understand their version of why the sun set, why the seasons change, even the origin of arachnids. During my off time with mythology, I came across a series that many know well: Percy Jackson.

Percy Jackson introduced me to a new world of storytelling: adaptations of mythology. Through Percy’s snarky point of view, I relearned some things and even learned a few new things along the way. It was a wonderful combination of a more dynamic tone with a nod to the stories I knew and loved. After devouring that series, I went on a quest to find more stories adapting all types of mythology. 

 Twelve years later, I’m still drawn to these adaptations. I love the way these storytellers breathe new life into stories. From podcasts to musicals, the opportunities are endless. I can see the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice in a new time. Modern storytellers can weave the stories in a modern tone and bring a new understanding. What brings me the most joy about these is not only the new life it creates for these stories. It is the knowledge that somewhere, someone will pick up an adaptation for the first time. And after their interest has peaked, they might go down the mythology rabbit hole and find a new thing to love. 

What do you think of mythology adaptations? Do you have a favorite one? Let me know in the comments below! After many years as a fan of mythology, I’m always excited to find a new version of a classic story. Bonus points if it introduces me to a new world of mythology that I’ve never visited before. Thanks so much for tuning in to my nerdy gushing, and happy reading!

A Goodreads 2020 Update!

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow we’ll be into month seven of 2020! To call this year a wild-ride would most likely be an understatement. Every week I have thought “I wonder what surprise occurrence will happen this time.” Like I said in my last post, I have been able to focus more on my hobbies to keep my spirits up. One of the small silver linings of this time is that I have more time to read. And since I’ve laid out a more challenging Goodreads goal this year, it’s a welcome opportunity.

When I discovered the Goodreads challenge a few years ago, I found it a way to make my reading feel productive. Recently, I’ve been procrastinating on doing some productive things by doing others. Instead of vacuuming, I’m watching a video about a historical figure. When I should be searching the internet for blog inspiration, I’m reading. It has been a great way to feel that I’ve accomplished something during this weird time vortex.

Thanks to the miracle of book tapes and intriguing storytelling, I’ve clocked myself in at 24 books as of the publication of this post. To my utter excitement, I’m 5 books ahead of schedule. According to the Goodreads site, that is. There’s hope that I’ll wrap up with 40 books, or maybe even more, by Jan 1, 2021!

While this is exciting, I haven’t challenged myself with a book recently. I’ve been diving into the glorious world of beach mysteries and fun rom-coms. These are lovely books to read, but I wanted to add some classics and “challenging” reads to my reading list. I want to learn, to grow as a person in this crazy world we live in. I also want to beef up my random fact repertoire, which I feel has been a bit stagnant since I graduated college. Either way, I’m looking forward to the new worlds and stories that are in my future

Do you have any book recommendations that you think I should add to my list? How is your Goodreads challenge going? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks so much for checking out my blog. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for around eight months! It makes me so happy that my words are interesting enough for you to return for new posts. I hope y’all have a great week, and happy reading!

10 things I want to see in the Percy Jackson Adaptation on Disney+

A few weeks ago, Rick Riordan confirmed something that Percy Jackson fans hoped for years. In the future, Disney+ will release a Percy Jackson series! As someone who grew up loving the original series, I was ecstatic to hear the news. The series is full of amazing moments that were either altered or cut in the movies that won’t be named. With a series lead by Uncle Rick, it’s likely that we’ll get to see some of our favorite moments in live-action.  In anticipation, I tried to imagine some of the moments I’m dying to see on screen. There are countless quips, hilarious moments, and even heart wrenching scenes. Here are a few that I can’t wait to see in the series. 

  1. The Nobody jokes from Sea of Monsters

 As a mythology nerd and someone with fond memories of the Odyssey, I was so happy to see these jokes in the books. It’s not as long running as the dam joke, but it’s still pretty great. It’s a cool mix of informative and a way to highlight the sass and quick wit of the characters in the book. 

  1. Mr. D being Mr D.

Something that I missed in the movies was the full character of Mr. D, aka Dionysus. I loved the dynamic between Percy and Mr. D, especially in the later stories.  At the beginning, their relationship is more for laughs and sass. This part of the story offers a lot of great comedic opportunities. In the later books, we start to see a more “human” side of Mr. D through all the intentional name-calling. It was nice to see a god care about his kids, especially during a book where many half-bloods were struggling with their absentee godly parents. 

  1. Grover and Percy’s bond 

Something that I really liked about the story was Grover and Percy’s mental bond. The dreams and mental communication added a lot to the story and their friendship. We got to see a bit of their friendship in the movies, but we missed what made their bond so special. It would also be a fun thing to shoot in tv show format, so I hope we get to see that done well.

  1. The sassy chapter titles… in any way possible please

This is a lot harder to include than the other items on this list, but I hope they can find a way. The chapter titles were one of my favorite parts of the series because they illustrate the tone of the book so well. And this girl loves creative sass, so they need to include them somehow. Maybe episode titles? I’m sure Uncle Rick will think of something.

  1. Apollo’s puns and crappy poetry

Apollo is more of a side character in this series, but he has some memorable moments in the series. As a pun lover, I loved his puns and hilariously crappy poetry. It was a fun juxtaposition from the Greek mythology version of Apollo. It also makes his more serious moments more impactful to the series. 

  1. Tyson and Percy’s Relationship

Tyson and Percy’s relationship is something that I want to see grow on screen. At the beginning, Percy was definitely frustrated at the fact that there was another son of Poseidon. But overtime, there’s a great growth in their relationship that also helps Percy and Tyson grow as demigods. It’s a great example of how sibling relationships can help you grow, even if you aren’t on great terms at the start. Also, I loved their interactions in the book. I want to see that wholesome mix of annoyed brother and cinnamon-roll brother on screen!

  1. Rachel Dare

I have to admit, Rachel Dare annoyed me a bit when we first met her. But over time, I grew to appreciate her character and arc. She can see through the mist, which is rare for anyone mortal. In fact, one of the few who can in the books is Luke’s mom. Rachel’s story has the risk of going down the same path as Luke’s mom, but she instead takes the reigns of the Oracle with determination. Being chosen by Apollo is a huge help to avoid Mrs. Castellan’s fate. I also want to see Rachel’s story arc because she is a dynamic person who, despite her lack of demigod strength, plays a big role in saving the world. So awesome.

  1. Blackjack and Mrs. O’Leary

Blackjack and Mrs. O’Leary are a great part of the series. They may not be primary characters of the books, but they help the primary characters move the plot along in great ways. Blackjack, as Percy’s Pegasus, is helpful to him in battle or when the demigods are trying to escape. Also, he’s hilarious and helps keep the sassy tone of the books with his quips. I just want to see a flying horse demand donuts. Is that too much to ask? Mrs. O’Leary is a great character, because she expands the lore of the story and is a great dynamic for Percy. Giant hellhound with the personality of a puppy? So many great situations to play out on screen. 

  1. The stakes

Something that I appreciate about the Percy Jackson series is that it’s real to an extent about the cost of war. You know why these kids are choosing to spend their summers learning to fight. There are stakes when the impending battle against Kronos grows closer. People die, people get hurt, and even betray each other. In the movies, it felt like the stakes weren’t at the same level. It is a Disney+ show for kids, so they obviously can’t go too far, but it’s important to show that the kids at Camp Half-Blood are fighting a dividing battle. A few of these moments for me that were super important was when Bekendorf died, and Silena’s betrayal afterwards. It  reminded the readers that those fighting in this war were teenagers. It also showed the sacrifices they had to make to get them to the Battle of Manhattan.

  1. More of the campers and their shenanigans 

The quests are an exciting part of what makes the Percy Jackson series great, but the camp is just as important. It’s the home base, where Percy learns more about being a demigod and trains for his future adventures. Another great thing about the camp is that we get to see the other demigod’s shenanigans and personalities. The Hermes cabin is always up for a prank, and the fun rivalries always brought about fun moments. I hope that the show will include some of these not only so we get to know more demigods, but also to change up the pace a bit. Quests back to back is fun, but after awhile it can get boring. That’s why the books have the camp adventures woven in, and why the show needs to include these moments also. 

What are some things you want to see in the Percy Jackson adaptation? Do you have any theories about casting or what they’re going to include? Let me know in the comments below! I’m so excited see the series, and hope it goes well. Happy reading everyone!

10 Iconic Shakespeare Insults

If someone mentioned William Shakespeare, what would first come to mind? Great plays? A ton of sonnets? Or maybe you’re someone who recalls falling asleep to Shakespeare in English class. Either way, Shakespeare’s name usually brings back memories. Due to prose and old language in his plays, many people forget one of the best parts about Shakespeare: his witty remarks. Shakespeare’s work is full of iconic insults and comebacks that are still great to this day. Here are a few iconic insults and comebacks that you might even want to use in your own life.

  1. This comeback for someone being an idiot
  1. When an obnoxious person pisses you off
  1. The sassiest burn…no pun intended.
  1. A great response for a person being sassy for no reason
  1. For anyone being a terrible person. Or for laughs
  1. A creative comeback
  1. A burn destined for the biggest idiot
  1. The most modern sounding Shakespeare insult ever.
  1. One of the best bants from Much Ado About Nothing
  1. The perfect comeback to use when you’re done with someone.

What are some of your favorite Shakespeare insults or comebacks? Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play? Let me know in the comments below! I had such a great time looking into witty Shakespeare comebacks. If you need something to spice up your day, take the time to look up some more great Shakespeare comebacks. You won’t regret it. Happy reading!

5 Awesome Audible Audiobooks to Check Out

In this magical, modern world, there are so many ways to read. Kindles, Nooks, modern phones, and audio books have joined the ranks of physical books. That means we can read almost anywhere, at any time! One of the newer ways to enjoy your favorite story is Audible. For anyone unaware, Audible is an audio book monthly subscription. Through the magical world of Audible, I’ve been able to enjoy countless books. I can listen to them while driving, while cleaning, even while I’m chasing down my dog for his frisbee! 

Audiobooks can sometimes make you miss the feeling of a physical book, but they can also elevate the story. I have been able to enjoy many books more through audio books than through the physical book itself. These books are often non-fiction, or even self-help books. But there are fiction books that I adore in the audiobook version more. Here are a few of my favorites to check out the next time you log into your Audible account!

  1. Six of Crows

Six of Crows, by the wonderful Leigh Bardugo, is a marvel in any form. The story of a group of teens off to pull the most daring heist in the Grishaverse. Led by Kaz Brekker, the most dangerous criminal prodigy in Ketterdam, the group is bound for a crazy ride. This story unfolds through the POVs of seven characters. A mighty challenge for those creating audiobooks! Instead of using one person to play all the characters, each POV has a different voice actor. When they begin their chapters, the character shines through the voice actor. The different voices also help you distinguish when point-of-views switch. It’s also very useful for pronunciation! There is amazing world building, which comes with many new words. Words that my silly brain couldn’t figure out. With the audio book, I know how to say words like Fjerda and Hringkälla! If you’re interested, you can check out this audiobook here.

  1. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

To anyone who has read my past blog posts or asked me for book recommendations, this isn’t a surprise. I love the Flavia series by Alan Bradley, especially the audio books. Jayne Entwistle brings the character of Flavia to life in a brilliant way. We sometimes forget that she’s an eleven year-old girl solving crime, but Jayne doesn’t. She always includes Flavia’s intelligence and her childlike wonder in her performance. It makes Flavia even more of a dynamic character! This audiobook is also great for what I call the “sciency nerd time” sections of the book. These sections are wonderful character building sections for Flavia, and are super educational. The problem is that my brain is not very fond of understanding science, especially chemistry. Reading it on a page makes me feel like I’m stepping back into chemistry class. The audiobook makes it way easier to understand the scientific reactions that Flavia describes. Jayne also does an amazing job of selling Flavia’s excitement to talk about chemistry. She sounds adorable, despite her discussion about poisons. Flavia in a nutshell. If you want to listen to a Holmes-esc character solve crime, check out this audiobook here.

  1. Sherlock Holmes Series

Odds are that you’ve seen these stories around. One of it’s main characters is one of the most famous fictional detectives in history after all! Sherlock Holmes is a household name, with millions discovering his adventures every year. He has been in movies, TV shows, plays, and more. It makes sense that there’d be at least one audiobook of his adventures. Stephen Fry does a spectacular job bringing the voices of Watson and Holmes to life in this audiobook. Stephen’s soothing British accent pulls you into the world of Victorian London. The language and customs of the time sound perfectly normal in his accent. His telling of the classic tales somehow makes more sense to the modern reader than a first glance at the story. For those who struggle with the writing style of the late 1800s, this is a great way to get into Holmes. If you’re looking for something to listen to on a rainy day, it’s the perfect audiobook to check out. Make sure you don’t forget the warm beverage, especially if it’s tea! If you want to dive into the world of Sherlock Holmes, you can check out the audiobook here.

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This series is full of strong childhood memories more many people, including myself. I still remember when I read the first book and the first time I heard the audiobook. The audiobook versions of the series are already well-loved by the fans. Jim Dale’s voice sounds like our childhood, like warmth on a cold day. Jim’s voice brings the magic of the world to life with his calming accent that’s full of wit and charm. His voice reminds me of my first introduction to Harry Potter. I was riding with my friend’s family in their station wagon with backwards facing seats on the way to the movies. They played Jim’s voice over the car speakers everywhere they drove. My friends family used to joke that they were the Weasleys every time they pulled out the book tape. When I was older, my sister discovered the audiobook on Audible. We jumped at the chance to hear it again. Despite my many repeats of the books and movies, Jim Dale’s voice always makes the story fresh. And if you reread books like I do, that is always the best kind of audiobook. If you want to check out the audiobook version of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, you can check it out here.

  1. Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is another novel that’s making it’s return to Sorry I’m Booked. As a lover of the movies inspired by many of Jane Austen’s novels, I wanted to finally read her most famous for myself. One chapter in, I ran into a recurring problem for me when reading classics; the language. I read many classics for high school and college, including Jane Austen. Now my brain correlates that language with dreaded homework. I’ve tried countless times to reverse it, but it’s hard to forget all the papers and in-class analysis. When I stumbled upon the audiobook version, I sighed with relief. When you listen to classics they are so much easier to understand, especially with a good voice actor. Considering this audiobook has Rosamund Pike, Jane in the 2005 movie, as the voice actor, I had high hopes. Rosamund does a great job giving life to the multitude of characters. She even made Mr. Collins worse than I remember with the stuffy and slimy voice she gave his character. Her voice transports you to the world of Elizabeth, and makes the language of her world less daunting. If you’re interested in taking a trip to the world of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, check out the audiobook here

What are your favorite audiobooks? If you’ve listened to any of these, what were your thoughts about them? Let me know in the comments below! If there’s an audiobook that you think I have to check out right now, you can send over a recommendation here. Don’t forget to enjoy some sunshine while you’re listening to the next audiobook. Happy reading and listening!

10 Iconic Percy Jackson Quotes to Make You Laugh

Over the years, I’ve read countless book series. There are many iconic ones that changed my life, like a story involving a boy wizard on quite the adventure. When I was in middle school, a new series began that brought me as much joy as searching for the Philosopher’s Stone. Percy Jackson, written by Rick Riordan, was a series that had it all. Greek mythology, a snarky hero, a cool female character, and a lovable best friend, and more! Throughout reading the first series, I found myself laughing, and on the edge of my seat.  The fan-named Uncle Rick is a master at blending humor, action and heart. But the hilarity of the series is one of the most iconic attributes. Here are a few of the iconic lines from the amazing series Percy Jackson.

  1. This gem, in which Percy is all of us.
  1. A famous quote…with a twist!
  1. Leo is all of us hour 10 of studying after 5 caffeinated beverages.
  1. The moment when Percy speaks the truth.
  1. The Percy Jackson origin story. And the reason why I’m occasionally tempted to dye my cookies blue.
  1. The beginning of my shipping problem.
  1. This quote, aka the series in a nutshell.
  1. This vivid description of going to the Underworld
  1. The dam classic that is still funny to my 25 year-old brain.
  1. Last but not least, proof that being a demigod is a wild ride.

What are your favorite Percy Jackson quotes?  Who do you think has the best lines? Let me know in the comments below! This was so hard to narrow down to 10 quotes, that I’m already itching to dive back into Percy’s world! In fact, why don’t we take a trip back to Camp Half-Blood together? I’ll be in Apollo’s cabin if you need me. Happy reading Half-Bloods!

5 Recipes from Novels to Make Right Now

Over the past few days, I’ve felt the baking bug sneak up on me. Watching so many videos of people baking bread and cookies will do that to you! Since I have more time on the weekends than I used to, I decided to kick up my baking a notch. Instead of my usual Betty Crocker cookies, why not take inspiration from food in books? There are many people who have tested and created versions of food in some of my favorite stories. The opportunities are endless, as long as you have the ingredients of course. Here are five recipes that I’m itching to try!

Image from Bijoux and Bits

  1. Pumpkin Pasties- Harry Potter series

Harry Potter is full of mouth-watering treats. Pumpkin pasties are among the treats that always make my mouth water. Luckily for me, it is one of the few treats from the books that already exist! Pumpkin pasties are a great addition to a fall feast. Or, if you’re like me, year-round because why not. If you have a can of pumpkin puree lying around, then check out Bijoux and Bit’s recipe! If you’re ready for some pumpkin goodness, try out their recipe here.

Image from Narnia.com 

  1. Turkish Delight- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

When I first read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Turkish delight intrigued me. What was it? Why did Edmund betray his family for some? Later in life, I learned that this treat is a gelatin-based and covered in powdered sugar. I still haven’t tried this treat, but it is an intriguing option. Will I meet a Snow Queen if I eat one? Or a talking lion who will save me from said Queen? These are the questions my quarantined brain is thinking about. If you want to create your own Turkish delight, try out the recipe on Narnia’s official website! If you do try out the recipe here, let me know if you find a suspicious wardrobe full of snow.

Image from Feast of Starlight

  1. Lembas Bread- Lord of the Rings

I was first introduced to Lembas bread and the world of Lord of the Rings when I was in college. A time when the idea of a slice of bread keeping you full for days sounded like a broke college kid’s dream. If you want to channel your inner elf, the recipe by Feast of Starlight is one to try. While I’m not an Elvish baker, I’m sure this bread would still be tasty if made by a human. It might even keep you full on your journey from the bed to the couch, if for a few hours. 

Image from The Little Library Café

  1. Wonka’s Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight- Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

When I was younger, I inhaled Roald Dahl books like they were chocolate. It was fitting when I got my hands on one of his most famous books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I was wonder-struck with Charlie as Mr. Wonka took the kids through his factory. So many of the treats tickled my fancy, but this chocolate bar stood out among the icons. I don’t know what a Whipple-scrumptious fudgemallow could be. It sounds almost like a smores chocolate bar. Can you even compare it to any existing dessert? The Little Library Café decided to take on the challenge. She created a delicious recipe that has me drooling for an entire box of her Wonka bars. If you’re hankering for a chocolate treat, this is the recipe for you!

Image from Feast of Fiction

  1. Ambrosia squares and nectar- Percy Jackson series 

Ambrosia squares and nectar from the Percy Jackson series is an enigma. In true mythological fashion, the food tastes different per demigod. Percy tastes his mom’s blue chocolate chip cookies when he drinks the nectar. His version sounded delicious, but I’ve often wondered how mine would taste. The food lovers of Feast of Fiction decided to investigate! They channeled their inner demigod and created a delicious recipe. To check out their version, visit their YouTube channel.

Have you tried out any of these delicious recipes? Are there any other literary treats that you want to make? Let me know in the comments below! If you make any of these treats, tag me @teaandcoffeforemmy on Instagram. Or @emiliz32695 on Twitter. Please also tag the lovely creators of these recipes to show your appreciation! It’s thanks to them that we can enjoy our dream food in real life. Stay safe and happy reading!

A Love Letter to the Weasley Twins

Tomorrow is a day famed for sneaky pranks and a chorus of voices shouting “April fools”. This year, pranksters are having to tap into their creative side to adapt to the uncertain times. If they decide to prank at all. In honor of the day of pranksters, who better to talk about than the most famous jokesters in literature? Today I want to honor my favorite pranksters and fellow twins, Fred and George Weasley. 

From the first time we meet Fred and George Weasley, we can tell they’re jokesters. They mess with their mom by declaring that she mixed their names up. Instead, they are the ones who switched names! As a fellow twin, I know this prank well. Even a rule follower like myself can’t resist switching places with her twin to annoy our parents. When we follow Harry to Hogwarts, it’s clear that the twins are well known for their jokes. Fred and George have pranked Peeves, the teachers, students, and even Voldemort. They threw snowballs at Voldemort without knowing in the first book! I bet they shared a high-five when they learned who was behind Quirrell’s turban. 

Fred and George are most famous in the books for their variety of inventions. I remember reading with fascination and slight disgust as they described their wares. Puking pastilles? Nosebleed nougats? They sound gross and a bit cruel. Still, their crazy inventions had Hogwarts students lining up for more. Fred and George were the king jesters of the school!

But the Weasleys used their knack for pranks for good as well. When Umbridge took over Hogwarts, the students were on lockdown. It was like a dementor went through the place. The Weasleys sold their products to students at a discount with one rule: use them on Umbridge. Needless to say, the students took this request to heart. Over time Umbridge and her posse were sneak attacked by the Weasley products. As a fellow Umbridge despiser, I’m sure the feeling of revenge was sweet. They capped off their tirade with a final bow that I still remember to this day. The twins decided to throw a fireworks show in the school as their farewell to learning. The fireworks sent Umbridge into a tizzy, and the swamp took weeks to clean up. They told Peeves to “give her hell from us” and he took it to heart. If you can get a poltergeist to listen to you, you’ve got pranking skills. At that moment, Fred and George Weasley were my favorite characters in Harry Potter.

Unfortunately, you can’t talk about these twins without mentioning the Battle of Hogwarts. Before that day, the Weasleys were running a thriving joke shop from hiding. Life seemed hopeful, despite the looming threat of Voldemort. Then, the scene happened. In the midst of the fight, Fred Weasley died with a laugh on his lips. It was awful, separating the twins from each other.  To be honest with you, I still haven’t forgiven J.K. Rowling for writing it. But even in the end, Fred went out laughing. 

Despite their heartbreaking separation at the battle, Fred and George’s storyline is wonderful. They are always there for their family and friends, especially Harry. They are the reason he has the Mauraders Map after all! That is why the Weasley twins are the best pranksters in my book. They have the wits and the talent, but also the heart to be great guys and jokesters. 

What is your favorite Fred and George moment? Are they your favorite practical jokers, or do you have a different favorite? Let me know in the comments below! If you are thinking of celebrating April fools this year, please keep a safe distance. And please, please do not sneeze or cough on someone as a prank. That’s a one-way ticket to trouble town. I hope y’all are staying safe and healthy. Happy reading!

Three Fantastic Female Characters I Love

There are some stories that speak to you. Whether it’s the language, plot, or characters, they have a powerful draw that pulls you in. As an avid reader, there are many stories that qualify for me. Amongst these stories are countless characters who stuck with me long after I closed the book. In honor of International Women’s Month, I want to highlight memorable female characters. These women are a few of my favorites who inspire me and are well-rounded characters. When making this list, I limited myself to one character per series. Otherwise, this entire list would be Harry Potter characters! In no particular order, here are three of my favorite female characters.

Image from Wizarding World

  1. Luna Lovegood- Harry Potter

I’m sure it’s no surprise to some that a Harry Potter character is on this list. There are some very well-rounded, unique women in the series. Luna is one of my favorite characters because of her oddities. As a nerdy, odd girl growing up in small-town Tennessee, I  was the closest thing to Luna at my school. I look up to her because she isn’t afraid to be herself. In high school, this was a difficult thing to embrace. I’m still working on this, but seeing Luna proud to be herself gives me the drive to do that myself. 

Luna is first introduced to us as a “Loony Lovegood”. She’s a complete opposite of Hermione, which is both hilarious and good for the friend dynamic. Luna is a bit out there, but her kindness makes her a great asset to her friends. She forms a friendship with Harry, and the others, that’s built on understanding. She is also kind to Dobby after their first meeting. Her respect for Dobby wasn’t common for wizards during this time. Luna is also very sharp. It makes sense, as she is a Ravenclaw, but many in the book don’t recognize her intelligence. In the seventh book, she plays an integral role in helping Harry find a horcrux. In the fifth book, she is a proud member of Dumbledore’s Army. She also casts some impressive spells during the Ministry battle. Luna has proven that writing multi-faceted characters is possible. Characters like Luna add a powerful dynamic to the stories they inhabit.

Image from Grishaverse

  1. Inej Ghafa- Six of Crows

Inej Ghafa is a vital character in the Six of Crows duology. Inej is a Suli girl who grew up in a traveling circus with her family. After her capture, she’s sold into slavery at a pleasure house in Ketterdam. She fought through her terrible experiences to stay strong. Her inner strength shines through when Kaz Brekker, a famous member of a local gang, enters the house. He comes for information, and when he leaves she surprises him. She channels her inner strength and speaks up, insisting that she can help Kaz. Inej sees a way out of her hell and will do whatever it takes to get out. The bravery she shows despite her circumstances is inspiring. Her story always reminds me to never give up, despite the odds thrown at you. Her guts even captures Kaz’s attention. After that day, Inej becomes a member of Kaz’s gang, the Dregs, and Kaz’s right-hand. 

Through her hard work and diligence, Inej becomes one of the most feared members of the Dregs. Many call her the Wraith, because she appears out of nowhere and leaves destruction in her path.  Something I love about Inej is that she’s confident in the skills that have made her famous. She isn’t afraid to use these skills to get what she needs or wants. Her dedication to being the best keeps her moving forward towards her goal of being free. Inej never gives up, even if it involves keeping the reckless Kaz safe. She is hesitant to befriend someone, but once she does Inej is a great friend. She is very supportive and kind to her friends, but isn’t afraid to call them out when they need it. Something I also respect about Inej is her strong sense of self-worth. She has feelings for Kaz that she knows he has too, but she refuses to enter a relationship with him unless he opens up. Inej knows that they both have a lot to work on within themselves before a relationship could happen. She doesn’t want Kaz to hold her back from her growth. When an opportunity arises for her to board a ship and lead a crew that targets slave ships, she takes it. Inej doesn’t want anyone else to have her experiences. She chooses to leave Ketterdam behind and do her part to make her world a better place.

Image via Amazon. French cover of the Flavia Series

  1. Flavia DeLuce- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Flavia De Luce is a fascinating character. On one hand, she is a brilliant chemist who often solves murders with her skills. On the other, Flavia is an eleven-year-old girl who is still clueless about some areas of the world. When we first meet her, she is concocting a solution in her lab to exact revenge against her sister. It’s the perfect combination of her many sides. A chemist with an encyclopedic knowledge of poisons, and a child fighting with her sister. After her first brush with crime, Inspector Hewitt brushes her off as nothing more than a silly girl. With the fire of revenge in her eyes, Flavia resolves to solve the case to prove him wrong. As someone who once got a “revenge A” in a class because the teacher infuriated me, I can relate to Flavia. With her determination and sharp brain, she manages to solve many mysteries. After a few cases, Inspector Hewitt comes to her for information. How the tables have turned!  Seeing such a strong will in a young character makes me want to work harder to match her level of determination. If people underestimate you, be like Flavia and prove them wrong.

Flavia’s personal life is both heartbreaking and endearing. The stiff-upper-lip lifestyle of the wealthy British at the time is prevalent in her house. Her father is often absent, and her sisters are often cruel. Her mother’s disappearance not long after her birth caused a rift in the family. Only Dogger, her family’s butler, and Mrs. Mullet, the cook, are a kind influence. Despite the animosity, there are many times when Flavia and her sisters ban together. Her oldest sister can be harsh, but she often sweeps in when Flavia needs her most. Through all the frustration and heartbreak, Flavia keeps moving forward. It’s inspiring to see a young character pull herself up and learn from her mistakes. She moves on, riding her bike Gladys off towards her next adventure.

Who are some of your favorite female characters? Let me know in the comments below! It was so difficult to choose only three female characters for this post. I have so many other favorites that have inspired me. In the future I will highlight more of these awesome ladies! Do you have a story with a great female character that you want me to check out? You can send me book recommendations by filling out the book survey here. Happy reading!