Friday, July 29, 2016

Why Harry Named His Children After These People / Potterhead July

One of the biggest controversies in the Harry Potter community is Harry's children. More specifically, who they were named afterYou can't delve into the Harry Potter hub without finding rants and memes like these on the subject
Well... you're going to get none of that today, because I might be one of the rare creatures who is fine with Harry's naming style, and feels like there is a very strong symbolism to it.

Out of the bat I'm going to say I will not be discussing James Sirius Potter, as there is hardly any cause for complain in his name. Rather, I will be talking about the real source of outrage in the community - Albus Severus Potter, named after Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape - and a little bit about Lily Luna Potter.

So... why did Harry name his child over his worst nemesis and the mentor who groomed him for death? Well, whenever I think of Harry's children, I get his feeling like he named them after things he learned and valued throughout the series. 

#1 The Bravery of Not Fearing Death 
When Harry says he named his child after the bravest men he ever knew - what he is actually talking about is the bravery of not fearing death... Which is one of the biggest themes in the Harry Potter universe.

It's the bravery Voldemort lacks, the one that motivates his actions throughout the series (wanting to be immortal). It's the bravery that saved Harry's life - Lily (and James) sacrifice themselves so Harry could live. It's the bravery that saved the wizarding world - if Harry wasn't brave enough to "die", the unplanned Horcrux wouldn't have been destroyed and Voldy would have remained un-kill-able.

From the very first novel in the series, J.K has put a very strong emphasis on the importance of not fearing "the great next adventure", which is echoed in this final sacrifice Harry makes. (Don't forget - J.K is really big on closing a circle. The entire seventh novel mirrors many moments of the first one).

To an extent, all of Harry's children are named after people who held this kind of bravery (in abundance). Lily and James, obviously. Sirius, who looked death in the eye and smiled hello. Luna, who was kind of the bravest of them all... and then Dumbledore and Snape. The two people that Harry watched die (and could clearly remember it). The two who played the game until the very last moment of their life. The two people who showed Harry he shouldn't fear death, and that he can face it, for the right reasons. 

So, death and bravery is a pretty big theme here.

#2 The Duality of People - Being Human Means Being Gray
But what else separates these two from other worthy names? Well... both turned out to be not quite what we thought they were. Both were revealed to be a lot grayer than we originally expected. Both Snape and Dumbledore proved there is more beneath the surface, on both sides of the coin.

For almost the entire series, Snape was the villain of the story. As bad as Voldemort is, I'm fairly certain most of us hated Snape even more than Voldemort. Voldy is this arch nemesis, this big bad wolf in the background, but we actually see very little of him throughout the series. The more prominent villain is Snape, with his bullying, his sneers, his grumpy-bitter attitude, his taunts and insults and the feet he keeps tripping our heroes with throughout their academic lives.

So Harry's shock was even bigger than ours when he found out Snape has an almost infinite, unwavering, immortal capability of love. Sure, it's almost obsessive. And yes, Snape could've chosen differently and maybe even gotten the girl. But can anyone deny that he loved Lily? That despite all his bitterness and anger and hatred he protected Harry from the onset? You can say a lot of things about Snape (and none of them would be untrue), but you can't deny this. He died to protect what Lily loved.

Snape proved that not every bully is bad all the way, and that love can do a lot to redeem someone.

In fact, in the collective memory of the fandom, a lot of people (me included) consider the line "After all the time? Always" to be one of the most memorable lines in the series, and one of the most touching.

What about Albus? Well, Albus proved not to be all he was played out to be, either. He was The Mentor, the man Harry idolized... Harry would have done anything to impress him. From the very first book, Harry came to him about everything and trust and relied on him. So, it was (a lot) heartbreaking to find out he was grooming him for death. Damn. Albus Dumbledore was a man who made the hard choices. But his choices sucked.

Personally, I left the Harry Potter story feeling like Albus was a dick. He always "knew better"... and made a lot of mistakes, he never shared a piece of himself, leaving Harry to find whatever he could though books with questionable validity - and unable to even protect his mentor against all the backlash because he doesn't fucking know. Nothing we, or Harry, know about Dumbledore's past came from the man himself. And ultimately, he let Harry believe and trust in him when the only ending Dumbledore could see was Harry's death. And for his purpose, he used everyone around him - including Snape.

So, Dumbledore proved that good men can do bad things, and that great man can make mistakes, and that you never know.

Lily Luna
And then, there is Lily Luna. Luna is the only living person to have been honored by Harry. But why? Well, because Luna showed Harry the most important thing. 

Be yourself, be unapologetic about it, and don't be afraid to be different. 

Where Snape and Dumbledore taught Harry that not everything you think is true, and that mankind has a lot of faucets to it, and are generally gray... Luna taught Harry that sometimes - you can be exactly what you appear to be, so long as you are being yourself. And being strange, or different, won't make you any less awesome.

So basically, through his choices of names, Harry instilled in his children some very important messages. First, be brave. Second, not everyone are as they seem and that's okay. Humans aren't just black and white. And finally, be yourselves, and don't be afraid to be unique. 

A side note about Luna: I feel like they chose Luna for a second reason... Luna's translation is moon. And as Lupin could not be used because, you know, Teddy should have the option available if needed, Luna is the next best thing. A way to honor both of these fantastic human beings!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Harry Potter Spells Tag! | Bookish Tag

Hello everybody! 

To be honest, I've been wanting to do some bookish tag for ages. I don't usually get tagged at these sort of things, and when I do I tend to suck because I forget and end up doing them six months later, but because I felt like doing one I searched google and found this gem. Originally by TurtleSympathy on YouTube, but the video is unavailable and I found it on jessethereader

Anyhow, this tag takes spells from our beloved Harry Potter series and connects them to books based on themes! Can you think of a better tag?? 

Okay, yes, this is the Harry Potter Spells book tag, so using HP itself might be kind of cheating, but in all honesty there is no other book that defines childhood and good memories for me quite like Harry Potter. Harry Potter is my childhood. It accompanied me in the worst and best of times, it gave me happiness and joy as an angsty young adult. 

Written in Red wasn't a book I thought I'd read. I'd seen it around but the cover really put me off so I never delved any deeper. Then I saw a few favorable reviews one after the other, and the book was discounted on kindle. So... I one clicked, and started reading. I wasn't even twenty pages in when I knew this book would be an all time favorite, and it was. It took me by surprise with how absolutely fantastic it was and with the twists, the turns and the general plot and characters of this phenomenal story. Can't recommend it enough!

I admit that I've been watching a lot of anime and reading a lot of manga so I had to go to Goodreads and literally check this, and then I was like "oh right, how could I forget this book??".

The Genius and the Muse is a book I wasn't expecting much out of, but ended up being a wonderful read that dealt with love, how it can go wrong and how, if people just spoke to one another, it might just go back to being right. Also, this book showcases a love story from various different point of view, and it does so wonderfully. Total rec! :)

The Time Traveler's Wife was the first adult book I've read. Up until that moment, I have only read YA and MG, and adult novels seemed... I don't know, boring, I guess? Well, I actually didn't know this book was going to be so explicitly adult, although looking at it now it wasn't half as scandalizing as I remember. But I was sixteen, I think, and hadn't read anything of its like before.

So maybe "adult" is not quite a genre, more like an age range, but I consider it for this question because this is really the most substantial of those "introduction" books. Most of all because this book is what made me start reading them, even though I wasn't head over heels in love with it. But it opened my eyes to this age-genre and I've never looked back.  

I had to think long and hard about this one, because the books I read tend to be amusing as a side note, not as the main focus. I don't often read comedies because they tend to be full of slapstick (which I dislike) and I'm often attracted to different type of stories.

But then, the first book that really came to mind is The Princess Bride. One of the funniest movies I've ever watched, the book is just as funny, albeit in a different way. It's a book that laughs at a lot of things, while confusing and confounding the reader and messing with their heads. If you love the movie you'll probably love this; same type of humor, and a lot of the jokes in the movie are directly taken from the book! 

Okay, so with over 36,000 ratings on Goodreads The Thief is definitely not the most underrated book out there. However, I feel like people just don't know it. When I talk books with people, very few talk about this book or remember its existence but it's such a magnificent book (and series) that I don't understand how this happens. How is it not on more people's Top Ten lists and such? It deserves all the awards and attention!

Okay, so I actually love spoilers (*gasp* what??) and most of the spoilers I have read have been intentional and I don't exactly regret them, and the one accidental spoiler I've read I'd prefer not to talk about, I'm going the route of "books I'd like to forget I've read".

Hush, Hush is such an atrocity and was such a huge waste of my time that I wish I'd forget I'd have read it as it makes me rage to this day and I don't like having such strong, negative feelings about a book.... (However, I would like my review to stay available to me so I won't accidentally read it again *shudders*)

I actually remember very few of my high-school reads, I had to really go back in my head for this. גיא אוני (The Valley of Strength) is a book I've read for a report (out of very specific list). If I recall correctly, I asked my bookish grandmother which book she thought would fit me out of the list and this was it. All I remember about it is that it didn't feel like torture reading it (I hated the required reading, especially because it had such high and mighty ideas of what should be considered "literature" and what shouldn't) and... that's it. 

Err, this was a no brainer. I cried so much tears in The Fault in Our Stars I thought I just might dehydrate. Good god, this book couldn't hurt more even if it came behind you with a knife and stabbed you in the kidneys....

First of all - I'm interpreting this as books that the world depicted in them can kill you and as much as I love them I would never consider living in them because dangerous af. Originally I thought maybe I'd use Written in Red for this one because that book (and series) can be BRUTAL, but as I already mentioned it once in this tag I decided to look for something less obvious. 

The second book that came to mind is... Blackbirds. Good god, this book is brutal and gritty, and someone dies every other chapter or so. I won't survive three days in this world, if I were to encounter Miriam. Also, in this world I could find out the way and date of my death and I DON'T want that. No thank you... 

What do you think of my picks? Have you read any of these books? Are you planning on doing this tag sometime? If so, make sure to leave a link because I would love to see YOUR picks! :D

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Broken Dove by Kristen Ashley | Book Review

Broken Dove by Kristen Ashley
Fantasyland #4
First Published: 2013
Adult, Fantasy Romance
Far too young, Apollo Ulfr lost Ilsa, his wife, the love of is life and the mother of his two children. The grief of her loss does not settle in his soul, it solders to it. But when he discovers there is a parallel universe where his wife may have a twin, he feels there's hope and sets about bringing her to his world so he can have her back.
But Ilsa Ulfr of our world is married to the parallel universe's twin, Pol, who is not a good man. Not in any way. She's on the run from him and the last thing she wants is to be transported to a fantastical world and be forced to take his side as his wife, even if he is not Pol. And Apollo finds the broken Ilsa nothing like his beloved, and further, wants nothing to do with her.
But darkness is looming and evil is amassing. Apollo must protect his land and keep his family safe, including the new Ilsa.
Of the entire Fantasyland series, Broken Dove is my least favorite by far, and the lowest rated. Even though these books make me not give a damn about a lot of my normal standards, they're so addictive, there are just some things I can't ignore or forgive, no matter what.

This book deals with a battered woman; Isla, aka Maddy. She's been in an abusive relationship for years, spending the last three years on the run from her husband. This has to take it's toll on her, and yet for a large time of the book, she comes across as... completely okay, despite everyone assuring us she's "broken" inside.

Seeing her one time flinch from Apollo is not enough. Giving her some self-worth issues three quarters into the book is not enough either. What Maddy went through is all consuming. And it's not something that happened years ago. It's something that has been happening to her for last eleven years, continuously. It felt like such a light and incomplete depiction of a battered woman, in which the issues appear only when they are convenient to the plot. It made abuse a cheap instrument.

But more than that, it was that Apollo was the one to "save" her. It was that Apollo made fun of her desire to "find herself", acting like that's such a stupid thing to want to do. It was that Apollo made her apologize 95% of the time... even when he was the one at fault. It was that Apollo lashed at her, viciously, as painfully as a punch to the face. It was that Apollo forced her to be at his mercy. He had everything under his control - where she would go, what she would do, when she will see his children, when not... he is such a controlling man. 

A controlling man who looks exactly the same as her abusive husband.

I was so angry and so upset with him the entire read, for being such an ass and not understanding the things he's doing, for being a control freak and for being the exact opposite of what I consider Maddy to need right now. And I was angry at Ashley for making him this way. I was so angry at her for making Maddy fall in love with this ass.

Indeed, for the majority of the book, I hated Apollo. The same Apollo I enjoyed in book one and looked forward to his story turned out to be the most disappointing hero in the whole series.

I know he's not a bad guy. I know he won't (physically) hurt Maddy. But seriously, a woman who's been abused for years by your twin, and you force her into a position that you provide everything for her, and without you she can't do a single thing, leaving her completely at your mercy??? Telling her her only choice is you and nothing else?? How is that okay??? How is that the treatment Maddy deserves and needs?????

I just couldn't get on board with this, no matter what. I honestly don't know how anyone can ship these two together, it left such a bad taste in my mouth. I'm getting my rage on just thinking about it.

Not to mention that this book breaks the rules of the world Ashley established in the first book, seeing as Earth!Apollo is as evil as they come, and yet he has a twin. But didn't you say evil people don't get a twin? And more than that, why can there be a good version and a bad version, when you're essentially the same person? this was a little confusing in Fantastical as well, but there I excused this by saying Fantasyland!Cora wasn't bad. She just grew with everything she wanted handed to her on a silver platter so she grew up vain and self centered, but not evil. Here, I can no longer ignore this massive break in the lore.

To me, this was such a disappointing forth novel, in a series I found addictive and fun to the point of #noregret binge reading... I wish this book was on par with the last one...

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan | Book Review

The Heroes of Olympus #2
First Published: 2011
Young Adult, Mythology
Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.
Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.
I originally read this book around three years ago, and even back then I felt it was hard to review. I didn't understand why back then, and I don't really understand now. But still, I'm going to try and put my thoughts and feeling in semi-coherent manner.

The first time I read this book, it took me a full week. This might not sound that long, but for someone with an average of two and a half days to read a novel, and someone who read the entire Percy Jackson series in a week, it is. The second time, it fit snugly in the average with three days total.

I feel like this second read may have been "easier" for me because I felt more in the loop, having re-read the entire Percy Jackson series a few months prior so instead of trying to wreck my brain to figure out all the references, I was nodding and being like "yeah, yeah" the whole time.

Much like it's predecessor, The Son of Neptune is split between three heroes, and three point of views told in third person, with four chapter in a row from each. Each character has it's own voice, strengths and weaknesses, and together they make a really interesting team.

But Percy is still my fave #sorrynotsorry. It was curious seeing him from other people's perspective, though, having lived in his head for five books. And it was nice seeing his devoted boyfriend side, without once seeing Annabeth in this book. Though, as much as I like the fact he remembered her, I would have liked more explanation as to why that happened. If Percy made himself remember with his love, then I don't think his love for Sally would lose the match, you know? And if Hera left him that memory... why?

I liked Hazel, the only girl in the group, because she has a really interesting backstory and some cool powers, but at the fight for the coolest child of Hades, Nico still wins by far for me so I guess she was a good character, but not an incredible character for me.

Frank is such a bad name for a hero (imo) but it fits this dorky, mismatched guy. The Heroes of Olympus series seems to be going all out with these crazy backstories, and Frank's just one of those. The most interesting part about him is how unlike his godly father he is. Talk abut a shocker! I just wished Frank's powers went into some more description, because it felt rather abrupt this way.

One thing to think about while reading this book is that Percy Jackson has grown, and so have Riordan's books. Our heroes are not little kids anymore, and love plays a major rule in everything that goes on around them. A much bigger one than it had in PJ. And not only that, but the level of puns, hints and play on words has been upgraded as well.

Much like all of Riordan's books, it's astonishing how clever he is, how funny he can be and how he can use seemingly random events and characters from previous books and give them a starring rule in this one.

The most interesting thing of this book is hands down the Roman Camp, because it's the first time we see a hope for the future for our heroes. Yes, Percy and Annabeth and the gang are strong and have survived so many things, no one really thinks about them possibly dying in the future (prematurely, I mean). But when you think of it, Demi-God mortality rates are super high. All one needs is one monster he's not fast enough at defending against.

The Roman camp crushes that fear and gives us (and the characters) a door to a better future, one with kids and families and normal lives (also, Percy is thinking about that type of future with Annabeth. Total swoon!)

Another super interesting subject the roman camp brings (which I have wondered about the entirety of the PJ series), is that demi-gods decedents can also hold powers, and are still stronger than regular humans. This kind of opens up a whole can of possibilities for Percy and Annabeth's children (what? I'm a shipper. I live for these things haha)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

5 Reasons to Watch the 3 Seasons of Kuroko No Basket | Anime Rec

Kuroko no Basket / 2nd Season / 3rd Season
MAL Top Anime List*: #106 / #65 / #49
# Episodes watched: 75 / 75 (25 per season
Aired: Apr 8 to Sep 22, 2012 / Oct 6 to Mar 30, 2014 / Jan 11 to Jun 30, 2015
Teikou Junior High School's basketball team is crowned champion three years in a row thanks to five outstanding players who, with their breathtaking and unique skills, leave opponents in despair and fans in admiration. However, after graduating, these teammates, known as "The Generation of Miracles," go their separate ways and now consider each other as rivals.
At Seirin High School, two newly recruited freshmen prove that they are not ordinary basketball players: Taiga Kagami, a promising player returning from the US, and Tetsuya Kuroko, a seemingly ordinary student whose lack of presence allows him to move around unnoticed. Although Kuroko is neither athletic nor able to score any points, he was a member of Teikou's basketball team, where he played as the "Phantom Sixth Man," who easily passed the ball and assisted his teammates.
Kuroko no Basket follows the journey of Seirin's players as they attempt to become the best Japanese high school team by winning the Interhigh Championship. To reach their goal, they have to cross pathways with several powerful teams, some of which have one of the five players with godlike abilities, whom Kuroko and Taiga make a pact to defeat.
In all honesty, it's been a long while since I've truly been enthusiastic about anime. When I started watching anime around ten or eleven years ago, I could binge watch for months on no end, finishing one anime after the other like it was a contest and I was out to win all the prizes.

But when I got back into reading and writing, that kind of waned. I started keeping mostly with manga, with the very occasional anime watch. In fact, for the last few months since I vowed to try some of the more popular anime out there, I have started and stopped a large number of them, simply because they didn't grab my attention long enough.

And then came Kuroko no Basket. I have no idea what possessed me to give this sports anime a shot, but thank god to that demon/angel because this is the first anime in ages that consumed me to the point of nonstop watching. I finished 75 episodes in a mere week, work and everything. I basically did nothing but watch on my spare time. And now, I'm going to be the demon/angel on your shoulder tempting you to watch this series, using a ton of gifs and quiet a few words!

#1: You Don't Need to Love Sports 

I know, I know. The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words "basketball anime" is... meh, I'm not really into basketball. Or any type of sports. I thought the same thing. Well, you really don't need to be to love this anime.
In fact, this anime is exactly the reason why normal sports don't interest me. Normal sports don't have special moves that make the ball disappear, or change your eye color, or make fucking lazer beams shot from your eyes, do they?
And okay, all these are just visual aids to make everything cooler. None of the characters really have super powers. But... boy, how cool it is.
And if you already love sports without those super powers, imagine how much you'll love it with them! (just, bear in mind, it's not a 100% realistic representation of the sport. As demonstrated by the superpower-esque situation).

#2: Great Characters and Character Interactions 

You know, the key element to any story is its characters. A boring, weak, or pathetic character can make you indifferent or hateful toward the story. But strong, interesting, versatile characters can bring even the most unoriginal story to life. Combine that with a great plot, and you have a recipe for success.
Well, the characters in Kuroko no Basket are the absolute best. I love them so much it's ridiculous. First we have our trusty shadow Kuroko Tetsuya, the namesake of this series. With such an adorable, admirable and strong main character, how can you not love this show? 
His partner and his "light" is Kagami Taiga. Hot headed, serious, never-backs-away-from a fight. He is loud where Tetsuya is calm and quiet, making them the complete opposites, but you know what they say - opposites attract. It might sound a little gay. A lot of the fangirls (me included) kind of hope it is gay because these two compliment each other so well... but, canonically speaking, there is nothing less than straight about these two. Either way they're great characters.
Individually, all the characters in this show are very strong (and heck amusing), but it's the interaction between them that really seals the deal as a great show. It's funny, it's charming, it's human, and each character develops and builds alone and as a group as the story moves along, creating the coolest basketball team to ever basket (and they have some wicked cool competitors in-series). 
These characters will make you root for them like crazy. You will jump out of your chair in happiness when they win. You will bite your nails as they struggle game after game, never to give up. You will cry with them when they lose. 

Because these amazing characters will make you unable not to. 

#3: FRIENDSHIP IS EVERYTHING... and yet not too cheesy 

Kuroko no Basket is not the first (and it's not going to be the last) anime to focus on friendship. However, Kuroko takes it a step farther while simultaneously taking it a step down.
A step farther? the whole idea behind Kuroko no Basket is team play. "Kuroko no Basket" literally means "the basketball which Kuroko plays". Kuroko is a team player. His biggest role is to support the team and give them the best position to score and win the game. He is a player that cannot play by himself... nor does he want to. 
He believes that a game played "by yourself" relying solely on your own abilities is not a fun game, because even if you win you have no one to celebrate it with - so what's the point? And he's out to prove it to everyone else... which means the opposing teams also get incredible character development! 
Indeed, the whole point of Kuroko no Basket is "Team Play". It's not enough just to be friends to have a good team play (you need to trust each other, to have individual strong abilities but also to understand your role in the group in order to create good 'team play') but friendship is still a key element. 
Taking it a step down? You're not going to find cheesy deceleration of friendships and eye-roll worthy moments around this theme. Or at least, not in the normal way. Everyone fall into an effortless friendship, and every such gesture is timed, fitting and tasteful. Never once did I snicker and thought it over the top, which I think often in anime, sports or otherwise. Kuroko no Basket found the perfect balance between making friendship a focal point but keeping it subtle.  

#4: Exciting, Nail Biting Action! 

These are just basketball games, you say? THESE ARE NOT JUST BASKETBALL GAMES. The amount of tension and anxiety these games gave me is on per with saving the world action. Dear god almighty, my nails! My poor nails! Gone, just like that. Because of a bunch of basketball games.
If that doesn't say you need to watch this series, if only just so you could see how this is possible, I don't know what will. 


This is just a stupid anime about basketball, Nitzan, you say.
There is no way it can kick you in the guts with feels, you say.
Stop lying, you say.


I was drowning in feels.
btw yes, this well known gif is is my babe Kuroko 
 Basketball punched by feels.
It was a feels field day! Ohhh, it starts light enough. You get a hint and a warning of it in the first season, but it fools you into thinking this is just going to be a fun romp in the grass. Season two has some heartbreaking scenes, but it's not full out yet. But THEN... then comes seasons three and WHAM, you're under attack. And you're going to cry, goddammit, and you're going to love it!
Don't mind me. I'll just just sitting here, crying.
*The number detailed here is accurate to the time this post was written on. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fantastical by Kristen Ashley | Book Review

Fantasyland #3
First Published: 2011
Adult, Fantasy Romance
Cora Goode has woken up in a fairytale world where she can understand what birds are saying to her, men ride horses and have fluffy feathers in their hats and furniture zigs, zags and whirls in miracles of construction.
The problem is, she thinks she’s in a dream but she’s actually taken the place of the parallel universe Cora and without realizing it, our Cora does something that starts a centuries old curse that will sweep the land if she gets captured by the evil Minerva.
At this point, her dream world becomes a nightmare.
Luckily, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno is there to save her from the clutches of the grotesque vickrants sent by Minerva to capture her. Unfortunately, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno doesn’t like the Cora of his world all that much (to say the least) and he thinks our Cora is her. And no matter what our Cora says or does to try to convince him, he won’t be convinced.
But Cora needs Tor to keep her safe and guide her through this fantastical world as she hopes one day to wake up in her not-so-great apartment in her not-so-great life in her world. The problem is, the more time she spends with the gorgeous warrior Tor, the faster she falls in love with him.
The Fantasyland series is such a huge guilty pleasure for me. It's the type of series I shouldn't love, and yet I do. I acknowledge all that is wrong with these books (and there is plenty), but at the same time I just don't give a damn. It's been so long since that has happened.

And I can honestly say, without a shadow a doubt, that Fantastical is my favorite out of the four books published in it so far. 

This book was simply so much fun

Books one & two (and four, but that's getting ahead of myself), featured some very questionable decisions the heroes did. Decisions I can't excuse no matter how much the books try to make me do so, and that had me questioning my own sanity for loving the heroes despite them. In Fantastical, I encountered no such moral dilemma, leaving me to simply love the hero in peace. Hurrah!

And love the hero I did. Tor is just so much fun, and even if he's slightly hard headed about believing Cora, you can't deny how well he takes care of her, and how sweet he can be to her... even if he's as hard core alpha male as all the heroes in this series.

Cora is my favorite heroine in this series so far. All the heroines in Fantasyland are eerily similar, both in their mannerism and their speech pattern, but this is again just one of this things these books made me not give a damn about. That said, I found Cora to be the most fun of them all -- and the most individualistic in her voice. She is diligent, she is hard working, but she is still vulnerable. That scene after they reach Tor's castle, where she breaks down because every one hates Original!Cora... totally broke my heart.

And together? Holly canolly, hot as hell. Not only were sparks flying, but they were starting fire wherever they landed. And, once again... they were just so much fun!

Not to mention, we finally got to see more of our world! It was interesting to see the Fantasyland characters move about our world, although they did so with super perfection it was slightly jarring. Oh well, just another one to my list of things I don't give a damn about when it comes to these books lol

And can we talk about the fact things are finally starting to come together?

And finally, the one thing I do give a damn about and I just want to thank the gods because Ashley finally took the pedal off those horrendously tedious and page consuming descriptions! I had to suffer through massive amounts of descriptions in books one and two, and this was the one thing I couldn't shake off. But here, they're finally more appropriately dashed out! Banzai!