Can Harry Potter be considered Gothic?

     So I was looking through my posts and I found this! It was written by my mom back when our blog when it was first getting started and for some reason it was saved as a draft. I know at some point it was posted so I would like to share it with everyone.

     "I have been doing quite a bit of research lately on Gothic Literature. My life just hasn’t been hectic enough. Anyhow, in this process, I came across a syllabus for an undergraduate class focused on Victorian Gothic Literature. What surprised me was the two novels to be studied, the all too common Bram Stoker’s Dracula and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Of course my brain was immediately reeling to decide which side of the fence I belong on.

     From my research, here is a list of the primary points to a Gothic novel:
  • the betrayal of innocence
  • enclosed space (typically decrepit castles)
  • battles ensued on the villain’s turf
  • an orphaned protagonist
  • emotional narrative
  • a prophecy that sets the story in motion
     I will not sit here and give you a play by play for these bullets. I mean who in there right mind even puts a billeted list in a blog post and expects people to read it? We all know Harry himself is an orphaned child sent to live with his hateful aunt and uncle who stick him in a closet. Is that emotional enough? Rowling has more than a few Gothic structures, but I said I will not go point by point so let's move on.

     What I would like to discuss is battles ensued on the villain’s turf.

     Rowling has quite the creative approach when it comes to getting the heroes and villains together on the stereotypical gothic turf. She has portkeys to transport students, she lures students into dungeons and she takes advantage of character flaws. Above all, she has created such a heartfelt group of heroes that they seek out the danger, starting with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

     Let's take a look

     Typically within the Gothic genre, the villain will lure the protagonist to a grim place (such as a cemetery) before the fight truly begins. Looking at Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,  Harry and Cedric unsuspectingly grab a portkey and are transmitted to the cemetery in Godric’s Hollow where they are to see the rebirth of the tabooed Lord Voldemort. Here, Harry is forced to defend himself against the dark wizard or die.

     Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t love the series any less now. In fact, I have even more respect for J.K. Rowling for her wonderful use of the Gothic genre within the realm of children’s literature."- Tori

     Having read this post it has great points and I never looked at Harry Potter this way. I mean seriously, I don't think most people have thought of Harry Potter this way, seeing as it's a children's book. I honestly don't think I'll ever look at this book the same. I love Rowling even more now for this, as she incorporated this Gothic theme in the books so well they were almost undetectable. This was a great book and I wish there were more posts like this out there!

*This has not been edited, the majority of this content all belongs to my mom, Tori.*

Truth Teller review by Ursula Lygarlis

Hello there happy Bookies! I am so excited about my first ever guest blog post!

I am secretly a book hoarder as well, so don't be ashamed of your overflowing attics. At least you have one, there are only so many places you can shove books when you live in a toadstool. This new creation they call MineEye has been fabulous for such pleasant problems. Now, I can just pop over and grab a book for my kindle. I just hope that those eensy weensy books in there don't overflow out. I don't know where I would put them!

Oh my, I have become quite distracted. I stopped to tell you about Kurt Chambers' Truth Teller. I loved it!! Of course, I grabbed it at first because it was free, perma-free as he says,but  I never expected to be so incredibly blown away. If anyone follows me on Twitter, I'm sure you saw me talking about it. Even poor Grimnien couldn't get a dance in edgewise.

So, there's a girl. Her name is Charlotte. Somehow, Charlotte is transported from her vacation place at some beach town into a medieval time period where everyone rides horses and magical beings are running rampant. Middleton, Swallow and their son Elderfield take Charlotte into their home and care for her, promising to do what it takes to return her home. Little do they know, this quest is one of grave danger. They must work together to find Goffer, the only being able to get Charlotte back across the realms and home to her own family.

I am clearly not a middle grade child, however, I LOVED this story. I just couldn't seem to put it down. The themes that we would want our youth to read are just so well written that children will not even notice. The typical coming of age storyline for both Elderfield and Charlotte are just so perfect for a MG reader. They are able to see Charlotte blossom as a person and rise to the occasion to protect herself and those she loves. Then there are those other themes we love to see in Middle Grade fantasy: good v evil, independence, family, friendship.
"Every story has a hidden truth." -Middleton, Truth Teller

I would consider Truth Teller a wonderful mash-up of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Harry Potter. I know Shelfie here often speaks about a Through the Cabinet genre and this wonderful story by Kurt Chambers fits in here perfectly, but you will have to read it to find out why!

Enter for a chance to win Wrath of Siren, book 2 in the series.

What Inspired Truth Teller?

     "I really fancied the idea of writing my own book ever since I was young. I always struggled with reading as a child, but loved reading fantasy books like Lord of the Rings. The only problem I found was they were often heavy reading even for adults. I thought it would be great if someone wrote a book just like this, but that was aimed at children like me to make them easier to read. I kept this idea in my head for years and years, but never put in into practice until I reached my mid 30's.

    Working with children inspired me to start writing. I helped run a local Brownie pack. Anyone who has ever worked with children will know just how inspirational they are. That is how Truth Teller was created. An idea I had from way back in my childhood eventually became a reality." -Kurt Chambers

MineEye Giveaway!

Recently, I became YA acquisitions manager at MineEye, an online website dedicated to helping up-and-coming authors. To get more attention for our authors we've done a couple giveaways recently, and we're having another one! Note that none of these books are YA.

1st Place: A £20 Amazon Giftcard/Voucher
2nd Place: Signed copy of Taken by Victoria Allred
3rd Place: eBook copy of The Girl With the Blue Umbrella by Heather Awad
4th Place: eBook copy of Fantasy Child I Key to the Kingdom by Gavin Carter
5th Place: eBook copy of Bitter is the Salt by James Willard and Gavin Carter
6th Place: eBook copy of Taken by Victoria Allred

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Book Beginnings & The Friday 56: Magnus Chase

     I'm currently reading Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan! He's my auto-buy author so when I saw this book in the store I bought it immediately! Enjoy!

Book Beginnings by Rose City Reader
"YEAH, I KNOW. You guys are going to read about how I died in agony, and you’re going be like, 'Wow! That sounds cool, Magnus! Can I die in agony too?'"- Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. Sounds interesting right!

Friday 56 by Freda's Voice
"Hunding grunted 'No one brings luggage anymore. Don't they put anything on your funeral pyre?'"- Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. I honestly don't understand this. As of right now, I haven't read to this point, so I'm extremely confused at the moment.
*If you do this tag, comment below so I can see! Also, there are linkys at both websites to add your url for whichever tag you do.*

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle

by Rachel Hawkins
  • Book 1/3 in the Rebel Belle Series
  • Published April 8, 2014
  • 353 pages
  • 12+ years
     "Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts. Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

     With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more."-Amazon

Divergent Book Trailer

     Recently I decided to go on YouTube and watch some book trailers. I watched a couple and decided this one was my favorite. I feel like it perfectly captures the theme and tone of the book. Without further ado, I present the HarperTeen Divergent Book Trailer! I also enjoyed some of the other trailers in the playlist.