“The Cursed Child” – J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany


In this brilliantly crafted play we get to experience an eighth story in the Harry Potter universe. Continuing from King’s Cross Station nineteen years later the story explores Albus Severus Potter’s first years at Hogwarts. Written as a stage play the formatting strays from the original novels bringing not only a fresh story but also a fresh approach.

I usually avoid writing reviews/opinions/posts that include spoilers but for this one I am making an exception. So if you don’t want any information about the play other than “It’s about Harry’s kid and Jo helped write it” then this is where you should leave. Summary: it’s a good play. You should read it.

Now, for my meat and potatoes review. I really enjoyed this play. Honestly. I thought it was different, fun (in that painful kind of way only fandoms can really explore), and I was so downright excited to have fresh Potter material from Jo Rowling that I would have read the words “Harry Potter” repeated across 300 pages and thought it was the best book ever. I read this book the night it came out (Midnight on July 31st for those of you under rocks). As you may have noticed it has been almost a month and this is the first I’m posting about it. I wanted it to digest and simmer and sit for a minute before I went on about it. I wanted to give people a chance to read it. I wanted to give myself a chance to take it in and read it again (yes I’ve read it twice now, stop judging). After having read it, sat with it, thought about it, processed it, talked about it with friends/family, I have to say firstly I wish I had seen it performed. I would love to see how the characters are brought to life in this play; how the dynamics of these heroes that we have known and loved for years translates into adulthood. I would love to see the second generation exploring their world and growing into their own. Additionally, my instinct is to want this play as a book. I’ve read many a play in my day but I still do prefer books to plays. But I think it’s probably best this wasn’t a book. I think the concept wouldn’t necessarily translate well into prose.

I would never question Rowling on her choices. All I knew from the characters before this play was information Rowling had already given. I just… I didn’t feel like this was her play. It felt like a fanfiction to me. It felt like there were a few fan servicing moments (the Scorpious/Rose dynamic for example, the Slytherin Al, Bella/Voldy). Slytherin Al of course was crucial to the plot of the whole play and I’m completely fine with that. (As I am with Bella and Voldemort; another critical aspect to the play). The addition of Cedric being a catalyst was something I both loved and found forced. I love that Cedric was this turning point in everything (because he was. I mean, “The Goblet of Fire” is arguably the literal turning point of the entire series – others would argue that PoA was but that’s a post for another day). I love that depending on the outcome of Cedric the whole universe could change. Cedric could become a Death Eater! Cedric could still die anyway. Rebels would still exist. I only found it forced because as a very proud Hufflepuff we often get brushed aside as “the leftovers” house or “the weak” house or “yellow” and it makes me super mad. I think I’m a bit sensitive to any time someone tries to use a Hufflepuff as a plot device. Even our Queen. So part of me worried that they were only using Cedric because Jo wanted to prove something about Hufflepuff’s. But the more I thought about it the more I realized it wouldn’t have really worked any other way and I was just being guarded/defensive. I’ve gotten off on a tangent. Despite the fanfiction feeling I’m completely fine with all of it. I wish I could be more articulate in what I’m trying to explain. There was just something… unpolished? about it. It just didn’t feel like Jo. I’m not sure if it was the additional writers or the fact that it was play based so the whole formula is different. I’ve read a lot of second gen fanfics and this just felt like a better written one. The one scene where Al had to kiss Hermione was so awkward. I understand plot wise what was happening but it just made me cringe. There were just a few elements that I wasn’t in love with; which was hard for me to accept since I have always loved absolutely everything Potter regardless of what it is. I think it just … I loved it; but I was expecting that feeling of Hogwarts on September 1st, and instead I kind of got Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida.

I do want to praise a few things as well. I’ve already touched on Cedric and his plot line that I loved the idea that one event can just switch a person. I love the idea of how our lives are shaped by singular events and if just enough happens, or that one final straw is added our whole worlds can flip. Cedric: nice, compassionate, friendly, outgoing, sweet, having a really horrendous fourth year and bam! Death Eater! It seems far fetched but we don’t know what else happened in that AU world; what else made him angry, and aggressive, and twisted. That aspect of human nature is just so cool to me. I loved the Voldemort child concept. Honestly it was a bit deus ex machina (who even knew you could have children after being a literal wisp of nothing and regrowing a body in a cauldron of your enemy’s blood) but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great twist. I love how sneaky Delphi was – I love that she targeted Albus (after unsuccessfully targeting Harry) because what better way to make your enemy pay for murdering your family than ripping his family apart? I love Scorpius. His character was adorable and everything I think Draco always wanted to be but was too afraid to. I love everything about Scorpius. I loved Albus. I think even though Slytherin Albus was a bit of an obvious choice (but again absolutely critical to the plot) I think Albus’ character was a perfect blend of Ginny and Harry. He was an downright thoughtless idiot, like our beloved Harry, but he did it in a selfish way (which calls to his Slytherin nature perhaps?). I mean, think about it, in Philosopher’s Stone Dumbledore makes it very clear that if Harry grew up with everyone praising him he’d be an asshole (yea Dumbledore is more articulate than I am, I get that), but it’s not that dissimilar here. Al was reminded every day from the second he was born that his dad was Harry Freaking Potter. The Boy Who Lived. The Chosen One. The Hero Who Defeated The Dark Lord. And if that weren’t enough to boot his mom was part of this legendary alliance to Dumbledore’s Army, she was a former professional Quidditch player and sports editor for The Daily Prophet. In case that wasn’t enough for young Al to feel bad about his Aunt was Minster of Magic. I mean, talk about a tough act to follow. Al didn’t have an affinity for Quidditch, wasn’t insanely smart… he was a proverbial black sheep. And it makes sense that he didn’t bother telling the hat he didn’t want to be Slytherin (after all at least he’d have Scorpius in Slytherin), and I think, like Harry, he wanted to rebel a little. He wanted to prove he was his own person and not just “Harry Potters son” just like Harry never wanted to be “The Boy Who Lived” they’re so different and so alike. I think Jo crafted Albus perfectly and I am so happy with his character. Additionally I love the AU’s. All of the time-turning and back and forth; the what could have been’s and the never-will’s. So fascinating to me. The time-travel/space time continuum stuff  is just boggling to me but I really do love reading stories that involve it. (Also was it just me or was there some UST in that Rebel Hermione/ Rogue Snape AU?).

The story didn’t allow for us to see much of James, Lily, Rose, Hugo, but I would love to see more of that; how Al interacts with his brother and sister during holiday, what family dinners look like. I think the familial aspect is fascinating and because the formula of the play was driven by the Delphi storyline we don’t really get to see any of that external family dynamic which leaves you with that thirst of wanting more.

Like I said, I loved this play. I hope it comes to Broadway so I have even a small chance of seeing it. I loved having a new Potter book that was fresh and different. I loved being able to feel like I was in the world again with words actually crafted by the Queen herself. Going to the midnight release, feeling the energy of the Potterheads, seeing new young Potter fans getting excited. . . It makes me so emotional just knowing there’s this whole big family of Witches and Wizards in the world and that the story lives on every time the pages are turned.

After waiting 9 years for a new book (Pottermore has been a great appetizer but I believe the whole fandom was definitely ready for another main course) I’m not sure anything could have lived up to that anticipation. That being said, I think this play was great for what it was, and I don’t think it could have been done any other way. Happy reading.

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

The Curious Case of Miss Jean Louis

It is said by many, if not all, that Miss Jean Louis is elusive. It is also said by many that if you eat too many tacos you befriend the toilet. But that has nothing to do with Miss Jean Louis; in fact quite the opposite. Miss Jean Louis, the ever present presence in the lives of all native Gishers, and “babysitter” to the Overlord (re: Supreme Dictator) Mr. Misha Collins, has been known to delight, enlighten, encourage, and mock all who come across her. One week a year she helps little flower blossoms sprout up into mighty oaks powerful enough to conquer the world (with kindness!). But who is Miss Jean Louis? Where does she come from? What does she. . . do? 

Miss Jean Louis was born somewhere between 1853 and 2011. She was born in some place that probably had a climate and maybe spoke a language. In her early years Miss Jean Louis could be found outside in the great wide world, or inside in the very reclusive small world. Her love of art was outmatched only by her love of kindness. She would spend her days enjoying the sun or the shade. In fact, not much is known about Miss Jean Louis except that she is made of molecules and probably laughs sometimes.

There have been rumors as of late (mostly since the great Fograt fiasco of 2013, and mostly rumors perpetuated by the Wooster) that Miss Jean Louis is actually just Misha Collins in a dress. This has not been disproven, therefore it’s probably true.

In any event, there are some facts that remain certain (whether Miss Jean Louis is in fact Misha Collins in drag, or an actual molecular structure of her own is up for debate), that delightful debacle aside: she is The Queen of Gish. She does in fact think Robots are a bit pretentious and she will only begrudgingly accept their Supremacy one day. She is a lover of all things artistic and weird. She is totally abnosome.

“My Life With The Walter Boys” – Ali Novak

Jackie’s whole world falls down around her after the accident and she’s forced to move across the country. And worse she’s forced to live with 12 boys! Having attending all-girl private schools her whole life she’s in for a journey between healing and learning how to find balance. 

As you know I loved the first book I read by Novak, “The Heartbreakers” (click here if you want to read about that). So I was super pumped to read this book too. 

I really enjoyed this book. There were a ton of characters (clearly from the synopsis you know there’s at least 13) and I felt I still don’t know half of them (which is understandable and good since that’s how the story weaves itself). I found myself getting frustrated with the main characters all the freaking time. I think I yelled at my book more than usual – and at one point literally gasped. 

It was a satisfying read and I recommend it to people who like Novak or the genre. 

“Us” – Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

“Us” – sequel to “Him” 

Once I finished reading “Him” at eleven thirty last night I did some research and found out there was a sequel. I just about died and instantly bought it on kindle. Seriously; I was not ready to let these characters go. 

With new drama, new characters, the sequel was just as compelling as the first book. One side character, Blake, actually stole my heart and I kind of wish he were real. 

If you read “Him” at my insistence then I highly recommend “Us” as well. Simply perfect.

“Him” – Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy


Jaime Canning and Ryan Wesley spend every summer together at Elite’s Hockey Camp, but one summer a reckless dare changes everything. Four years later the two reunite on the hockey rink but now they’ve got a lot of distance between them; can they take a shot and mend their broken relationship?

Honestly the description on the back of the book is better than anything I could write even though I tried.

I got this book on a whim and I thank the Gay Novel Gods I did. I have a read a lot of m/m books (even written a few myself) and I’ve seen them go two ways, either all sex and no plot, or the “tragic teen coming out story” that’s both heartbreaking endearing and movie of the week. This was neither and both. . . Yes there’s a lot of (very steamy) sexual descriptions. But even more than that is the story! I actually fell in love with these stupid boys. Emotionally constipated Wesley and poor stupid clueless Canning. I can’t even explain. Also I care a lot more about hockey now than I did before. . .

I read this book in a sitting and I needed it like I needed air. I’m currently writing a novel about two boys in a band and I didn’t want it to be about the being gay, I wanted it to just be a novel where the two love interests are gay, because I want to live in a world where you can read a book with an LGBTQ couple and not have it be a fricken big deal. That being said, this book deals with the “weird this is a gay story?” without being a coming out or a taboo piece. This book is just a book about two dudes, and I just cannot love Kennedy and Bowen enough right now. Yes there’s the “but people aren’t okay with gay people” aspect but it was so flawlessly executed. Honestly from page one I just loved this book. I laughed out loud, I choked up, I flailed.

And I am so fricken excited to learn there’s a sequel which I’m buying on my kindle right-the-fuck-now.

You’re Never Weird On The Internet [Almost] – Felicia Day


A memoir about Felicia Day: Nerd by Day and . . . well nerd by night. She’s quirky, smart as all hell, brave, determined, and probably one of the best people you’ll ever meet. Or so I think (After reading her book I’m pretty convinced).

I’ve been really into memoirs and essay’s lately. Not really sure why. Maybe my own life is lacking fulfilment so I need to read about other peoples. Either way it’s been a blast for me! After reading Shane Dawson’s “I Hate Myselfie” my roommate lent me Felicia Day’s book. Let me just be very upfront and clear. I love Felicia Day as much as you can love a person you’ve never actually met. Let me also be clear that I love her even more now. I felt like this small glimpse into her life somehow revealed everything new about her and yet was everything I already thought I knew. There is something so readable about Day and her book feels like having coffee with a friend. There are a few passages from the book I’d like to share though:

“When we graduate from childhood into adulthood, we’re thrown into this confusing, Cthulhu-like miasma of life, filled with social and career problems, all with branching choices and no correct answers.” – thank you Miss Day for putting into words everything that us Hermione’s of the world feel on a daily basis. WHY AREN’T THERE ANSWERS!?

“Find a group to support you, to encourage you, to guilt you into DOING. If you can’t find one, start one yourself. Random people enjoy having pancakes.” – Family Don’t End With Blood is my (stolen) mantra. And this just sits so at home in my chest it makes me skin all warm and fuzzy and makes me do that lazy grin. People who encourage, support, and push? Those are rare people and I hope everyone can be strong enough to make that group or lucky enough to find it! Great advice!

“I borrowed a large, fake house plant from the set of How I Met Your Mother to decorate the background of one of my shots, promising my friend who was an actor on the show, “I’ll bring this back Monday!”  – the Dr. Horrible fan in me IS GEEKING THE HELL OUT.

“I wept for this guy, who was so vulnerable in front of me that he for some reason, felt the need to put himself down when he gave me something he’d made from scratch. I don’t let people get away with putting themselves down anymore. There are enough negative voices in this world – don’t let the pessimistic voice that lives inside get away with that stuff too, that voice is NOT a good roommate.” – I’ve been working a lot on self care, loving myself first, always keep fighting, and this is just another beautiful piece of advice (seriously, Miss Day should go into making Hallmark cards like she joked about). But she’s absolutely right. Get rid of the negative influences in your life – and if that voice is your own head then freaking lock it in a time out and train to be better. Because every human is worth something, even if they don’t know it.

While this book is about Felicia Day and her life growing up and becoming the strong, amazing woman she is today it’s also a book about self love, and embracing your weird, and being loving and tolerant, and Day’s brilliance shines through every single word. This book made me feel all warm and huggy and I just want to hug Miss Day and believe that maybe we can all do the things we want to do even if we’re just plucky mid-western (or New England) weirdos. xoxox

I Hate MySelfie – Shane Dawson


A collection of essays by Shane Dawson – from awkward high school kisses to identity crises this short book has it all.

I read this book at the behest of my roommate and because I watched some of Shane’s videos on YouTube and thought they were pretty funny so I figured “Sure.” I was both pleasantly surprised and horribly disheartened. I mean, with a title like “I Hate Myselfie” and knowing Dawson’s history with self image and self worth issues I shouldn’t have been that surprised to finish the book with a pit in my stomach. It was hard because everything Dawson wrote made me annoyed or sad. Not at him (please don’t get me wrong). But. Okay, for example there’s a whole chapter about his eating disorder, which made me really fricken annoyed at society that they don’t take boys having eating disorders seriously. Or that society doesn’t take mental health seriously. But the way he insults himself in that self deprecating “look at me laughing at myself before you can laugh at me” man, that was all too close to home. But the thing is I don’t know that he’s getting the help he needs, and he still sounds so angry and bitter at everything, and I mean I don’t know the guy so maybe that’s just him? But, it made me really want to have a real life chat with him.

Since I’m a bodacious plus-sized woman I think I keep getting hung up on the eating disorder aspect. I feel like part of him hates so much that he was once plus size that now he just hates all plus size people? And I’m sure I’m misinterpreting what he wrote because I’m already soft to the subject. I’m not sure though – something about it just left me feeling… frustrated? I need to have a conversation with him. I just feel like this book, this memoir, left me wanting to know him more. It’s an easy read and I kind of want to read “It Get’s Worse” just to learn a little bit more. .