Tag: Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Book Review

Harry Potter Cursed Child

The wait is over. The time is finally now upon us muggles to don our cloaks, ready our wands, hop aboard the Hogwarts Express and embark on the next magical adventure in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We love Harry Potter books here at Book People, and so we decided we should put together a review (a spoiler-free review!!!) of the exciting new chapter of the best-loved series.

The first Harry Potter story since 2007’s amazing, heart-breaking, thrilling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes readers by the hand and dives straight back into the Wizarding World we all know and love, 19 years later. While not a novel (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the script for the West End stage play written by Jack Thorne), the book acts in a way like the eighth part of the Harry Potter series but with cross-medium appeal, enabling both fans of the films or books (or both!) to join in the magic and enjoy it with equal awe and wonder.

harry-potter-deathly-hallows

For the first few pages it really would have been useful to have had some kind of ‘get your head around anything’ potion from Professor Slughorn – if you’re a fan of the books (like we are), the script formatting really does take a few pages to get used to. That being said, once you’ve gone through a few pages and taken in some of Thorne’s hypnotically poetic stage directions, you really do feel like you’re zipping through pages of Rowling’s story-led prose.

While this review is spoiler-free, we will have to go over some of the plot points a little. If you don’t want to know anything regarding the plot to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, skip this section and scroll down to the ‘it’s safe, you can look now!’ section below…

The story begins right where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows epilogue left off – with Harry and Ginny saying goodbye to their son Albus at Platform 9 ¾. Albus soon meets the son of his father’s old school foe Draco Malfoy, Scorpius, and the pair strike up a friendship. This friendship, forged in part by the pair wanting to escape the shadow of their famous parents, is played out against the backdrop of magic and mystery we have all come to love – with a refreshing twist of time travel thrown in for good measure.

Harry Potter’s son, Albus, wants to right one of Harry’s failures by going back in time to save Cedric Diggory from being murdered by the evil Lord Voldemort, played out in the fourth Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But in doing so, Albus and Scorpius trigger a sequence of calamitous alternate realities which puts the lives of everyone they know and love in jeopardy.

hogwarts school

It’s safe, you can look now!

Right, back to reviewing the book – we won’t discuss the plot at all now, promise!!!

If you’re not familiar with the original books, or at least the characters from the Harry Potter films, you might struggle reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Though, if you haven’t read them, you can catch up by binge reading through the Complete Harry Potter Collection and save £30 off RRP. There are no recaps at all, so we definitely recommend you read all the stories before you embark on the Boy Who Lived’s next adventure.

If you are familiar with the Harry Potter stories already, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a delightful combination of witty dialogue and pacy storytelling which really feels as though it’s not only following on from but resurrecting J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories.

If you haven’t seen the show, the first thing we’ll say is that you really, REALLY should. The most successful thing about it, apart from bringing the Harry Potter stories to the stage, is the spellbinding stage effects. And seeing these effects in the flesh will better prepare readers for envisioning how the spells looks and what transforming objects look like: stage directions do not a novel make. Though, like we said, Jack Thorne’s stage directions are no ordinary stage directions…

While it might not satisfy all fans (the time travel element in particular is a huge departure from the mythology of the original Harry Potter books), the climax of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is as touching, brutal and crushing, yet all the while thoroughly moving and ultimately tender as J.K. Rowling’s original Harry Potter novels. We definitely recommend reading it; there is no magic like the magic of Harry Potter!

Harry Potter review


Top 10 Books from the 1990s

Who remembers the 1990s? From MC Hammer’s baggy pants and Macaulay Culkin’s star-making turn in Home Alone to the spectacle of Jurassic Park and the dominance of the Spice Girls, it was an incredible decade full of unforgettable moments – but what about the books? Well, thankfully these were just as amazing.

A Roald Dahl classic was brought back to the masses thanks to a magical feature film; children all over the world developed an abiding fear of ventriloquist’s dummies; and a certain bespectacled wizard hopped on a train at Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross for the very first time… watch our video below to see how many of our Top 10 Books from the ‘90s you can remember.

Roald DahlMatilda
Although published in 1988, the 1996 movie directed by and starring Danny DeVito made this essential for ‘90s kids. Mara Wilson is perfect in the title role and it also managed the unlikely feat of putting children off chocolate cake… almost!

K. A. ApplegateAnimorphs
Four humans stumble across a crashed spaceship and inherit the amazing power of being able to transform into any animal they touch. Published between 1996 and 2001, this series was adapted into a Nickelodeon show in 1998.

Ann M. MartinThe Babysitters Club
A group of friends set up a local babysitting service and deal with a host of serious themes ranging from illness and divorce to peer conflicts. This popular series spawned two spin-off book series, a graphic novel, a TV show adaptation and even a feature film.

Jacqueline WilsonThe Story of Tracy Beaker
This story became a big favourite with readers upon its publication in 1991. The star of the book, Tracy, has a wild imagination and makes up a series of stories about why she’s living in a children’s foster home, many of which revolve around her actress mother working in Hollywood.

Dav PilkeyCaptain Underpants
Running from 1997 until 2015, Captain Underpants follows the adventures of two children as they hypnotise their teacher and end up creating a superhero who has to battle the evil Dr. Diaper.

Lois LowryThe Giver
A dystopian novel that has sold over 10 million copies, this book was not afraid to tackle difficult and grown-up subjects. A controversial book that inspired many debates, it was adapted into a film in 2014.

Marcus PfisterThe Rainbow Fish
With shiny scales and a simple message of sharing, this book is still popular today and continues to add to its total of 15 million copies sold.

R.L. StineGoosebumps
Those embossed, colourful covers… the scary stories and those deliciously dark twists at the end! The Goosebumps books were a staple of schoolchildren’s bookshelves during the ‘90s and retain their popularity today!

Philip PullmanNorthern Lights
Also known as The Golden Compass, this book – the first in a trilogy – was published in 1995 and follows Lyra Belacqua as she heads to the Arctic in search of a missing friend and comes around all sorts of magical things.

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
The bestselling children’s books in history, J.K. Rowling’s books have become iconic. The characters are unforgettable and the plot is full of surprises. A true phenomenon, wizards and witches all over the world are excited for the expansion of the wizarding world in new spin-off film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.


Best book-to-film adaptations arriving in cinemas in 2016

2016 The BFG film by Steven Spielberg, Roald Dahl and Walt Disney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combining the mighty talents of Roald Dahl, Disney and Steven Spielberg, the new poster for this summer’s adaptation of The BFG was recently revealed. With these master storytellers working together, we cannot wait for the release of the film in July. However, it got us thinking about just how many more film adaptations we’ll be able to see of our beloved books this year. It turns out there are loads!

Below, we’ll list our favourites – but are there any that you’re particularly looking forward to?

 Winter

 January

 The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave film 2016 book Rick Yancey

Chloe Grace Moretz heads a stellar cast in this adaptation of Rick Yancey’s alien invasion/dystopian YA bestseller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Big Short

The Big Short film Oscars 2016 film book  Michael Lewis

Already surrounded by Oscar buzz, this star-studded film looks back over the recent bankers’ crisis and is based on a non-fiction novel that covered the disaster in its ghastly detail.

 

 

 

February

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies 2016 film based on cult book

If you’ve ever read Jane Austen’s classic and thought ‘What this could do with is more of the undead…’ then February is your lucky month. Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 parody novel, it promises equal amounts of romance and gore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deadpool

Deadpool film 2016 Marvel Comic Book

A foul-mouthed, fourth-wall-breaking Marvel comic book character who seems only too aware of how ridiculous some superhero storylines can get, this R-rated film has been eagerly awaited by fans of X-Men and comic books in general. Ryan Reynolds takes the lead role.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring

March

Allegiant

Veronica Roth Allegiant Divergent book film 2016

The third in the series based on Veronica Roth’s bestsellers, this film will find Shailene Woodley’s Tris leaving the ‘safety’ of her hometown Chicago – the only place she’s ever known – in search of a peaceful solution for all its inhabitants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman book 2016 film Henry Cavill Ben Affleck

Do we really need to introduce these two caped heroes? A follow-up to Man of Steel that follows the fall-out of Metropolis, this film will take inspiration from some of the crossover comics and promises to be spectacular. Henry Cavill once again wears the red-and-blue of Superman while Ben Affleck promises to bring something different to the Dark Knight. Jesse Eisenberg also appears as Lex Luthor.

 

April

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book Jon Favreau Disney film 2016 new film live action CGI book

Rudyard Kipling’s animal fable is fondly remembered in the classic animated Disney form – who hasn’t found themselves humming along to Bear Necessities or chuckling back at the antics of the scouse vultures? This year, Disney have given it the live-action/CGI treatment and brought some of Hollywood’s top players in to add their voices. Among the inspired pieces of casting are Scarlett Johannson as Kaa, Idris Elba as Shere Khan (is it too much to ask that he does his Luther voice?) and Bill Murray as Baloo.

 

 

Summer

May

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America Civil War comic book new film 2016

The Marvel juggernaut continues to gain full steam but this is the film that promises to change everything. Based on a very popular series of comic books, hopes are very high and who doesn’t want to see beloved heroes going face-to-face amidst a backdrop of very shady politics?

 

 

 

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll James Bobin Disney Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016 film book

An ever-so-slightly belated follow-up to the Tim Burton film of 2010, this adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland finds Alice (Mia Wasikowska) travelling back in time to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).

 

 

 

 

June

Me Before You

Me Before You book film adaptation 2016

If you’re not excited about the feast of football that will make up Euro 2016, this version of Jojo Moyes romantic novel may offer the perfect alternative. Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin star in the story of a wealthy London man whose life changes forever when he’s paralyzed and falls under the care of a small town girl…

 

 

 

July

The BFG

Steven Spielberg Disney Roald Dahl 2016 The BFG film book adaptation

We’ve said about the team behind this eagerly awaited adaptation, but how about the fact Wolf Hall and Bridge of Spies actor Mark Rylance is taking the title role? We’re expecting this to make use feel like children again and just be simply, phizz-whizzingly magical.

 

 

 

Autumn

October

The Girl On the Train

The Girl On the Train Emily Blunt 2016 film

Debut author Paula Hawkins’ psychological thriller was one of the most talked-about books of last year and we expect the film to invoke similar heated discussions this year. With The Help and Get On Up director in charge of a talented cast including Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson, things are looking good.

 

 

 

 

 

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls film 2016 Patrick Ness Siobhan Dowd book adaptation

Have you read Patrick Ness’ novel based on one of Siobhan Dowd’s final ideas before her death from cancer? If not, you really must. It’s touching, poignant and heartbreaking. A monster comes to visit a young boy in the nights when his mum is gravely ill – but he’s not the monster that was expected… Liam Neeson will voice the monster and Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver also star.

 

 

 

Winter

November

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Newt Scamander Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2016 book adaptation JK Rowling David Yates Harry Potter Wizarding World

A return to the Wizarding World with original book author J.K. Rowling on scriptwriting duty and David Yates back behind the camera as director, this book takes place 70 years before Harry Potter’s battle with Voldemort and follows Magizoologist Newt Scamander as he heads to New York in the ‘Roaring ‘20s’ and gets much more than he bargained for.


Christmas Gift Books

Big and beautiful (not to mention, easy to wrap…), books are a great Christmas present idea and there is no place better to come when you want to find a brilliant book than Book People. Our Christmas Shop is packed with box sets and coffee table books that are beautiful and certain to be appreciated by anyone lucky enough to receive them this morning.

Here are some of the highlights:

Harry Potter Collection

 

Mr. Men and Little Miss Collection

 

James Bond – Movie Posters

 

Guinness World Records

 

The Times: Great Lives

 

History

 

Landmark

 

Ultimate Star Wars

 

The Tractor Book

 

Marvel Comics: 75 Years of Cover Art


Book People’s Christmas gifts for her 2015

We all know how hard it can be buying for some people when it comes round to Christmas but one present sure to delight even the most difficult person is a good book. Here, we’ve brought together some of the books that delighted the girls in our office. Obviously, they can appeal to any gender but we thought we’d give you an insight into the girls who work here’s favourites:

Gogglebook

The show about the TV shows that everyone’s talking about, this is a great gift for Goggleboxers.

 

The Taming of the Queen

The latest novel from the queen of historical fiction.

 

The Great British Bake Off: Celebrations

Help them add some Bake Off-inspired treats to their Christmas gatherings.

 

Agatha Raisin Collection

Twenty books for an unbelievable price, this can be one big present or shared out amongst friends.

 

I Used to Know That

Know someone who’s always thinking back to ‘the good old days’? This will help them remember all the key school skills.

 

Penelope Lively Collection

Three contemporary novels, all intelligently written by the Man Booker-winning author.

 

Mamushka

A cookbook bursting with 100 contemporary recipes hailing from eastern Europe.

 

The Santangelos

Jackie Collins is much missed and this – her final novel – is full of the sex, scandal and secrets that made her so popular.

 

 The Clandestine Cake Club: A Year of Cake

There’s nothing better than a delicious cake to mark a special occasion – and this book has a recipe for one for all the major events in the next twelve months.

 

Maggie Smith

Who doesn’t love Maggie Smith? A worldwide star since her Oscar-winning turn in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, she’s since been the highlight of Downton Abbey and starred in Harry Potter, Hook and most recently The Lady in the Van.

 

Colouring for Mindfulness: Gorgeous Patterns

It’s been the year for people to rediscover the childhood joy and meditative benefits of colouring in and this book is one of the best around.

 


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