I guess I hit a lull this weekend, or a burnout, or something… because I did a lot of reading. It felt good actually… to just pick up some really straightforward novels — nothing too heavy or literary or “smart” — and just plow through some books for the fun of it. Plus, I made tiny, tiny progress on those reading challenges I pledged to do this year, so yay. :)

So… an obligatory challenge update:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: It took way longer than it should have, but I finally finished the second year at Hogwarts. Go me! I guess this means I’m a month behind on the HP Reading Challenge, but oh well.

I never could put my finger on why, but I was never a huge fan of this particular HP book. It’s an okay book. It really is. But I just always kind of thought of it as one that was necessary to the series, but on its own, not so amazing. I won’t summarize the story because… well, you’ve probably already read it by now and you can get that elsewhere. (Going forward, I’m assuming you’ve read the whole series too. Be ye warned… spoilers may be afoot.)

In a similar way to the first book, it’s got a simple story told in a straightfoward style… easy to read though just a smidge darker. There are a lot less Muggle world/Dursley mishaps (the pudding incident makes up for it) and though she does reiterate the rules of Quidditch again (one of my pet peeves with the early books), there’s less setup and more moving forward into the story, from the moment Dobby appears in the first chapters, warning Harry not to return to Hogwarts. Rowling also drops some clues in that really hint at future twists in the storyline – the identity of Tom Riddle, and the first time the Ministry of Magic really starts causing trouble — and introduces a few characters that are minor here, but will play key roles as the story goes on.

And okay… I suck at figuring out mysteries. Even on the third read, I was kind of like, “Who’s the Heir of Slytherin again? Who opened the Chamber? Oh yeah, I remember now…” (yeah, that’s lame of me… 12 year olds can probably figure this out. :))

I have to say, I did enjoy it more this time around, probably because I knew what to expect. Overall, a decent, if not amazing sequel and step in the series. Next is one of my favorites… Prisoner of Azkaban! I’m not sure why… I found out later this one had a lot of haters. Which makes me sad. I always rather liked it. :P

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A review of my other read, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen coming soon-ish. I read it in, like, 3 days. And the main character only annoyed me a little bit. :) I have thoughts, but when I tried to write them out, they were getting so long they’ll need their own post.

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Tomorrow is a doubly special day! Not only is it Maundy Thursday (and just a few days until Easter), but it’s also the first day of National Poetry Month. As of now, I’m thinking it’s the year to pass on Script Frenzy and try the Poem a Day Challenge at the Writer’s Digest poetry blog.

Why yes. I do enjoy writing poetry, but, like most things, I need a proverbial gun to my head to get any actual writing done. :) Here’s to the hope of a productive month… stretching some writing muscles with something different!

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