Wednesday, July 25, 2007

REVIEW: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

Finally, after 3 days of intense marathon reading of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, I have about 2 hours to write the review of the book before I go to sleep. It's quite a great accomplishment for me to be able to finish reading a 607-page book in 3 days because I have my duties as a mother to be fulfilled before I could have my time to read the book.

As an avid Potter fan, I know how bad it feels to read a review full of spoilers about that book, so in this review, I will avoid mentioning anything that can be considered spoilers.

Let me start my review by giving a standing ovation to J.K. Rowling for her greatest accomplishment in writing this fantastic magical world of Harry Potter. In the 1st 24 hours, this final book of Harry Potter has been sold for 8.3 millions copies in United States alone. Making it to be the fastest-selling book ever in the history. Congratulation, Jo! I tip my hat to you. She is the most genius writer I have ever known. By reading all Harry Potter books, I realize how broad her knowledge is because she does not just any how conjure things to make the story more interesting. Her choice of words, her writing style and the way she develops the suspense really mesmerize me. I think the Harry Potter series should be included in must-read books for your literature references.

Just like the previous books, this final book of Harry Potter series is really engaging. The moment I started reading it, it is extremely hard to pause it. I literally had to scream to myself that my duties as a mother should be my priority. The story is so intense making it so difficult to put down even when my son was running around naked waiting for me to shower him. My son has been very cooperating. He understands how I really wanted to finish reading the book a.s.a.p... ;)

The closure of Harry Potter series is just like what I always wish it would end. It's quite ordinary and I'm sure many of the readers have predicted that way but the way Jo Rowling brought the series to an end is exceptional, definitely beyond what every one could every imagine and think of. The way she convey the message of LOVE AND DEATH is remarkable! It makes a new reference on how you should love and how you should deal with death. It's about who the true master of death is. Deathly hallows versus horcruxes. There is an interesting twist about Severus Snape and Dumbledore in their relationships to Harry Potter. This book is very emotional. I did cry alot reading this book. It is not scary though it's quite bloody. The description of each place or situation is so detail you can even imagine yourself there next to Harry on his adventure to meet Voldemort. It's absolutely fantastic!

On the downside, I think this book is like a summary of all previous books. It's not good though because once you have finished reading this one, you don't feel like you need to read the previous books.

But overall, this is an outstanding book. It's a must-read book for those who still learn to love and still don't know how to deal with death. It's very encouraging and very inspiring. The story and the characters are so rich considering it is a kid-teen story book. The Harry Potter series are my favorite series of all time. I surely will let my son read them and I hope he will love them. If you still want to know who dies at the end, Harry or Voldemort? Get the book and read it! If you can't afford to buy it, try to borrow from your city libraries and be patient. I'm sure the paperback version will be cheaper.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday, Dan!

I know you don't know me and you won't even notice that I exist, I still want to say:
Happy belated birthday, Daniel Radcliffe! You are 18 years old now. I hope you won't change your wonderful personality and will always keep your feet on the ground no matter how famous and how rich you are.
I'm sorry to miss your birthday but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is so engaging it is very hard to put it down.

Harry's birthday is coming and so is Jo Rowling's and mine. We are all Leos... :D
Unfortunately, that's the only thing I have in common with you... :)

your number one fan

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter Book 7 Launching Party cancelled


Just when I was about to close my eyes and ready to sleep, my hubby asked me to read the news from The Star regarding the cancellation of launching party for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at all MPH, Popular, Harris, and Times book stores across Malaysia. And to make the news sounds more devastating for Potter fans in Malaysia, these bookstore chains will not sell the last instalment of Harry Potter books at all. Apparently they do not like the move from Penguin Book Malaysia for letting Tesco and Carrefour selling the book at a very cheap price.

This is a big disappointment for Potter fans like me who has got so excited with the launching party because I thought this will be a way to have a big meeting with other Harry Potter fans.

Anyway, just read the news here:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Great family outing

I believe I am a very lucky person to be able to experience loads of good things in my life. The latest one was a one-day family outing at Gopeng Durian farm. Gopeng is about 30 minutes drive south of Ipoh in the direction to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I am a durian fanatic and can go crazy over this spiky stinky fruit. To be able to spend the whole day eating durian as much as my stomach could take is one of the wackiest dreams I always have.
It is not a dream anymore when my hubby is nice enough to take me and my son to visit Gopeng Durian Farm. To me, this was one of very important things he can do to show how he loves and cares about me so much. He was invited by his friends to join this trip. So there were 3 families heading to the farm that afternoon. I was very excited and I just can't hide my excitement at all along the way. I got even more excited when we approached the farm. I could see the durian jungle is so thick full of durian trees with some rambutan and banana trees among them. My eyes were round to see so many durians hanging on the trees.

Led by the durian farm owner's car, we drove into the durian jungle. It was an off-road track which was great if we drove a 4X4 vehicle. It was quite funny though when we felt so worry that durians might just drop on top of us. We occasionally ducked our head inside the car when we drove passed under many durians hanging on the trees... :D

When we arrived at the 'end' of the jungle, we found an open space with a very beautiful view across the river which flowed quite heavily because of the morning rain. There is a hut complete with a traditional barbecue equipment and a kampong style restroom.
The farm owner and his family greeted us and explained to us that this place usually was rented by nature lovers to spend the nights while enjoying the fruits.
While waiting for the farm owner to go to collect the fallen durians and to pick up so many riped rambutans, we went to play in the river. For my son, this was his 1st time to be so near to river. I still didn't allow him to play in the river because I'm afraid he would be sweep away by the strong current. He just stayed behind the wall and threw some rocks to the river while watching other kids having fun with the water. He was ok. He understood that he was still to small to join the fun.

About 30 minutes later the farmer and his wife came back with 1 big bag full of durians and 1 big basket full of sweet rambutans. The farmer then chopped open all durians and gave them to us. Without any further delay, we attacked the durians and ate them until we could not breathe for eating so much. Once in a while we ate the rambutans as well to get a different taste for our taste buds.

There is no doubt that eating too much durian made me feel hotter and hotter. To cool down the heat from eating durian too much, I had to drink cold water using the durian skin bowl. This traditional method really gives a quick effect cooling down my body. I had to use the durian skin to contain some cold water and drank it from there. Pour some more cold water in there then wash your hand after you finish eating durian. By doing this, your hands will be free from the stink durian smell. I don't know why these work but they do work... :D

Finally we reached the maximum level of how much our stomach could take durians. We could not eat any more durian at all. So we returned to the river while the rest packed the left over durians and rambutans and put them inside the car trunk. On the way back we still collected many more fallen durians. Gosh! It's a lot of durians and rambutans to bring home.
Everyone said that they had enough durians for this season, but not for me...whe..he..he..
Even at home, I was the only one finishing off all the durians we brought from the farm... :D
Yay! More durian please... :D

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Jusco Ipoh Shopping day

Women love to shop, and today, all women in Ipoh, especially, are having all the time in their live shopping at Kinta City shopping mall because today is Jusco J-card member's day. All items have discounts up to 70% not only from Jusco but also from most of stores inside Kinta City mall. When you purchase more than RM50, you are entitled to loads of free gifts. Each merchant offers different kinds of gifts to attract more customers. Not only that; if you spend more than RM100 from Jusco you can redeem a RM10 voucher for pink-receipt (non-grocery items) or RM5 for green-receipt (grocery items). If you spend more than RM80 from other stores in Kinta City which participate on this programme, then you can get a free cuddly bear while stock last.

With loads of fantastic offers going on inside this Kinta City mall, everyone suddenly thinks that she needs to buy everything even if she doesn't need it and so do I.
At the moment I am having a break at The Coffee Bean and Tea leaf writing this post trying to cool down from my shopping anxiety... :D

I arrived at 11 am only to find out that I didn't get car park because these people have flocked the shopping mall since before the opening time. Crazy! This is mad! Every time I followed someone out of the mall to her car park, she actually didn't want to go out. She just wanted to put her items inside the car and returned to the mall to do more shopping. It took me quite sometime to finally get a car park. Once I parked my car, I quickly sprinted to join the crowd.

Before taking a break, I managed to buy 4 handbags, 2 lipsticks, 1 blush powder, and still spent less than RM200 and have got many free gifts! I really felt great and can't wait to go back for more shopping spree... :D

I need to go now. Run!! Run!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

For the first time in my life, I have got my self so ready to watch a movie even a night before the movie started. I arrived in front of the cinema exactly an hour before, ready to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. As a huge Potter fan (books and movies), I determined to concentrate fully on everything about this movie so that I can give a fair review on this fifth installment of Harry Potter movies.

As usual, I prefer to go watching Harry Potter movies by my self because to me, this is the time when I can see my imagination comes to life. It's my private moment where I could make connection with all my imaginary characters.
Thanks to my hubby, I got the worst seat in the cinema. He was the one that chose that seat for me the night before when he collected the ticket for me. I wonder if he did it deliberately because I refused to take him along... ;)
Luckily, I could move seat to get a better view though at the end, I encountered a much worst disturbance right next to me when the person sat next to me fell asleep and snored so loudly through out the 3/4 part of the movie... :(

Anyway, the movie started 5 minutes earlier than the scheduled time. For 2 hour and 18 minutes I was blown away by the spectacular visual effect and by the marvellous acting of all casts, old and new ones. I definitely see how Daniel Radcliffe's acting has improved tremendously. He really was successful to bring out the deepest emotion of Harry Potter in the most perfect way. Dan is brilliant! Dan embodies Harry Potter perfectly. He has made me even more difficult to separate him and Harry himself. This shows how he really is serious about taking his career as a great actor.
Emma Watson is superb and Rupert Grint are great too. Basically, all old casts really did their job marvelously. I can see how they have become 1 big family.
The new casts are comparably wonderful too. They are perfect for each role they portray.
There is one particular new cast that really drew my attention: Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood. She has done a great job as Luna Lovegood.
She is so successful in portraying Luna Lovegood just like what I imagined when I read the book. To me, she has acted far better than Katie Leung who plays Cho Chang.
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge and Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange are successful in making me hate their characters so much. They both looked so evil and cruel.

The fighting scene at Ministry of Magic office was cool with all the visual effect but unfortunately it was too short and quite abruptly cut to quickly end the movie.
And for the script, this movie was not great either because it has removed too many important moments and scenes on the book and replacing them with a different version to build up and to connect the storyline which was quite disturbing for those Potter book fans. Understandable though because it is so impossible to fit every thing in a 2hour and 18 minute-movie.

But overall, David Yates has done a marvelous job. He has his own vision on book 5. It was a great movie to watch even if you never read any of Harry Potter books before. This movie sends a very good message about conquering the evil within and also about love and friendship. I laughed, I cried, I got mad together with all characters in the movie. I felt I was there with them until the movie ends and I reluctantly had to get back to the reality.
Oh I wish it never ends. I have to wait for another year at least to be able to jump in to my imagination. I hope next week when the last book is out, I am able to find Harry smile because he finally finds his true happiness in life. I literally held my breath and I was so intense when I saw him fighting to conquer the evil inside him. I wish I could just hug him and give him strength and tell him that everything is gonna be alright. Unfortunately, it's all only in the movie.

One advice before you decide to watch this movie, just like the book, every Potter movie gets darker and scarier than the previous ones. It is definitely not a children movie at all. It's good if you can watch it alone so that you can connect your feeling privately just like I did... :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Before the show...

Got my ticket last night. Got my hair washed. Got my new dress. I am all set to meet my prince Potter...Harry 2 hours. Yeap... I got a 'date' with him at the cinema near my house...;)

I've been waiting for this moment since the last time I met him at Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I really can't wait. I am so excited and my excitement has started to get into my nerve since a week ago. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I can't concentrate to do anything at all.

I can't wait to see how Daniel Radcliffe performed in this movie. Will he act better than the previous movie?I know I don't really like his hair cut!It's too short!
I prefer to see him with long hair like the one in Goblet of Fire. He looked so gorgeous!

Gosh! Harry (read: Dan)! You really make my heart skip a beat!

Gotta go now to take shower and get ready to go to cinema. I hope I will have a marvelous time with him... ;D