Time For Tea: A Little Conversation

What’s In My Mug: Buddha’s Blend by DavidsTea
What’s In My Mug: Buddha’s Blend by DavidsTea

I’ll admit, I was so undecided about what to write for this week’s Time For Tea. I thought about writing about the new book box I got at the beginning of the month, as I have in a few previous posts, but it did not feel right this time. It is not because I did not like the box this month, because I did like it, but it is mostly because I have had a lot on my mind for past little while and it’s blocking a lot for me.

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Shift: Ramona Blue Review (ARC)

“You’ve never dated any guys?’

I shrug. ‘Haven’t even kissed one.’ And then I add, ‘Well, in recent years.’

‘Then how do you know you don’t like guys?’

‘I don’t know, Freddie,’ I say, trying to hide my irritation. ‘How many boys did you kiss before you realized you were straight?”

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy is the third and final book I received in a Spring giveaway for HarperCollins’s young adult fiction. It is about a young woman, Ramona, who understands just three things about herself: she loves her family, she like girls, and she knows she wants more out of life than just the trailer she currently calls home.

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Log In: Ready Player One Review

“Whenever I saw the sun, I reminded myself that I was looking at a star. One of over a hundred billion in our galaxy. A galaxy that was just one of billions of other galaxies in the observable universe. This helped me keep things in perspective.”

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline was not what I was expecting. Normally, this would indicate apathy towards the book, but it is actually quite the opposite in this case. I started off feeling wary about the book. I also felt a little letdown at the beginning as well. However, this did not last for very long.

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Time For Tea: Dedication. Patience. Loyalty.

What’s In My Mug: Melon Cooler by DavidsTea (Iced)

“You might belong in Hufflepuff,

Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true

And unafraid of toil”

So, 20 years of Harry Potter. It’s funny—I feel old hearing that, and yet I do not really remember my life without Harry Potter in it.

If you’ve been following me for a little while now, you will know about how I realized I belonged in Hufflepuff after my last complete re-read of the series. I say complete because I am reading them now, but in a much more spread out manner, and I am not going for any analysis this time around.

How do I know Hufflepuff is where I belong?

If you taking the Sorting from Pottermore into account…well, I have taken the test five times. I distinctly remember the first time I took it, because I was one of the Beta testers for the site when it first launched. That test sorted me into…Ravenclaw. I actually thought for a long time Ravenclaw was where I belonged. But then, for whatever reason, I decided to try the test again on another one of my emails and I ended up in Hufflepuff. This triggered a desire to take the test again to break the tie, only I was sorted into Gryffindor, and then Slytherin. So I think it is clear we all have aspects of each House inside us—no one is one dimensional.

The fifth and final time I took the test, I was already sure about where I belonged. I knew I was meant for Hufflepuff. And finally, the test broke the tie and sorted me definiteively into Hufflepuff.

Now, I do have one theory, given we all have traits from each house inside us. I think we can draw on certain traits more than others depending on where we are in our lives. For instance, through my university years I think I largely drew on my studious Ravenclaw tendencies (stereotypical, perhaps, but go with me). Now I am out though, I think it’s different. Yes, I still read every chance I get, but I do not believe this is strictly a Ravenclaw trait.

When I posted my final entry in my last complete re-read of Harry Potter, I talked about some of why I thought I was meant to be in Hufflepuff, notably about what traits we value. My family and my friends are the most important parts of my life and I honestly would step up and do anything I could for them. I always try to do the right thing—that’s probably what caused me to return money I found on the playground to the office in elementary school. Even though I would be hurt if people bad mouthed me, I tend to have a stronger protective instinct if someone goes after the people I care about.

Much of why I think I belong in Hufflepuff is hard to explain—it is just something I know. I identify with their depiction in the books, being cast aside or questioned “why a Hufflepuff.” They, I know, are my people.

Speaking of my people…I think for the longest time I thought Luna Lovegood and Sirius Black were my favourite characters in the series. While I still think Luna is wonderfully weird, I do not think either of them take the top spot. I also went through a period of loving Neville and, while I still do, I don’t know he takes the top spot either. I also remember from my last re-read how much I had come to love Nymphadora Tonks in a way I could not have before, not understanding some of it as a young child. Funnily enough? She is a Hufflepuff. But she might not be the top either. I would probably place her in my top four, yes, but not the top spot.

Last November, I walked into a theatre to watch a Harry Potter related story for the first time in almost ten years. The excitement in my veins was something I do not think I had ever felt since the anticipation of reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for the first time. I was ready to dive into the world of Newt Scamander and a range of fantastic magical creatures.

Newt Scamander is my kind of hero and he is ready to let Hufflepuff shine.

I read an article awhile back that describes just how I feel about Newt and his power in this world as a different kind of hero. If you want to read the whole article, you can do so through this link. To sum it up though, the article states:

“By putting a Hufflepuff hero in the spotlight and demonstrating the power of kindness, loyalty, and compassion, the arc of Newt Scamander challenges all of those ingrained notions, giving both male and female heroes room to breathe.”

We need different forms of power in order to enact change in our world, but I definitely think the most powerful, if only we put it front and center, is the power Hufflepuffs bring. Kindness. Loyalty. Compassion. Dedication. Love.

Changing the game in terms of masculinity and male heroes—frankly, heroes in general—is so critical. I think this demonstration can teach us so much, if we only let it. It shows you can be a hero, even if you are not the strong and brave, the stoic, ones we have come to know. You can wield compassion. Emotional appeals can work wonders. But you do not have to be perfect.

I know there has only been one Fantastic Beasts movie, but I can already see many things coming from it, even beyond the power of a Hufflepuff. I think the story this franchise has started to present is a life-changing, view-altering, lesson-learning one. And I think it is laying everything out in a way that is just so Hufflepuff. It’s not boasting it from the rooftops. It is not yelling it at people, shoving it into their faces. The story is just clear. It is just there. It is only the beginning, to be sure, but I think it is going to grow over the course of the other Fantastic Beasts movies.

At the end of all this, there are a few things reminding me of Hufflepuff. When I think of the badgers, I think of hardworking individuals who are loyal to their family and friends and would do anything for them. I think of acceptance and compassion. I think of people who try to do what’s right, even if there is no glory.

I have not read my Hufflepuff edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone just yet, so I do not know what the edition includes in terms of extra information. But for my money? I want to know everything I can about my Hogwarts home. Don’t you?

What house are you in? Are you celebrating 20 years of Harry Potter? What do you think about the other houses you are not in? Who is your favourite character? I am looking forward to talking with all of you in the comments.

Rising Stars: Fireworks Review (ARC)

“I couldn’t shake the feeling of warm possibility that was unpacking its suitcase inside me, the idea that maybe there was something out there for me after all.”

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno is set in the 1990s and centers around Dana Cartwright, our narrator, who is 18 years old and along with her best friend, Olivia, has just graduated high school. Dana joins Olivia in Orlando for an audition to be a part of a new girl group. Being a singer has always been Olivia’s dream, but the trip to Orlando changes a lot for the girls when Dana’s talent is discovered too. Things begin to shift as the training heats up and nothing will ever be the same for these two best friends as one fights for her dream and the other fights for an escape from their small town life.

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