​Harry Potter Moment of the Week 2017 #13

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a weekly meme that is hosted by the wonderful Lunar Rainbows!

Would you have joined Dumbledore’s Army? Even with Unbridge breathing down your neck?

Most definitely, yes! The kids who joined learned so much more than the kids who didn’t. Also, they gained a practical knowledge of spells that probably meant the difference between life and death during the battle of Hogwarts. While obviously it wasn’t enough on its own  (FRED! 😭) I’m sure it did help quite a bit.

Plus I feel like it’s important to point out that sometimes a little rebellion is good. Resistance is important. So Umbridge is breathing down your neck isn’t a good enough reason not to join. In this case, there is so much more to gain than could be lost.

Would you have joined Dumbledore’s Army?

​Review: A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Cammie McGovern follows up her breakout young adult debut, Say What You Will, with this powerful and unforgettable novel about learning from your mistakes, and learning to forgive. Told in alternating points of view, A Step Toward Falling is a poignant, hopeful, and altogether stunning work that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Nevin, Robyn Schneider, and Jandy Nelson.

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?


Favorite Exerpts:

Page 16:

Just because we can see the problem doesn’t mean we aren’t part of it.

Page 65:

This is what I dream will happen when I meet my Mr. Darcy. That at first we don’t see each other’s flaws because we are blinded by love. Then the clouds will clear away and we will see them. No one is perfect. But we will focus on happiness because we know we are meant to be together.

Page 76:

Friendships are complicated. Friends have power. Friends can break your heart.


My Review:

I’m going to go ahead and let you know up front that this book needs a Trigger Warning for Rape.

The story is told from the perspectives of Emily and Belinda. This gives a unique perspective of more than one side of the complicated situation they find themselves in. The characters are all so well-developed, believable, and relatable that it’s hard to process that they’re works of fiction and not living, breathing people who I know.

The world of the story was built up just enough that I could drop myself into it without really taking much time to develop it formally. The places used are so common that my mind automatically filled in any details it wasn’t given based on what was.

The story itself was beautiful and painful all at once. Having survived assault, I wasn’t quite ready for some of the parts of this book, but seeing the characters deal with the situations as best they could was helpful to me as well. Belinda is such a brave young woman in ways that I find myself wishing I was. This was an absolutely brilliant story about how our first impressions are often incorrect and we can never truly know anyone before taking the time to try understanding them.

I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from A Step Toward Falling because I realized I haven’t really read many books with main characters who have disabilities. For that reason, I don’t think I could have found a more perfect book than this one because, while the whole of the story is complex and has multiple talking points, one of the greatest points is that disabled people are people. Just like people who aren’t disabled, disabled people worry and learn and love. While they might do those things differently and for different reasons than non-disabled people do, the point is that they do them.

Overall, I rate A Step Toward Falling 5 out of 5 bookworms.

Don’t just take my word for it. Order a copy of A Step Toward Falling and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:

For more information about Cammie McGovern and her work, visit her website.

I read this book for the Expelliarmus topic of the Dumbledore’s Army Read-A-Thon.

Dumbledore’s Army Read-A-Thon Sign Up Post

I’ve decided to sign up for my first Read-A-Thon! I honestly wasn’t going to but I stumbled upon the #DAReadAThon on Twitter and decided I had to try because 1. It’s Harry Potter and Dumbledore’s Army, 2. It’s a diverse reads focused Read-A-Thon, and 3. The idea of reading seven books in fourteen days is a bit scary and overwhelming for me.

Anyone can join this Read-A-Thon! You don’t have to have a blog or vlog, but it will likely be easier to post your reviews if you have an existing platform on which to do so. If you want to join the Read-A-Thon or just get more information about it, check out the post by Aentee @ Read At Midnight who came up with and is hosting this wonderful event!

I’ve finally managed to get my TBR together so here are the books I’ve selected for each prompt! If a book doesn’t fit a prompt, please let me know so I can pick a different one.


Black Iris by Elliot Wake (writing as Leah Raeder)

The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Unteachable.

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all.

It’s rare that I manage to find a bisexual main character and rarer still to find a main character who has bipolar disorder. I’m told the main character in Black Iris is both so I feel the urge to read it with or without a challenge.

A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern

Cammie McGovern follows up her breakout young adult debut, Say What You Will, with this powerful and unforgettable novel about learning from your mistakes, and learning to forgive. Told in alternating points of view, A Step Toward Falling is a poignant, hopeful, and altogether stunning work that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Nevin, Robyn Schneider, and Jandy Nelson.

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

It’s not very often I read books featuring disabled characters. I’ve heard this one is good so I decided to give it a go.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

This book is written by a trans author about a trans main character. It’s also a book I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while. Win win!

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. 

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

I couldn’t think of any fiction books that might empower women of all backgrounds, but I always feel empowered watching Malala speak. I don’t see why her book would be any different.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight.

Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

This one has been on my TBR since it was first published but I somehow never got around to reading it until now.

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

I keep seeing everyone talking about how wonderful this book is and how it’s lived up to the pre-publishing hype. Also, the cover is gorgeous!

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

I had a few books recommended to me by my lovely fellow book bloggers. This book was recommended to me on Twitter by Aentee @ Read At Midnight.


Obviously, I’ll be reading for Ravenclaw.

Which house will you be reading for?