Harry Potter Christmas Book Tag


It’s been a while since I’ve done a book tag, so when I came across the Harry Potter Christmas Book Tag over at A Court of Coffee and Books, I knew I had to participate!

This tag was created by Charleigh over at Charleigh Writes. Her rules are simple:

  • Please link me back so I can read your answers.
  • You can’t choose a Harry Potter book for any of your answers.
  • Tag however many people you wish.
  • Most importantly, have fun!

Let’s get right to it!


It’s your first Christmas at Hogwarts. What’s one book you’ve asked for this year?

The Starless Sea Erin Morgenstern.jpg

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is one of my favorite books, and I still haven’t been able to read The Starless Sea.


You spot Hagrid hauling the Christmas tree through the grounds. What is the longest (or heaviest!) book you own?

Oathbringer Brandon Sanderson.jpg

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

All of the three books in The Stormlight Archive series are over 1,000 pages, and this is the longest. It’s like hauling a brick around in my bag, but so, so, so worth it.


It’s time for the famous Great Hall feast. What’s one book you can’t read without snacks?

With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I don’t usually snack while I read, but this novel about inspiring chef and teenage mother Emoni never fails to make me hungry.


Well done, you’ve brewed your first Polyjuice potion. What’s one book you’d change the cover of?

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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Any book with a movie or T.V. tie in cover. Seriously. My real answer for this, however, is is the Ember in the Ashes series. I’ve never cared for people on the cover of books, and I feel as though this series could have much more beautiful covers (to match how beautiful the story is!).


You receive a brand new Firebolt for Christmas. What’s one book you read super quickly?

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This book is only 181 pages, but it packs in an amazing amount of storytelling. This is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman novels, and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read it. I can usually finish it in just an hour or two.


You join Harry for his first proper Christmas. What’s one book you’d love to receive this year?

a hero born.png

A Hero Born by Jin Yong

Any of the special editions published by The Folio Society, particularly this copy of A Hero Born, one of my favorite books of 2019.


You get hit by one of Fred and George’s flying snowballs. What’s a book you wanted to throw across the room?

Echo North

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

I had high hopes for this book going into it, but by the end of it, I really did want to throw it at something. If you want to know all the details about why I thought this book was terrible, read my full review. To summarize, though, the main character falls for an abusive love interest who frequently lies to her and manipulates her.


You’ve just visited Hogsmeade for the first time. What’s one popular book you haven’t read yet?

red white and royal blue casey mcquiston

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I’ve had this book on my shelf since it came out and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I definitely will be in 2020 though!


Congratulations, you’ve been invited to the Yule Ball. What book about Christmas do you love?

A Christmas Carol Dickens.jpg

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I honestly haven’t read very many Christmas books, so I’m going with this tried-and-true classic.


You find Ron’s deluminator. What’s one book that’s helped you through some dark times?

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you’ll know that The Hobbit is my favorite book, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. I have so many memories associated with this classic fantasy novel, and it’s been my favorite since I was a child.

If you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged! If you do, leave your links below so I can see your answers!

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The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand – A Review


The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
Young adult | Retellings | Holiday
Published by Harper Teen
Released October 24, 2017
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Thriftbooks
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_0_and_half_star

I kept seeing Cynthia Hand’s The Afterlife of Holly Chase on Bookstagram and Booktube, recommended by people with similar tastes to my own. I finally got it from my library in December and decided to give it a go since the story takes place around Christmas.

This novel is a modern re-imagining of Charles Dicken’s classic A Christmas CarolIn this new version, there’s a group of people that work for “Project Scrooge” and they pick one person every year to surveil and treat to a Christmas Eve just like that of Ebenezer Scrooge with the goal of teaching them the meaning of Christmas.

To put it bluntly, I did not enjoy this book. I found all of the characters annoying or bland, especially Holly. The plot seemed ridiculous to me and I was unable to take any part of the book seriously.

In the novel, Holly’s mother has died, and I thought that would finally make the character more relatable to me as my own mother passed away nine years ago. There was a single part where that was the case:

“Before, I thought Christmas was a day my mother had created entirely for my benefit. After, Christmas felt like a black hole that would suck me into it for weeks. It made me think of my mom when I didn’t want to think of her. Which understandably made me cranky, but you’re not allowed to be cranky on Christmas. You’re supposed to be all merry and bright.”

That’s a statement that I can 100% understand and agree with. I often miss my mother the most on holidays and have to force myself to not think about it. At the same time though, Holly is pretty much incapable of feeling anything other than “ooh, hot guy” or “oh, woe is me.”

I struggled a lot with Cynthia Hand’s writing style. I understand that the narrator is an annoying teenage girl, but I could not handle sentences like this:

“I fanned myself for a minute and then scanned the movie section, not finding anything good, not really expecting to see anything, but theaters typically have AC, I was thinking, and that’s when one of the titles totally jumped out at me.”

I made it to page 265 before I couldn’t do it any longer and DNF-ed it. It might be fun for a much younger reader, but I felt as though this book was incredibly childish and the main character, Holly, had absolutely no redeeming qualities. While I’ll always recommend Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, this was a hard pass for me.