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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

Thank you, J.K. Rowling for...

I'm feeling extremely emotional right now, all because of this series of books and movies about Harry Potter. A friend of mine and I went last night for the premiere of the eighth movie, and while I'm not going to discuss it yet, I will say that it was an emotional and satisfying experience in so many ways. I have to say this was the best Harry Potter movie I've watched and I'm glad for it, since it was a fitting finale. And can I even say, I loved how they handled Snape? That was one of the most moving scenes. I cried. For a long time, I've waited for the next Harry Potter-something - be it a book or a movie. And now, I realize that there's nothing to wait for. (Okay, there's the Pottermore but it's just a one-time thing.)

And as I sat thinking about the whole Harry Potter phenomenon, I know I would never trade it for anything. Like someone said yesterday - it's like what Star Wars meant to the 70s generation. I don't know much about Star Wars, but I grew up with Harry Potter and his friends. This is the first set of books I will pass on to the future generation. Sure, the books have faults. There are some unbelievable stuff happening, there are some silly things, but that's life too. And as I kept reliving the memories of reading the books and watching the movies (I still remember where I was during each book release from the 4th one and every movie that I watched), I wanted to thank the one person responsible for this incredible franchise.

(The first and the last movies)

Thank you JK Rowling for...
  • Taking that train journey in 1990 and dreaming up Harry Potter. Did you realize then that millions of people were going to love him and his friends?
  • Writing a magnificent set of books that have earned the place of honor in my bookshelves.
  • Sending my most-adamant cousin to me with the fourth book in his hands, thus setting me in a wonderful world of discovery and magic.
  • Providing me with a dinner topic when I'm stuck with people I don't like or know nothing about, but who have heard of Harry Potter
  • Creating a series that I recommend to almost everyone who is looking for a read, before even asking them what kind of books they read.
  • Creating a magical world that was as real as the world we live in with all the same people issues and similar world problems.
  • Allowing the movies to be produced, and although I wish they were more honest to the books, I'm glad all of us fans have the same idea of how Hogwarts looks, how the Room of Requirement can be magically revealed, or even how the Marauders' Map shows live updates (move over Foursquare!) about where people are.
  • Creating a feeling of community among all Harry Potter fans.
  • Inspiring real-world replicas of the magical world of Hogwarts, including wands and theme parks, for those of us who don't know when to say enough.
  • Creating rich, multidimensional characters, each with a powerful back-story, each being characters that we can identify with.
  • Creating a villain like Voldemort, who I hated for his ambitions, but who in the end was another boy gone wrong without guidance and support. I like to remember him as the very-human Tom Riddle.
  • Creating a world that we can disappear into, and making us believe that magic and miracles are possible.
  • Giving us something to wait for, with each new book and movie, although now it feels very strange not having anything to wait for. Can you write another series? But, oh-please, don't ever write a sequel to Harry Potter.
  • Making us feel that it is entirely normal to wait in lines for hours for the book release and movie premiere.
  • Making us feel that it doesn't matter whether we are 10 or 90, but it's still perfectly acceptable to squeal when Harry Potter is mentioned anywhere.
  • The 12 BEST bookish/movie years of my life...

And now I feel so emotional, just like Hagrid, and will need a handkerchief as huge as his to escape into.


Meghan said…
Yes - I think one of the biggest things about Harry Potter is feeling like everyone else is in on it too. In a way, it's the perfect meld of personal and public, because even though each book and film was experienced by us on an individual level, it's the one series that you know you'll be able to talk about as soon as you've finished reading or watching. I am sorry it's over, but I'm glad I experienced it as it was happening.
I was in college when the first Star Wars movie came out and I don't think it was as big as Harry Potter.  There wasn't so much marketing back then, plus it was only movies and Harry Potter is books and movies.
Pburt said…
So true! I think one reason Harry Potter was/is so successful is that Rowling was not afraid to tackle the hard questions about life - i.e if I make a wrong choice, does that make me a bad person? She recognizes that kids think just as deeply as adults but they often don't have a vocabulary or structure to verbalize or form their thinking around. Not to mention that everyone who has thought themselves as different secretly wishes they had a world as wonderful to land in as Harry.
Juju at Tales of Whimsy... said…
Ahhhhhhhhhh what a beautiful beautiful post.
MedeiaSharif said…
I'm emotional reading this.  :)

I only read the first two books, but I'd like to get the box set in the future, reread the two and then read the rest. 
Ash said…
This whole day was very emotional for me. I cried at the premiere last night and was super emotional talking with others about it today. Great post, it helped me remember that while it's the end it's never really the end. 
Misha said…
I LOVE this post! I grew up with HP too.  To think that I almost refused to read it when my mum got the first book for me when I was 11, is unbelievable! I thought the 8th movie was the best part too! I cried buckets for Snape :(
Thepickygirlblog said…
I began crying the moment McGonigel stepped in front of Harry....which was about halfway through the film (maybe). My friends laughed at me, and I had tissue stuck to my face when I left, but I loved it. I am so so sad. But so grateful. I am, personally, grateful to my mom (a sixth-grade reading teacher) for introducing me to the first three books.
zibilee said…
I really want to see the movie this weekend, with the kids. I also can't believe that it's over. My kids grew up on Harry Potter, and reading life won't be the same without him. It's crazy to think that this is the last movie, and that after that there is no more Harry Potter.
Helen Murdoch said…
Wonderful post! I loved the movie as well and it felt like a good send off. But I am also really sad that there is no more to look forward to. I did get emotional during the movie, especially the Snape story and when he saw his dead family members.
Bibliophilebythesea said…
So glad that u loved this one as well.  I never got caught up in the HP craze, although I did read the first few books and saw the first 2 movies.
Lena said…
I saw it Friday morning. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked how they handled Snapes as well. The only thing I didn't like was the parts where the characters would whisper something, there accents made it difficult to understand what they were saying. Otherwise, it was well done. I was so in love with Nevil. He was the superhero to me.
We are a very lucky generation. No other will ever live in the expectation of what will happen next and wonder and agonize about who is going to live and die. There were really magical years
Aliz Cloe said…
I grew up with Harry Potter. I was at every book and movie release. For the first book I went with my mother who at the time was three months pregnant with me. I may not remember the first few book releases but, I was there and have the pictures to remind me. I read the first book in first grade and loved it. It was because of the first HP book that I now love reading. 
When life got hard I always could turn to Harry and go to his magical world. I will always love Harry. I grew up with him, and, even though he is a book character, he helped me though tough times. He is real to me, to every Potter head. I remember that on my eleventh birthday I got a Hogwarts letter, and I was so excited! I drove my parents crazy insisting it was real, that I had to go to Scotland as soon as possible. I know now that it was from my grandparents as a joke, but that hasn't stopped me from sending one to all my younger siblings on their eleventh birthday. I properly will do it to my own kids as well. 
After the last movie came out I was so happy; it was so good. It took awhile for me to realize that their would not be more Harry Potter. That there was not anything more I had to wait for, that it was over. I was so sad about that, it felt like a part of my child hood was over. 
I will always remember Harry Potter, and every July 31st I will wish a Happy birthday to him. Thank you J.K. Rowling.