[Review] NaoReads Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Special Edition from Wikipedia cover

Author: Jack Thorne
ISBN: 9780751565355
Price: RM119, depending on where you get it
Rating: 7/10
TL;DR: A fast read, for Harry Potter fans and completionists

The Cursed Child reads like a novella than a full-length novel. It’s short, simple and rather sweet. You can see traces of J.K. Rowling’s style, but overall, the book is a really good script that demands to be seen live rather than read.

Part of this is due to its format; it is really that easy to read. It’s also really light on details, simply because it’s supposed to be a play. If you grew up reading the books and the movies, then your mind will fill in the empty spots, and it’s an easy fill.

As it’s also supposed to be a play, there’s far more emphasis on the characters rather than the spectacle we got from the movies. We substitute our own ideas for what “Harry reins in his anger” means, rather than watching Daniel Radcliffe clench his fist, making it a more personable and relatable story.

Which brings me to the next point, the characters here are simply fantastic. Of course part of the fun is seeing Harry and Ginny and the rest of the Harry Potter cast all grown up. But what I loved reading most of all, was the friendship between Albus and Scorpius.

I personally love the friendship between Albus and Scorpius the most. It is very reminiscent of Harry’s own, but there are a lot of subtle differences that make it much more meaningful especially in this day and age. I also love the little touches that revealed how the characters, especially the older ones, have grown throughout the years.

We saw Draco for instance, reveal that he has a love for his son as much as his mother did. We see how Hermione still calls the shots even after all this time and how Ron is happy to be a henpecked husband. And I think, we see most of all, how Harry is not perfect and how Ginny, like Molly, understands her children very much.

Overall I would recommend Harry Potter and the cursed child only to fans and those who grew up on the series. If you’re just stepping foot into the world of Harry Potter, you might want to start off with the books first, or maybe the movies. If you are a fan, then you should get this book. It’s simply magical.

[Review] Dr Shal Dental Surgery

X-Ray of my teeth taken at Klinik Pergigian Dr Shal
X-Ray of my teeth taken at Klinik Pergigian Dr Shal

Name: Klink Pergigian Dr Shal or Dr Shal Dental Surgery
Where: 24A, 1st Floor, Jalan USJ 10/1B USJ 10, 47620, Subang Jaya
Contact: Call 03-8011 6877 OR message them on Facebook (quick replies!)
Operating Hours:
Mondays – Saturdays: 10am to 9pm.
Sundays: 10am to 6pm.
Closed Wednesdays and Public Holidays

TL;DR: 4.5/5 stars, make an appointment before you go. It’s kinda pricey for me, hence the loss of half a star.

So I had to see the dentist after putting it off for almost six months (or more!). The reason’s simple: my previous dentist, while cheap and competent, had very limited working hours. He also had a long waiting list and I did not like his nurses.

What prompted this trip? One of my two milk teeth had chipped, and it was starting to hurt when I ate. I googled and asked people for “dentists open on Sunday” recommendations, and finally came across Dr Shal’s website. The opening hours caught my eye, followed quickly by the description of her waiting room and the fact that her listing on Google Maps was really professional.

I made an appointment for 6.30pm today and walked into the clinic a few minutes before I was due. Several things was apparent to me the moment I stepped in.

  • The clinic felt more like an exclusive spa
  • It had free wifi (YAY), a massage chair you could use for free, one TV playing Nat Geo and the other Harry Potter
  • Free coffee and tea, with a reminder that these drinks stain your teeth. Also plain water
  • Interesting mix of Nat Geo and female mags like Her World, I think, for your reading pleasure
  • Competent, friendly and warm receptionists

Now with all this just from the moment I walked in, I thought the Dr was going to be super cut-throat and not very professional about the treatment and all. I was pleasantly wrong.

Dr Shal was extremely professional and patient. She asked me to list my problems, if I was on any medications, any form of ill health, etc. I naively suggested removing my chipped milk tooth, but she insisted on me doing a digital X-ray first. Turns out, I had missing permanent teeth, so if my milk tooth was gone, there was nothing to replace it.

So she told me how much the x-ray was going to cost, and then the probable cost of the filling, and mentioned other problems I had (a lot of which I kind of suspected but it was nice to be confirmed, though my wallet disagrees). We agreed to tackle the most important issue first (milk teeth decay) and then we’d fill the other cavity in later. She got to work.

I don’t want to relive the entire thing again, but suffice to say:
* Numb lips from gel means I can spit out water properly (kept going everywhere)
* Looking up + dehydrated mouth = #NaoGetsAHeadache
* That took far longer than I expected!

At the end of it all, Dr Shal made me bite and then grind my teeth to ensure she had put enough of the filling. She adjusted it twice before she was done with me, even at that point where I thought I was ok with it. We then had a chat about my next appointment and clearing up some of my misconceptions about scaling (apparently, scaling is to remove the plaque on your teeth and is not to make you look pretty).

How was it? Quite good, actually. Dr Shal is very professional, caring and warm. Her nurses are great too! Definitely recommended if you’re looking for a dentist.

Cost:
X-Ray- RM90
I think this is a firm price. It’s well worth it, cause they take your entire jaw instead of just a selected area (like another dentist did before).

Filling – RM120
According to Dr Shal, fillings start at RM50 onwards. Mine was expensive because she had a large cavity to close. She also added at least two different meds before the actual filling to kill the infection in my tooth. This part of the procedure took the longest.

Antibiotics & Anti-inflammation meds – RM25
The antibiotics are compulsory (my teeth was fighting a bacterial invasion, after all), but the anti-inflammation is not. I took it cause it supposedly helps reduce the swelling and helps fight the bacteria too.

Local anaesthetic – RM10
Some people can do without it, I can’t. It was much more effective than other dentists I’ve been to though.

[Review] Silkygirl Matte Junkie Lip Cream

My first lip cream aka matte lipstick: Silkygirl's Matte Junkie Lip Cream 04 Vintage!
My first lip cream aka matte lipstick: Silkygirl’s Matte Junkie Lip Cream 04 Vintage!

So I’ve been coveting the Silkygirl Matte Junkie lip cream for a while now. The blame for this falls solely on Tenta, because she showed me a very gorgeous swatch and I’ve been wanting them ever since.

But that’s only half the story. You see, Silkygirl released the Matte Junkie range at the end of April 2016 (yes, it’s that recent). The range had two striking shade groups: reds and nudes. There were three nude-toned shades: Retro, Vintage and Glamour. Of the three, Vintage was the most popular.

Matte Junkie Lip Cream 04 Vintage from the Silkygirl Website
Look at those lips aren’t they gorgeous???

In less than a week, Vintage was completely sold out. It was so popular, I had problems finding even the testers for it! According to a source, Silkygirl underestimated the popularity of the shade. Subsequently, even Retro and Glamour soon disappeared off the shelves.

Till last week. I received word that Vintage was coming back into stores and of course I had to get my hands on them! At Watson’s, they currently enjoy a small discount so it’s rm19 instead of the usual 21.

Matte Junkie Review

Silkygirl Matte Junkie Lip Polish in Vintage
As you can tell, it’s a standard-sized bottle. Easy to carry around and fuss-free. The magic happens when you open it.

Wet swatch
This is what happens when you swatch it wet. Dries very quickly (think 2 mins or less) and sets really well.

Dry Swatch
I accidentally rubbed over the wet piece, hence the trail. But as you can tell, it’s dried off to a nice pink. Once dried, it DOESN’T TRANSFER. It stays on your lips (with a caveat, see below). But yes, it IS transfer-proof and kiss-proof hehe.

Final look
It’s really easy to apply. I find putting on a bit of lip liner works to keep the lines in check but even without the lip liner it still goes on smoothly. Trivia: I bought my lip liner from Silkygirl MONTHS ago, it’s a happy coincidence.

The brush
My favourite part of the entire process though, is the doe foot applicator. It’s just so much fun to apply! I don’t know why, but I adore putting the colour on my lips because of this applicator. The applicator is soft and picks up enough product to line your lips.

Matte Junkie Caveats

As much as I love the pigmentation and colour payoff, this is still a matte lipstick. That means it WILL dry your lips out. You should be prepping your lips before wearing this; exfoliate first (I rub my lips with a very old and soft toothbrush) then apply lip balm. Leave on for a few minutes, then wipe off excess and apply the lip cream. Your lips will thank you.

Oily foods are the nemesis of this lip cream. If you’re eating oily food, expect to reapply afterwards, or just wipe the colour off. Repeat lipbalm step above.

Final Matte Junkie thoughts

As you can tell, I really love this lip cream. It glides on easily, is a colour that I like, and fits me very well! However, lip balms are a must and oily foods will affect its staying power. I’ve been wearing this as a daily colour since I got it, and bar the oily food, it remains in place for several solid hours (longest I’ve gone is 4 hours for now, because after that I had KFC :P).

[Quickie] Suicide Squad Review

TL;DR: 4/10
Summary: An ok movie. Underwhelming given the hype. Wasted casting.

There’s a reason why this review has a trailer instead of the image most of you know me for. The answer is this: I would prefer rewatch the trailer instead of watching the movie, even if you paid me to rewatch the latter.

SO. FUCKING. WASTED.

The cast, the crew, the SETTING of the entire movie? FULL POINTS. I enjoyed seeing all the characters, enjoyed the costumes, the setting of the sets. They’re the reason why this movie is a 4/10 (aka 2/5). The actors were so on point in their roles, I can’t really divorce them from their players now.

I expected to love Harley, but I didn’t expect to love her this much. She’s so batshit insane.

Deadshot? Quite alright. And Will Smith is pretty good at this.

Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and Enchantress? Could have used more touches. So could Slipknot and Katana.

Amanda Waller? She’s here and there, but I think that’s more of the script, and less of the actress. There were some very out of character lines. @.@

What I didn’t expect? Holy crap EL DIABLO. He’s the surprise scene stealer.

Flag had no on-screen presence. Next to everyone else he’s kinda… not there.

The Joker. ARGH this annoys me so much. You can sense there’s so many things between him and Harley and yet NONE of them are alluded to. NONE are even shown. There’s a huge disconnect between the flashbacks and how he acts that it’s maddening. And not in a good way (this section alone would have given the movie a R-rating, and you know what? They should have!).

Which brings me to the point of why the movie just flops for me:

What the hell was that excuse of a plot? It feels like the characters were being pushed into places they had to go because “they have to.” Like a bad fanfic writer trying to do a self-insert and deciding not to because it’d be too embarrassing, but yet not really understanding how to write.

Case in point: Final battle sequence. Why in the world would anyone have followed Flag after he gave them their freedom? Two characters definitely had motivation, but the others… is there any reason for them to?

Flag calls himself a soldier but the way he follows orders is so… @.@ his character is contradictory (and not in a good way).

We never got an explanation for how the main villain managed to delay dying. Except vampirism of some weird sort.

And these are just the spoiler-free versions. The worst part of it? You can tell there was so much more. Each of the actors were very much in character (except Flag) but what they portrayed didn’t fit what the story wanted, and it shows. It really shows.

And yes, this part I will spoil you: A lot of what you see in that trailer? Never made the final cut. Which leads me to think it’s probably the fault of Without Balls (aka WB). Ayers is not an incompetent director and that makes me think the studio probably didn’t have the guts to let him release the version he intended.

Hey WB, a word of advice. When you let your middle managers tell you taking a risk is a bad thing, despite the hype of the fans, this is how you kill your own business. I wanted to watch Suicide Squad with the Joker probably going all demented on them. Getting your lame attempt at a McGuffin? Way to kill someone else’s career because you can’t, in Harley’s words, “Own your shit.”

Oh, and yes, I think it’s definitely studio interference. Here, have a Reddit mention of the novelisation (I would have expected some minor differences but not this much):

… Damn you.