Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them

magical_creatures_colouring_bookFantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

by J.K. Rowling

read from 20 to 21 December 2016

★★★☆☆

spoiler-free review!

for review with spoiler: see Goodreads


My main complaint with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is that the majority of the beasts are found in Europe and North America. I think we can all agree that J.K. Rowling doesn’t know what diversity is (at least, I hope you do), and that also becomes noticeable while reading this. I know diversity of people is much more important than animals (obviously!), but it does prove once again how she looks at her series: it takes place in predominantly white countries.

Another reason why I didn’t love this, is because no concept art was included. Even though the beasts’ appearances were described, I still had a hard time visualising some.

The film adaptation created some new creatures that weren’t mentioned in this book. Since it is supposed to be written by Newt Scamander himself, it makes no sense that he didn’t include them. While I understand why they made new ones for the film, it undermines that we should consider anything mentioned in this book as cannon.

conclusion: This was a nice book, but I couldn’t visualise some of the animals and wished more art had been included. Furthermore, too many animals are only found in Europe and North America, which is unrealistic and shows what the world looks like according to J.K. Rowling’s imagination.


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11 thoughts on “Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them

  1. poetrynerdsunite says:

    Hey! I completely agree with you on JKR and diversity, she’s sooooo annoying! I heard she didn’t make Dean and Seamus cannon bc it would have distracted from the plot….. ANYWAY I just wanted to say that I heard the setting for the second book will be in Egypt? Just wanted to add that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea ϟ romweasley says:

      Ugh that’s such a bullshit excuse because she did developed relationships between straight side characters 😒 And oh really? 😄I had heard it was going to take place in Paris! That’d be really cool, though I hope they’ll cast POC instead of whitewashing the culture. Thanks for letting me know!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. chucklesthescot says:

    “I think we can all agree that J.K. Rowling doesn’t know what diversity is”

    Don’t agree. At all. She has more diversity in her Harry Potter books than in any book I ever read as a kid.

    Like

    • Chelsea ϟ romweasley says:

      What diversity are you talking about? Out of 800 characters, there are only a handful of people of colour. I am bisexual and I can tell you that there is zero LGBTQ representation on the page. When she did include diversity, it’s borderline racist (e.g. Cho Chang’s name is not an Asian name but rather Rowling’s idea of what Asian names sound like). I’m sorry you don’t read diverse books. You really ought to do an effort because you’re not going to notice how wrong you are otherwise.

      Like

  3. rashthedoctor says:

    huh! never thought of the lack of diversity thing in J.K Rowlings book , but she did have Victor Krum and Patel sisters in the Harry Potter books .

    I don’t know , I never thought about it such . That said I haven’t read this book but the movie looked very beautiful 🙂

    Like

    • Chelsea ϟ romweasley says:

      Krum is Bulgarian. He’s not a person of colour, so that’s not diversity. It’s actually the Patil sisters, so doesn’t that prove how sidelined they were if you can’t even remember their names? I hope I don’t come across as a bitch, but it hurts that so many people refuse to see the problem. I grew up loving this series – and I still do – but Rowling has caused a lot of pain to POC and LGBTQ. E.g. I’m bisexual and I find it very problematic she claims gay representation (Dumbledore) but it’s not even included in the book. That’s probably my main problem: she can’t admit her mistakes. Some things she wrote were very racist, homophobic… yet she still gets so much acclaim. Furthermore, she hasn’t learned anything, since her houses at Ilvermorny are straight up cultural appropriation of Native Americans.
      Anyway, there are many people who describe it better than I do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rashthedoctor says:

        Hey I’m not refusing to accept here , I think I never noticed it ,until you talked about it … Maybe there is indeed a problem , but there are many authors who haven’t done many diverse books and judging by the views that J.K.Rowling has been outspoken about or is often tweeting about I highly doubt that she intentionally wants to be less diverse or racist .

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        • Chelsea ϟ romweasley says:

          I wasn’t talking about you specifically, I’ve just had this conversation many times already and it rarely leads to anything good…
          Well, many people (including Native Americans) tried to approach her on Twitter about her cultural appropriation, but she never replied. When someone dares talk shit about her on the website though, she blocks them. That does not sound like a person who wants to be less racist to me.
          She also claims that being a werewolf is a metaphor for being HIV positive, which is very homophobic. You can read more about that here: https://hijadepavlov.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/the-inherent-homophobia-of-the-harry-potter-series/. I really suggest you read that essay because it is very informative.
          On Twitter, she says that she loves the idea of a black Hermione and never specified her skin colour in the books. Which is a lie, because in her own concept art for Hermione, she is white. It would have been so meaningful for a black girl to recognize herself in a book, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Instead, Rowling claims representation that was never even there to begin with.

          Once again, I hope this doesn’t make me look like a bitch or that I’m attacking you. I’ve done a lot of research on the topic and she wrote a lot of problematic things. Which she, to this day, refuses to apologise for. Instead, she continues to make the same mistakes, such as claiming diversity while it isn’t the books. I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of euros on this woman because I love the books so much, but I’m not going to excuse her behaviour. And I will continue to be honest about it, even though I receive backlash whenever I do.

          And if you still disagree with me, that’s fine. But I won’t change my opinion and honestly this conversation is making me feel really bad and anxious 😦 Whenever I speak up about it, it causes a shitstorm and I don’t have the energy to deal with it anymore… Once again, I’m not talking about you, it’s on other social media as well.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Jamie @ Book Pandamonium says:

    I always knew JKR shied away from diversity, but I’ve never thought about the lack of animal diversity in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Now that you mention it, though, it’s really weird that she didn’t expand more. JKR has the ability to make up any creature that could be found anywhere in the world and she chooses New York as the primary location?? Not to mention, all (but one) of the main characters are white. Thanks for pointing this out!! Hopefully the later movies will be more diverse and inclusive.

    Liked by 1 person

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