Review: Hufflepuff Guided Journal from Insight Editions
Who doesn’t want to start the new year with fun new Harry Potter merchandise arriving on their doorstep? Thanks to Insight Editions, I got to start 2021 with Loyalty: A Guided Journal for Embracing Your Inner Hufflepuff.
I confess that I am no great diarist. In fact, I’m still in the journaling Dark Ages where entries start with “Dear Diary” and may or may not end with being possessed by the Dark Lord. The brave new world of guided journals and bullet journals is very much unchartered waters. But in the spirit of discovery, I dove in.
Insight Editions can always be relied upon to create attractive books with a look and feel of quality, and the Loyalty guided journal is no exception. The journal is hardback with a clothbound spine and a stitched-in ribbon marker. The Hufflepuff crest is emblazoned across the cover, and the page edges come together to give the look of a House scarf. The book is certainly up to the strain of regular use for a year and will look great on your bookshelf or just lying around ready for spontaneous journaling.
Feeling it’s too late to start a 2021 journal now that January 1 has passed or don’t like the idea of being locked into doing an entry every week? An advantage of Loyalty is that there are no dates anywhere in the journal, just 52 weeks of prompts. So while you can buy it today and catch up on Week 1’s prompt (“What are you hoping to achieve or discover by using this journal? How do you see your traits as a Hufflepuff helping you do this?”), you could also start it next week or the week after. If you’re busy being the Hufflepuff who, according to the Sorting Hat, is “unafraid of toil,” you could establish a routine of writing in the journal every other week or take a week off without the guilt trip of blank pages or backdated entries staring up at you. It would make a great birthday gift for your favorite Hufflepuff, allowing them to journal a year of their life rather than just the plain old Gregorian calendar year.
The weekly prompts alternate between recording “Daily Acts of Loyalty, Patience, and Dedication” and asking questions that relate a variety of Harry Potter things to being a Hufflepuff. The latter uses characters and locations from the books as well as quotes and scenes from the films as jumping-off points to ask questions that range from highly introspective (reflecting on your most recent mistake and how your House identity may have caused it) to enjoyably frivolous (jotting down ideas for a House party).
As someone who dreads the part of a job interview where a candidate is asked to describe their strengths and weaknesses, I can’t help but eye some of the more introspective prompts with suspicion, and they can feel a little cheesy too. However, though it can be uncomfortable, self-examination is a great way to develop your sense of self, and telling your journal what you think of yourself is undoubtedly better than discussing it with a potential employer.
I do like the variety in the prompts. Every other week may be the same, but when it comes to the others: sometimes they’re deep questions, sometimes they’re just fun; sometimes they’re more about events in the films, sometimes more about events in your own life; sometimes they ask for full passages of writing, sometimes they ask for a brief list. And not all of it is writing – there are some coloring prompts too that have me itching to dig out my colored pencils.
One of the best things about the journal is the use of gorgeous concept art for the Harry Potter films scattered throughout. My favorite is just inside the cover, a view of Hogwarts across the Black Lake that I just want to step into (I’m still waiting on that Hogwarts letter).
It’s a beautiful journal, perfect for slowly discovering week by week. Plus, having to record acts of loyalty, patience, and dedication will hopefully make me do more of them. So I know I will enjoy completing it, and if this is not too high a claim for one journal, I might actually end up a better person as a result.
A copy of Loyalty: A Guided Journal for Embracing Your Inner Hufflepuff was provided by Insight Editions. All opinions belong to the reviewer.