Remember I’m giving away books! Check out this blog for details: https://rookswriter.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/free-book-giveaway/
I’ve never read a Harry Potter book before this review, no, and for reasons I now shake my head at. When the series was published, I remember looking at those books on the bookshelf and thinking ‘God, those are so effing HUGE’. Besides, my brothers read those books, and I had deemed any books my brothers read as ‘big kid books’, so a little squirt like me could not enter the inner sanctum of mature reading. This led to my reading of series like Pendragon, and even Harry Potter, to my late teenage years. Funny thing is, now I love longer books, means I get a bigger quantity of great plot and book. If the quality’s good, might as well get it in quantity, right?
Luckily for me, Harry Potter was just that, promising light hearted fun and creative ideas all placed together in a harmony of the genius of J.K. Rowling. No wonder she’s a millionaire, whatever that is in British Pounds.
FOR ALL OF THOSE WHO PLAN TO READ THIS SERIES AND HAVE NOT YET: My reviews do not contain huge spoilers. I quoted Bird by Bird two weeks ago because that’s an advice book, and there is still much more to learn from it, even past the favorite quotes. For plots and storylines, I will not spoil anything more than an Amazon review would. I promise this here on out, pinky promise. If it ever does come to that though, please do not beat me and throw me into a hole, for if I ever do spoil a book, it was probably so bad you don’t want to read it. There are books like that out there, trust me.
I will break down this review into parts this time, into the different proponents of plot-driven literature. The categories today are: Character, Plot, Tension and Overall.
This book is definitely cuter than its later counterparts. I felt like a little kid walking around Hogwarts and seeing a new place. Harry Potter is pitiful little thing, stuck in a house that doesn’t love him and treats him like dirt. However, Potter finds a way to escape that life and become something, GUESS WHAT, a witch wizard! I honestly loved Harry and felt it worth it to follow him while he explored a world he never thought possible. If I were in his shoes, I’d be like *HOLY SHISH-KE-BOB* and go eat Chocolate Frogs and fly off on a broom just so I could cackle like a bonafide witch. Harry, on the other hand, always seems to get in trouble, but at least he has his friends, Ron and Hermione! Ron is absolutely adorable. Hermione, on the other hand, is a little too bossy for me. I did not appreciate her character, though I can relate to the fact that being such a smart-bottom gets you kicked out from the cool circle. Scratch that, being anywhere remotely smart to the point where you cannot even control it enough to stop it from flaunting itself, means you won’t have friends. At least not in the first novel.
My one complaint on characters is that even though I watched every movie, I never understood why Voldemort was such a Scrooge. He should have gotten a manicure, some plastic surgery, and gone to the spa and he would have been good as new. I understand having no nose is absolutely hideous, but going on a killing spree tantrum DOES NOT help anyone. No matter how much you want a nose, killing a poor little boy is not going to make it grow back.
Grade on characters: 4
This book is definitely more light-hearted than the rest of the plot, and I actually appreciated it. It’s not the most original plot in all of history, but it certainly has its twists and turns. Hagrid is certainly an interesting twist, and seeing that horrible family of Harry’s be jostled around by the forever rain of letters and huge men coming to collect children is definitely a joyful part. I love how the plot plays on each of the different strengths and weaknesses of the different characters, and the wizard setting certainly makes the place interesting. I want a wand to choose me. I wish I could be like Hermione, a Mud-blood, as long as it would make me a wizard. Bring it baby!
Grade on Plot: 5
This was where I felt was lacking in this book. J.K. Rowling picks this up in her later books, but this book definitely has the least tension. It has enough, however, to keep you reading. Unfortunately, as I’ve been reading through the early parts of the series, I have struggled to go through chapters before. There wasn’t enough going on for me sometimes and some of these things Harry was making a big deal out of, I labeled as meh problems, and it made me lose interest at points. Though, of course, the climax does not disappoint in this book, even if Harry can’t do a smidgeon by himself. The end of this book gives a satisfying bang, and the resolution works out well to foretell the future of Harry Potter. I bet the boy enjoyed those days of less tension, after everything he goes through in the series.
Grade on Tension: 2.8
It was hard to read at parts, but in the end, I did not regret picking this book up from my college bookstore. It was a refreshing, great read, and I look forward to the rest of the series. The characters fit the series like a glove, and even though the plot could be called slightly generic, it really is a refreshing look on witches and wizards. This is a great start to the series that many people have grown to love deeply, and it certainly deserves its praise. It is nothing like Shakespeare, but it serves its purpose and it’s not scary enough to leave you children having nightmares at night.
Overall Grade: 3.93
Oh, and since I’m stuck in this almost no internet type of place… I will be reading A LOT this week. Though I cannot decide whether to finish The Fault in Our Stars or Bourne Ultimatum first. Both have been superb so far. X)
See you Friday!