Rating: ★★★★ 4/5
I've hidden under a huge rock for sometime...
The first time I heard of Harry Potter was when I was 10 years old. I was sat in my classroom, my teacher was reading it to us and I was not listening. I mean, not that the book wasn’t good, it’s just at that age I couldn’t sit there and listen, but the name Harry Potter rings a bell. Then about 2 years later when I was 12 and started Secondary School, the film came out and there was a huge hype about it, which I didn’t understand. There was a school trip to see the film, I went to see it and I liked it, but clearly not enough to read it. I've seen all the films, apart from Deathly Hallows; the problem with watching the films is that I didn't understand a thing that was going on! I guess I needed to read the books I understand it better.
The thing is that it didn’t strike me to read the books, I don’t know why; I just didn’t see any point. Until now, that is. 11 years later! I’m a bit old for it because it is after all a children’s book, but anyway, I guess better late than never. The reason why I’ve started to read it is because after reading paranormal novels, I want my imagination to run wild. Stephen King praised J.K. Rowling as a terrific writer and that Stephenie Meyer can’t write. (Well strictly speaking...you need an imagination to be able to write. Meyer can write but it’s not remotely good). Three people recommended Harry Potter to me, so I think it gave me a good reason to read it. I want to see what the fuss is about. Also the fact that I hear the story overall is about love, friendship, bravery and sacrifice, which are all great elements immersed in a storyline.
Harry Potter is named as ‘the boy who lived,’ because Voldemort, who is considered the most evil and powerful wizard in history killed Harry’s parents. He attempted to kill Harry too, but then he mysteriously disappeared. For the past ten years, Harry has been living with his Aunt and Uncle, the Dursleys, along with their spoiled brat son Dudley and they don’t treat him well. It was never explained to me why that was. So before Harry’s 11th birthday a letter arrived for him, but his Uncle Vernon destroys it before Harry can read it. Then in comes Hagrid and Harry finally gets his letter. It is revealed that he is a wizard.
Growing up with the Dursleys, Harry was never received gifts for his birthday, never had any friends and he was unloved by his only family that he had left, which is quite disheartening. But that all of that turns around within this novel. Hagrid takes Harry shopping for his school equipment and it happens to be his 11th Birthday at the same time, so Hagrid decides to give Harry an owl named Hedwig as a gift. I thought this was really thoughtful because Harry has never been given a present ever in his life and to him, this was the best Birthday he ever had. (Awe bless!)
I think one of the nice things about this novel was friendship developing with the characters; Harry made friends for the first time. On in the train journey, we meet redhead Ron Weasley, who becomes Harry’s new friend. There’s Hermione Granger, aka Miss Bossy, who is very clever with books. They don’t like her very much because she is quite “up herself,” but they soon become friends after they save her from a troll. (By the way, it didn’t explain what Hermione was crying about when she ran into the bathroom.) It’s nice to read that Harry shined when he won the points when successfully catching the snitch in the Quidditch game, because he wasn’t just the boy who lived, he was the boy who won the game too.
Harry, Hermione and Ron are led to think that Snape is a follower of Voldemort and is after the Philosopher’s Stone, in which will revive Voldemort. They set out to get the stone before he can get it and they enter the three-headed dog. When Harry finds Quirrel in the final room, rather than Snape. That part was a big TWIST! Who would have thought stuttering Professor Quirrell as the true culprit and not Snape?! It was revealed that it was Quirrell that let the troll in, that it was him who tried to kill Harry and not Snape at that Quidditch match. Harry manages to get the stone from the mirror, but when Quirrell attempts to seize him, he literally burns and then Harry passes out. At the hospital, Dumbledore tells Harry that he survived because his mother sarcficie her life to protect him and Voldemort could not understand the power of love.
To my surprise...I really enjoyed this book, so I give this a well-deserved 4 stars out of 5. What kept me reading was the mystery and suspense. This is J.K. Rowling first children’s book, so I think it’s okay for it to sound quite amateurish, because with the way she writes is very readable and I felt very involved in the story. I commend her for creating this wizard world, which is loved all around the world. Some aspects of the novel, I felt like the pacing is quite rushed because there were so many twists and turns going on in a 310-page novel.
I had so many flashbacks from the film whilst reading! It really refreshed my memory from what happened in the film, which made say to myself oh yeah that happened! But all in all, it was a great story and I loved the characters. I thought the characters were brave for first years, Ron sacrificing himself in the game of wizard chess in order to allow Harry to enter the final room, and also Harry for wanting to retrieve the stone, even if it meant he’d be expelled.
I am glad I took a chance on reading Harry Potter. I was saying to myself “I better not regret this” and I can honestly say I didn’t. I am definitely reading the Chamber’s of Secrets next!