New year, new book…
As 2017 has now come around I promised myself that I should stray away from using my phone so much or watching too much TV and start to read more. I have always loved reading but became so caught up with the technology that is available around me that I thought there is no time for reading anymore. My new year’s resolution to myself was to read at least 7 books by the end of the year (if you haven’t already guessed it, I chose the Harry Potter series).
The reason for choosing this series was because as a child I read these books and fell in love with the idea of magic and the endless possibilities it brought. With books you can escape to another land, another world where anything is possible and what better way to regain my love of books than the ones that I remember having a lasting impact on me for broadening my imagination and love of fiction.
I will mention now that this isn’t a step by step review of the whole book but more my thoughts and feelings of the book as a whole.
As I started to begin my magical journey with Harry Potter and his discovery of the wizarding world I realised that this book was in fact much more in depth than the films (as most books are) yet it gave me a much better understanding of the characters background and of the story line that got lost within the films. I hung on to every word as Harry journeyed through his first time at Hogwarts, meeting strange and wonderful people along the way and not to mention defeating the infamous Lord Voldemort and becoming more famous than ever before.
From the beginning I was completely engrossed, learning about Harry’s horrible upbringing with the Dursley’s made me really connect with him, feeling sympathy and hope that something good will happen to him. The characters themselves are really well written in a way that we can all understand on a personal level and connect too (everyone knows a bully, a silent hero or a nerdy best friend) and for J.K. Rowling to use these types of characters allows the idea of magic to be that much closer to home for the reader.
Personally I feel this book is one of the less sinister of the 7 as it introduces you to the history of Hogwarts, magic and the power of friendship. It does have its dark side to it, obviously every good story has to have a villain but for me Lord Voldemort is not portrayed as dark in this first book which is a nice way to start a series (make him more scary as the books go on). This book does have the uplifting sense of hope and happiness as Harry is whisked away to a magical new place to learn all about his past (not forgetting spells and potions).
Hogwarts itself is described wonderfully in this first book, giving the reader room to use their own imagination on what else could be lurking in the mass of corridors. Not to mention the feasts that are described are something that you could only dream of. The fact that Hogwarts is still a school makes reading this book again as an adult miss the thrill of starting a new year, learning new things and meeting new people (obviously Hogwarts has something my high school never did…magic!). Even though Hogwarts is a castle of wonder we need to remember that even though Harry is famous he still does his charms homework and goes to Quidditch practice like a good student.
Speaking of Quidditch, the rules of the game are explained clearly (even a Muggle like me can understand) and reading about Harry’s first Quidditch match made me glad I cannot fly a broom. However the tension of the match and the team spirit kept me reading on, I cannot express the level of detail that goes into these books to make you actually believe in such things as Quidditch yet this book did just that.
Finally, I think that overall my thoughts on this book are quite clear. This book is a brilliant start to what I can only express as a magical series and I cannot wait to continue reading and find out more about Harry’s journey in the next book ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’.
Until next time…