Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #1
Genre: Middle Grade/ YA/ Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Publication Date: June 26th, 1997
Edition: Paperback, 309 Pages
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon US | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | BAM

     Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
     After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.
     Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.
     Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.


What's this? TWO reviews back-to-back?! 

I first read Harry Potter in high school. The book came out when I was 11. But I had very religious parents, and they bought into that whole "Harry Potter teaches kids witchcraft" thing. So I didn't read the books until after the movies were already coming out. I actually didn't want to read Harry Potter at that point, but I did and here I am, 15 years later completely obsessed with the series and the world.

I wish I could wipe all knowledge of this series so I can read it without having any prior knowledge of it. Movies, books, everything. 

Harry Potter is one of those books that I think will transcend time. It's already considered a modern classic.

I am going to try and only talk about this first book. I don't need to talk about the plot at all, as I am pretty sure we've all read it by now.

I really wish I had read this as a child, and even though I was nearly 17 by the time I read this first book, I still could really relate to Harry in many ways. If you were to take all the magic out of this book, the Harry as a character would still be really relatable. Some aspects of his life were very relatable to me, and it would have been nice to have a character like him to read about when I was younger.

Aside from all that Harry is remarkably kind for someone who could easily turned to bitterness over his treatment. Locked in a cupboard, beat and bullied on the daily. Lied to, the list goes on. Sure, he harbors some resentment towards his Aunt and Uncle, but he still has a remarkable amount of kindness in him.

He also has a pretty astounding moral compass, his initial dislike of Draco just comes from seeing his spoiled Cousin in the kid, nothing to do with the prejudice of who his family is, just instinct. Same can be said for why he and Ron became friends, he saw Ron and knew he was someone you could trust. Though, he is still a kid and his quick judgement of Hermione is something that kids still do. He wasn't ever mean to her, but he wasn't very kind either. Even still, he cared enough to risk his life to try and find her so she wouldn't get hurt by that Troll. Hard to not to become friends after an event like that.

I would say that this first book is possibly one of the best first books in a series. It pulls the reader in, gets you to connect to a character very fast, you can empathize with him even if you have never faced any treatment he has. I am really excited to go on this journey again with the series.

1 comment:

  1. Like you, I read the first HP book when I was a teenager! I read it when I was 15, and because my class peer pressured me into it after they heard I hadn't read it. I think because of that (I'm a huge mood reader and reading something I'm not in the mood for makes me really critical) I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted. I hope to one day read the second book though!