Thursday, June 19, 2014

Harry Potter Through The Eyes of A First Time Reader: Part 1

Even though I'm a voracious reader, I somehow made it to age 30 (almost 31) without reading Harry Potter.  I have received my fair share of "You HAVEN'T read Harry Potter??" comments,  along with strange looks of surprise. But it's true--I haven't read them. I don't really have a good reason as to why, other than they just never sparked my interest.  I remember hearing about when each book and movie came out, and watching the obsessive fans and wondering if it was really worth the hype.   I even watched movies 1 and 2, and felt them to be extremely overrated.  Now, I know to Never Judge a Book By Its Movie. After watching it, I knew the book would clearly be better, because books are ALWAYS better. But my disappointment in the movie just didn't motivate me enough to read it.

However, I have countless friends who are avid readers who love the series, including my close friend and "sister" in Seattle. For the last few years I always had planned on reading it someday, mainly out of curiosity to see what the hype was about. Once I started my blog, I came into contact with even MORE readers who loved the series, and as I was creating my Bookish Bucket List, I knew reading the HP series had to be in it. As a result, my Harry Potter summer reading project began! Here are my comments on the first book! (FYI: no spoilers here--I realize there are those who haven't read the series either!!)


Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
309 pages, first published 1997
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Amazon Prime Kindle Borrowing Library

In this first book in the series we meet Harry, who has had a miserable life growing up with the Durley's, whom he has been living with since his parents were killed when he was a baby. Everything changes when a letter arrives and Harry learns he is a wizard. He then begins his journey at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he finds new friends, magic around every corner, aerial sports and a greater destiny that's been awaiting him his entire life.  I was sucked into this story immediately by Rowling's charming and witty writing style, loveable characters, and entertaining story.  I'm not obsessed with the series yet, but I'm definitely intrigued. I am  quickly realizing I may have to eat my "this is overrated" words. I loved Rowling's creativity--it made the book so fun to read (a three headed dog named Fluffy?!).  But I must admit I found myself wondering "There are SIX more books of this?" frequently during the first one.  Even so, I am excited to continue on in the series!
Rating for HP #1: A-

Is there a popular series you've been putting off reading for one reason or another?

Happy Reading!

3 comments:

  1. I've yet to read the Divergent books (I got so many spoilers of the ending when the last book came out that I don't think I'll bother). I'm not too upset about it.

    I started reading Harry Potter after the first three (I think?) books were already out, and then I read each of the remaining ones soon after they were released. For me, the series as a whole is overrated, though I did really enjoy the first three books and I would recommend them. After that, I felt like I needed to take a red pen to the text (all you have to do is look at the books to see what I mean... after book 3, the length suddenly jumps and they get unnecessarily long).

    I'm not a fan of the movies, either, but that's probably because I didn't like Daniel Radcliffe in the main role. I thought he was a pretty weak actor at the beginning of the series (though I'll admit that I still haven't seen the last three movies, so I don't know if he got any less wooden).

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    1. That is a good point about the Divergent series. I read them and thought the first book was the best of the three.

      I'm interested to see what I think of the rest of the series. The first book was enjoyable, but as I said in my post...really? SIX more? So we'll se how they go!

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  2. Harry Potter came out when I was ole enough to not pay attention to what looked like a kids' book. I hardly read YA at the time either. So I didn't start reading them until the last book was about to come out. That had to be my late 20s I think and I was teaching high school English so my students were always making references I couldn't understand, so I only started reading them for that reason. So glad I read them though - very good stories.

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