Sunday, September 12, 2010

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J. K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: J. K. Rowling
Pages: 309
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: My bookshelf - I've had it for years.
What you'll love: The beginning of the journey, a fantastically imaginative world.
What will bug you: Some stuff with the professors... read below.

I'm not much of a YA reader - but I love the Harry Potter series. I'm trying to do a re-read before Halloween. Feel free to join in - got to gear up for the movie!

I'm sure 99% of people reading this review are familiar with the Harry Potter series. Keeping that in mind, I'm going to break a rule of mine. I'm including spoilers... and I won't warn you about them first!

So if you have not read this book... turn off your computer. Buy the book. Come back and we'll chat!

A quick summary in case you're ignoring my instructions or you need a little refresher...

Harry Potter is 11 years old. He lives with the Dursleys - his horrible aunt, uncle, and cousin -
because his parents were killed when he was a baby. He is treated horribly by the Dursleys - they go so far as to make him sleep in a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs.

All of this changes when an owl messenger delivers a mysterious letter - an invitation to be a part of a magical world. Harry finds friends, magic, and begins to live out his fate.

I wish I had been a kid when I read these books. I loved witches and stuff like that. (In fact, I dressed up as the "wicked witch of the west" every year for Halloween. No joke. Every. Single. Year. It got to the point where I wanted to wear the cloak and hat on our aftern
oon walks starting October 1. Shhh... don't tell anyone!)

Rowling creates such an amazing world in this series. Everything from the magical spells, to quidditch, to Hogwarts and the grounds. It almost reminds me of the amazing world and legend that Tolkien writes in his "Lord of the Rings" series. Almost. As a lover of Tolkien, I wouldn't go that far... but you know what I mean, right? Rowling has invented this amazing world, and this amazing story surrounding Vol - I mean- You-Know-Who. One of the reasons I love this first book of the series so much is because such detail is taken in describing the physical world that is Hogwarts.

So much of this book is fantastic - I'm going to share some of the most memorable parts. The parts where when someone says "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" these images come to mind.

1. Visiting Diagon Alley with Hagrid. He's just thrown into the magical world and everything is so interesting.

2. The sorting hat. I love how it barely touches Malfoy's head before deciding SLYTHERIN. I also get chills as the had is trying to decide between Slytherin and Gryffindor - since I'm re-reading, it's neat to see how there is a link being made between Harry and Voldemort from the very start. (Want shopping comes to mind for this point too...)

3. Halloween, the troll, and how Hermione shows her friendship. This Halloween feast sou
nds pretty amazing - so that sticks in my mind for sure. I love how Hermione takes the fall for this one, proving that she herself as a friend.

4. The glimpse we have of Voldemort via Quirrell drinking unicorn blood in the Forbidden Forest. Creepy.

5. Fluffy, the flying keys, and the high stakes chess game once the trio go through the trapdoor. I love how they have to figure out how to get through this gauntlet.

6. When Quirrell unwraps his turban and there's a head on the other side of his head. This
really creeps me out.

There's very little about this book that bugs me. The only thing I'll mention is this: how do the professors not figure some of this stuff out? And. Were all these magical protections through the trapdoor really that useful if three first year students were able to get through? Also, because I'm a Snape fan - and have been from the start - I'm a little surprised Hagrid doesn't speak to Harry about the relationship between Snape and Harry's father. Harry is complaining that Snape doesn't like him. It could shed a little light on the situation.

What do I love about the re-read so far? Knowing the full story ahead of time, so understa
nding why things are happening. For example - of course Snape doesn't like Harry. He looks just like his father, and Snape is expecting him to act like him too.

If you're re-reading this series and have reviewed this book - feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments!

See you at the end of book 2!

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