Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

At the end of last year, I chose to join the Harry Potter Reading Challenge. And I'm so glad that I did. After rereading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I've discovered just how much I've missed the wizarding world.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, #1
Synopsis (back cover): Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him. . . if Harry can survive the encounter.

Review

Oh my.. How am I ever going to write an unbiased review on a Harry Potter book?? I have been in love with the Harry Potter world since I was a child, growing up and first watching the movies, and then started reading the books in high school. I've seen several reviews in which people absolutely hate the books and I'm shocked. Well, I mean, not entirely. Not everyone has the same taste in books, but I suppose it was the amount of bad reviews I saw that bothered me. And the ratings of only 1 star... I was completely baffled! This is a book series that I hold so dear to me and close to my heart and to see such bad reviews.. Let's just say that I'm saddened.

First off, I will say that this is a children's book. It was written for children to read, therefore, it isn't going to be elaborately written as if it were for a well-educated adult. It is written in a way that children can understand, but is also written beautifully and full of color. I love J.K. Rowling's writing style. She's an amazing storyteller and if I could, I would sit and listen to her read the chapters of her books (not only because I love British accents!). It just seems to me that if her writing style is that of a wonderful storyteller, she would also speak in such a way that could capture an audience.

Now I will discuss Harry Potter himself. Even if you've never read the books or seen the movies, you know who he is: The Chosen One. The Boy Who Lived. The boy who slept in the cupboard under the stairs, who lived with his aunt, uncle and cousin and was miserable there. The boy with the lightning shaped scar on his forehead and round glasses. Whose parents were killed by an evil wizard named Voldemort (this shouldn't come as a shock to anyone!).Yes, that boy.

At the beginning of the book, we are seeing the world through his uncle, Vernon Dursley's, eyes. We see that he and his wife are as plain as you can get, and we see Vernon noticing things out of the ordinary, something he doesn't approve of. He likes ordinary. And at the end of the day, though he doesn't know it, a few wizards drop a baby boy on his doorstep. That boy's name is Harry Potter.

Fast-forward 10 years, and the boy is living in the cupboard under the stairs, no idea that he's a wizard, until on his eleventh birthday, a giant comes to visit him and gives him his acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. From their, we enter into the wizarding world, finding it more wondrous, magnificent and magical than we ever thought possible. It's a world we just want to jump through the pages to get to. To live in and experience for ourselves. The world that J.K. Rowling has created in this book is far more spectacular than anything we could have imagined for ourselves. And it's quite clear from the very first pages, why everyone loves this story so much.

We follow Harry through Diagon Alley, as awed and inspired as he is, as he makes his way through Gringott's bank and then on to all the shops, buying his school supplies. And then we're on Platform 9 3/4 boarding the Hogwarts Express, where he makes a few new friends. We're with him as he's Sorted into a house, and goes to all of his classes, and puts together the pieces of a mysterious evil lurking around the Hogwarts grounds. He battles many things, including not-so-nice teachers and the school bully, all the while, learning about the world he would've grown up in if Voldemort hadn't killed his parents.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is mystical, magical, wonderful fun, with hidden dangers, courageous and love-to-hate characters. It's a children's book that will be read for generations to come (and yes, I intend on reading to my son!). I guess my biased opinion didn't go unnoticed in this review?? Haha!


I rate this book:


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Happy Reading

-Kelly