It was the year 1999 and I had joined Year 6 at school – the final year at little school before I went into big school! I was sat in class and my teacher began to read something I had heard about called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as a treat one day.
A year later and I had joined the “big school” and had all the trials and tribulations that came with that: starting new subjects, experiencing different teachers, making new friends. I tried to make friends with these 2 kids but at first they would not let me into their group because I was not a Harry Potter fan.
Even at the age of 11 I refused to get into fads. I still do now, hence why I never downloaded Pokemon Go, didn’t read 50 Shades of Grey or particularly enjoy Snapchat Filters. But, despite Harry Potter and the Cursed Child being released, I thought it was safe to start reading Harry Potter, now that the fad had worn off.
How much have I ignored Harry Potter?
Well to tell you the truth, I was dragged to the cinema to see the 4th film when it came out (and had no idea who was what) and besides that brief encounter via Mrs Knowles in year 6, I had never read one word contained in any book. Now, as spoilers are an unavoidable part of our daily life, I do know certain things…
I know Ron and Hermione end up together. I know about Harry’s scar being half of Vold…You-Know-Who, or something. And some other things. And I know most of which actors played which parts in the films. And that apparently the Prisoner of Azkaban is, like, the best ever! Also, half way through reading it, my girlfriend spoiled the reason why Snape is so mean to Harry Potter.
But, the following is my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, with no hype, no peer pressure and no idea what happens in the further Harry Potter books:
Yeah, it’s good.
I can see why people got behind it. Is the writing perfect? No, but then it is J.K. Rowling’s debut novel. The story feels rushed and I thought the first half of the book was better than the second. When I started reading about Hagrid’s dragon I just thought, oh get on with it (until I realised that it was vital to the climax of the story (but, still it felt a little shoehorned in)). Also, when I pictured Professor McGonagall, I did not see Maggie Smith playing her but a younger actress. Not sure if that is the book’s fault, however that is how I felt.
Finally, how do Muggles not see people running through the wall to get to platform 9 3/4?
NOW before the haters start hating, let me tell you what I did like:
I liked how it took time for Harry and Ron to like Hermione and how the Dursley’s were described. The whole world was really immersive and well thought out with no details spared. I did not see the twist with Professor Quirrell, that dastardly, stammering wizard! Also, I loved how You-Know-Who is not introduced fully formed. It makes me crave reading the next book because we have only had but a taste of this villainous snake. The way Voldemort is described and how characters react to him just builds him up and promises so much. I can believe the hype around ol’ Voldy and his and Harry’s backstory is solid. I just hope I am not let down.
I now know Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a book in the Harry Potter universe.
Although I have not watched the film yet (next on my list) I read everything Snape said in Alan Rickman’s voice. Snape is BADASS and Rickman was the perfect choice.
No sign of Dumbledore being gay and Hermione is definitely not described as being either white or black so why don’t we all just cool our jets about that!
Right now, I am reading about Harry’s worst birthday ever in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I have met Dobby. Thoughts on him are coming when I finish the second book.
Also I will watch the film which, having read the book looks perfect from the trailer…
Thanks for reading,