Rating: 5/5 stars. Highly recommended!
Genre(s): Fiction; Young Adult; Fantasy; Children’s
Published: Published September 1st 2014 by Bloomsbury (first published June 26th 1997)
Pages: 332 (Paperback)
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.
After a decade I think, I’m picking this series up again. I used to reread Harry Potter so much waiting for the next book to come out! Just the first sentence of one of the most beloved series of all time takes me back down memory lane:
“Mr & Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were very normal, thank you very much.”
This brought me back to the first time I ever heard of Harry Potter, which was from my sister. She gave me this book just before the movie came out in 2001 – I remembered asking her why there are two titles for this book. I remembered vividly asking her if it was true about the reason behind the author using the pen name J. K. Rowling instead of Joanne Kathleen Rowling. It was through this moment that I learned about gender inequality. This book marks history for me. It was when my years of reading spree started. I read books before but not as urgently and enthusiastically as after Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was through this book that I found out reading could be so… entertaining.
Reading this again, I can hear Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe’s voices with their expressions and all. I can’t tell you how many reruns I’ve done especially of the first two movies.
Thanks to Snape: A Definitive Reading, I’m paying extra special attention to Snape this time around. It’s so true; If you want to know the truth of what’s going on, you really just have to pay attention to Snape. As a kid, I remembered wondering why he was behaving a certain way, and this makes me realise why J. K. Rowling’s writing is amazing – as kids, you’d enjoy the story-telling and as adults, you’re able to read between the lines. It’s not easy to tackle two completely different reading audience in one go. It’s told in a middle-grade(ish) way but carries such important and heavy topics such as family love, loyalty, bravery, etc.
I know this is so clichè but my favourite passage from this book would be:
“But from that moment on Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
This book ticks off item(s) from my reading challenges this year!
✅ 25: Reread (2018 Full House Reading Challenge)