Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord's curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Escaping from his unbearable Muggle guardians to Hogwarts, Harry stumbles into a sinister adventure when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous, or both.

I don't know what number re-reading this would have been...maybe the 5th...or 6th? And that I still can't put it down once I start reading, even now, attests to why this is my favourite series of books! I love Harry Potter. I'm a big fan - have been since I first read this book almost 10 years ago, and always will be.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a fun introduction to a series that gets much darker and more intense as it continues. We meet Harry, a 10 year old boy living in the cupboard under the stairs of his Aunt and Uncle's home. He is a lonely boy who has been led to believe that his parents were killed in a car accident. When mysterious letters begin to arrive - letters his Uncle refuses to let him have - Harry's life changes forever. He is a wizard, invited to learn magic at the Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and famous for his survival of Lord Voldemort's curse. So begins Harry first year at Hogwarts, where he learns not only magic, but about friendship, family and the true power of love.

Rowling weaves a story that ensnares you from the first page. Her world is imaginative and her characters endearing. Harry, Ron and Hermione's friendship is one of the best I've read - they make me giggle. Each character sticks with you, from start to end, no matter if you like them or not. I've always been a little in awe of how certain things come together from book to book. I haven't read the series since just before the release of the 7th book, so it's interesting to be re-reading them knowing the absolute conclusion to each character's story. It's also hard - I truly feel for these characters. They're old friends, and it's both great and heartbreaking to revisit them.

As I'm sure my reviews as I re-read the books will simply be gushing, I've decided for the Potter-Thon Challenge to add a little something else - a favourite scene I may or may not have forgotten about 7 books later!

For PS, I'm going with the Quidditch scene when Gryffindor versus Slytherin, and Snape is refereeing. Draco, Crabbe and Goyle are up to their usual taunting of Ron and Neville, who retaliate with fists while Hermione is oblivious, watching Harry's dive for the Snitch.

"Before Malfoy knew what was happening, Ron was on top of him, wrestling him to the ground. Neville hesitated, then clambered over the back of his seat to help...she didn't even notice Malfoy and Ron rolling around under her seat, or the scuffles and yelps coming from the whirl of fists that was Neville, Crabbe and Goyle...'Ron! Ron! Where are you?'"

Makes me laugh out loud!



  1. I love that scene too! Thanks for participating in the Potter-Thon!! :)

  2. Thanks again for hosting, Lori, I'm enjoying re-reading the series!