Monday, February 8, 2016

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

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Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: September 1998

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

I feel silly even posting this review, because it seems like I'm one of the only people who hasn't read the Harry Potter series yet. I think part of the reason I put it off for so long is due to all the hype surrounding it; these things rarely live up to your expectations. Never-the-less, I finally gave in and ordered Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Whether I loved it or hated it, at least I could finally say I had read it.

I'm just going to come right out and say it: I thought this first book in the series was fantastic. I was already a little familiar with all of the characters, just from hearing everyone else talk about them, but now I understand why people love them so much. I don't know why, but I didn't expect Harry to be quite so brave. He wasn't afraid to stand up for his friends, no matter the cost. Ron was a great friend, and I thought his family was pretty awesome, even his troublemaker brothers. I can see why it would be hard for Ron to grow up in his older brothers' shadows, yet you can see how that would be enviable to someone like Harry who grew up without his parents and had no siblings. Hermione started out as such a know-it-all and slightly annoying, overly concerned about following every little rule at Hogwarts. When she eventually befriends Harry and Ron, and gets involved with trying to help figure out how to stop the Sorcerer's Stone from being stolen, she really starts to shine. Part of the reason I enjoyed the ending so much is because it showcased each of their strengths and showed how these three friends really need each other.

I don't think there has ever been a more despicable family than the Dursleys. Ok, maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but they were just awful. Poor Harry. I hope at some point in this series they get what's coming to them for verbally (and possibly physically) abusing Harry his whole life. And when they weren't being completely horrible to him, they were ignoring him completely. 

I liked that there was some mystery and suspense to the story. I wasn't really expecting that for some reason, and I especially wasn't expecting any sort of plot twists. I was pleasantly surprised that it kept me guessing up until the end. 

This was just a fabulous, fun, exciting start to a series. I may not have been a Harry Potter fan before, but I am now. And yes, I've already ordered the next three books in the series! I'm guessing it is only going to get crazier and more intense from here on out, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Not sure if you all have checked out Pottermore yet - I'm sure most of you have though. If not, definitely go check it out for exclusive content, as well as a chance to go through your own sorting ceremony. I ended up in Hufflepuff; which house are you in?

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