BookPeople is buzzing. Everyone is getting excited about the arrival of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II, so excited that we’re throwing a midnight release party! (Get your vouchers here!) And so excited that one of our booksellers, Melissa, is going back and rereading all of the original seven Harry Potter books and giving us her input on what it’s like to read these treasures as an adult. Check out what she has to say below!
(If you haven’t read the series, first off, do it now. Second off, don’t let me be the reason something gets spoiled. Please don’t read this blurb unless you’ve read the series.)
The Chamber of Secrets has been opened! And let’s be honest, so has our excitement. Despite Harry still being so young things are getting much more serious. Still written in an innocent matter, Harry learns his first real connection to You-Know-Who, and everyone at Hogwarts starts to realize things are a little crazy, not just Harry, Ron, and Hermione. One of my favorite parts of this book is the loyalty that Ron and Hermione show, despite their natural instinct (like everyone else in the school) to fear his ability to speak to snakes, and that he is hearing voices that no one else can hear.
We should also talk about how great the sneakiness of Ginny being used for all the evil doings is. Done without anyone having any suspicions towards her it gives the book a sense of mystery that you didn’t realize was there. It could have only been someone sneaky and evil, right? Nope. Ginny all along. As a first time reader, I’m sure it was shocking, but as a fourth time reader it’s almost frustrating to read at times when the trio don’t notice the obvious signs coming from Ron’s little sister… but then again, they are all twelve. I wasn’t too observation at that age either, let’s be honest.
Moving on to something great about the book that I mentioned a little bit earlier, but I think I need to further explain: we are first introduced to the amazing use of Polyjuice Potion because Hermione, thank goodness, actually reads books (which I also think is one of the first signs showing how badass Hermione Granger truly is), and then we have Ron throwing up slugs for Hermione (showing the first signs of how amazing of a friend Ron Weasley is to have around); therefore dipping more into Harry’s best friends’ personalities, instead of mainly being focused on Harry and his journey. And of course friendship is a big part of the first book, but I think in this book the friendship between the three of them really begins to blossom and you can feel, just by reading how much they all support one another, how important all that is. Their friendship and loyalty is one of my favorite parts of this whole series.
This may have the reputation as one of the slowest in the series, but I will always have a spot for it in my heart because my first HP experience was watching this movie. To this day I still find it an incredibly clever book, and I feel like Rowling really got a grasp (or at least was slowly revealing to us) how intricate the Wizarding World can be. Our first horcrux is introduced before our very eyes here! And as first time readers we had no idea that’s why Tom Riddle is seen as a ghost like creature. But as a fourth time reader it makes me feel like JK Rowling’s sense of foreshadowing is a force to be reckoned with. Also a quick read on my part.