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.)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
Right off I’m going to say that this book took me the longest to read. And it isn’t due to length or any type of problem like that. I think the problem is two different problems: First, I didn’t want it to end. That’s an obvious one. Secondly, I was becoming a little restless and ready to read other things. I realize these two things contradict each other, but perhaps that just created another reason for my slow reading. That’s not to say I didn’t love every moment I spent reading. Because seriously, I did. There is not a part of the book that I don’t think is fantastic. Sure, some of the deaths feel like a personal attack… but JK Rowling did it to help finish a fantastic series in a fantastic way… and she succeeded.
First, I’m going to mention one of my favorite parts of the book that was not included in the movie… and that is Harry saying bye to the Dursleys. I could give a rat’s butt about Vernon and Petunia’s goodbyes, what I care about is Dudley. Harry spent so much of his childhood seeing all three of these characters as some kind of enemy, but really, once Dudley was old enough to make his own decisions and form his own ideas, he was always on Harry’s side. It can be disheartening to think that Harry was so blind to this, but I guess he was a little preoccupied. I just really love that moment, it gets me every time. And I like to think these two met back up at some point in their lives, and actually became cousins.
The book truly becomes exciting for me when the camping begins. I know for a lot of people it seems a little unnecessary, but I have always genuinely enjoyed all the journey leading up to actual figuring out how to destroy the first Horcrux and finding all the others. It shows the struggle of our three young magical friends and shows how truly loyal they all are to one another. I’ve mentioned in the past that their loyalty is one of my favorite parts of the series and this sticks true for me. Even with Ron leaving, knowing the later knowledge that he never gave up finding them again just shows me that beautiful friendship. And one of my absolute favorite scenes in the Deathly Hallows is Ron finding Harry in the small lake, saving him, then destroying the Horcrux himself. On that same note, I love Hermione more in this novel than I ever have before. When I was younger I was a little on the fence about her, for whatever reason, (I got over that a long time ago… don’t you worry) and now, as an adult, I am blown away reading how much she still kept everything together, considering what they were all going through. I am happy that JK Rowling focused so much on the camping because it wouldn’t have felt like a proper end of a series if she didn’t focus on their friendship’s journey as much as she did. Plus remembering details about the trio destroying Horcruxes, but not remembering how they got to those conclusions, made reading the discoveries and turning wheels all that more satisfying.
I obviously can’t do a complete play-by-play of the book, but just because I don’t mention a scene or the death of an importantly loved character doesn’t mean it or they weren’t as equally important to me. This book is a beautiful masterpiece, and everything about it is good. I just can’t really write an endless blog post, but I would if I could.
Back to what this blog post is actually about: Yes, the Hogwarts battle is equal parts fascinating and horrifying. Horrifying because of all the deaths that make our hearts feel like they’re being ripped out of our chests. But fascinating because of how well it all flows and all comes together. It’s so action packed and so moving that you don’t want to put it down, not even for a second… and all those scenes wrapped together are read probably quicker than any other part of the book because of their importance to the series as a whole.
Guaranteed, the part with the Resurrection Stone and James, Lily, Sirius and Remus coming to guide Harry through his knowing death, will make me cry every. Single. Time. It doesn’t matter if it’s in book form or movie form, I am going to cry like a baby. Even thinking about it or talking about it with others, or just me writing about it makes me tear up. But it is beautiful and it is fascinating. It is the one scene is this entire series that I have put down my laptop in the middle of writing this and reread it because I felt so compelled. Everything about that whole scene is amazing and I will stand by that being one of my favorite scenes in any book ever till my last breath. My respect, and my love, and the fact that JK Rowling is my writing mentor all comes down to that six-page scene in all the whole 4,224 pages that are in the series. It will forever mean the most to me.
How do I end this blog post? It’s harder than I thought it would be. I’ve had so much fun writing all these and it means so much to me that you’ve all enjoyed them as much as you have and that you’ve all read them. That’s the beautiful thing about Harry Potter… it reaches all different types of people and all different generations, and to all have this in common is a true testament to how brilliant the whole of this series and JK Rowling are. I am eternally grateful and I know you all are too. I am beyond words on how proud I am to be a Potterhead, and I cannot wait to reread it again in the years to come. Maybe next time I’ll be able to do it in only the illustrated versions that are coming out.
Also, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be here soon! And so will Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them! We are a lucky fandom, that’s for sure. And we all have JK Rowling to thank for everything that has been and will come in the future. What an amazing inspiration and an incredible woman.
I hope to see you all on July 30th at 10pm for the release party of the Cursed Child! I don’t know about you, but I’m counting down the days. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my costume together by then. :]