Today’s post is positively bookish. And it’s all about one of the greatest series of all time about the struggle between good and evil, between doing what is right and what is easy. Harry Freakin’ Potter.
I’ve re-read the first three Harry Potter books so far this year in between other books. As of writing this, I am currently on my 24th read of the year (Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, which is really good so far!), but I wanted to write a post about my HP rereads. And let me tell you, I did not realize how much I freaking love these books. It’s been a long time since I read the books and I had never even started the audiobooks, but I wanted to do a full Harry Potter series reread this year and use the audiobooks to do so. And while reading, all of those little details came back to me that I had forgotten about since the last read. More importantly, all of that love and obsession and magic came back as well. This is a brilliant series. If you somehow are part of the 0.5% of people who haven’t read Harry Potter, give the first one a go. It’s truly a magical experience. Rowling created a LARGE, detailed world filled with all kinds of creatures, characters, and stories. It’s one of a kind, and it deserves its legendary status.
Enough gushing. I’m supposed to tell you all about my experience rereading it, right? Let’s start back in January when I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Philosopher’s Stone for other folks). Starting it back up with those iconic opening lines about the Dursleys, Harry’s horrible aunt and uncle, gave me chills, y’all. Yes, I just read the OPENING lines and there were chills. Reading about Harry finding out he’s a wizard and his first experiences at Hogwarts (the school of witchcraft and wizardry) made me smile. True, the plot of this one is somewhat basic to some, but I believe that’s only because the later books contain such deep details and dark themes surrounding Harry’s parents and Voldemort, the villain of the story. This first installment is such a nice introduction into a rich world and it really does set a solid foundation for the rest of the series. Because of this, it’s got a special little place in my heart.
Not too long after, I picked up the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Now, I’m not going to lie to you. This one was my favorite growing up. Don’t ask me why. It could be because of the movie, the mystery aspect, the time jumping, or the book’s cover art. Or any combination of those. But, I have always preferred this one to the first, even though I love the first book. Like I mentioned a couple sentences ago, this book contains a mystery and I’m a sucker for mysteries. In this book, Harry and his friends, Ron and Hermione have to find out who has opened the Chamber of Secrets (a hidden place within the castle built by one of its founders that houses a monster). It had a horror/thriller element to it that I just ate up as a kid. Not only this, but we also get a tiny glimpse into Voldemort’s adolescent years and his time at Hogwarts before becoming the villain we all know and fear. I finished this one quickly, possibly due to the fact that the first two books are quite shorter than the others.
Several months (and books) later, I started Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. If you aren’t familiar with this series, just ask any Potterhead what their favorite book in the series is, and I bet you ten bucks they’ll say this one. It’s many people’s favorites for a reason. Harry and his friends are getting a little older, and now for his third year at Hogwarts, a killer has escaped from Azkaban, the notorious wizard prison known for making its inhabitants go mad. This man, Sirius Black (one of my FAVORITE characters), was best friends with Harry’s parents, James and Lily Potter before their demise at the hands of Voldemort. Black was blamed for leading Voldemort to the Potters and has escaped from Azkaban after twelve years. This book goes more in depth about Harry’s dad’s time at Hogwarts. (Can you tell I like backstory?) With the help of a map that shows everything and everyone at Hogwarts (courtesy of his dad and his dad’s friends), Harry learns the truth about the night his parents died and his ties to Sirius Black. Before, this one wasn’t my favorite, but I still loved it. But now, after rereading it, I have a better appreciation for it. It’s now a contender for my favorite of the series. We’ll see if that changes as I continue my reread for the rest of the year.
By the way, while this is considered a series reread, I haven’t actually read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth book in the series. (shields self from reader) It’s the biggest book of the bunch, and maybe that’s why I was intimidated at the time. It also doesn’t help that when I read the series for the first time, I read them out of order. I read the sixth book, then the seventh, then the first through the fourth, conveniently skipping the fifth. I don’t know why or how that happened, but I’m making up for it now.
Over the course of the year so far, my Harry Potter obsession has totally come back. Besides reading the books, I’ve listened to the soundtracks, played the mobile games, and even dressed in my Harry Potter-inspired clothes. And I’m not ashamed ONE BIT.
I really hope you’ll consider reading (or rereading) the series. It’s truly one of the best.