Sunday, December 6, 2009

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Alright I know, we’ve all read Harry Potter at least 400 times and seen the movie just as much. And I know that if I give this book a bad review, I’ll be automatically shunned by society. Believe me; I don’t plan to give this book a bad review.

So, if you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade and don’t know what Harry Potter is, first of all, my condolences, and second, the plot is pretty basic. 13 year old boy wizard Harry Potter is in his third year at Hogwarts (magic school, not to be confused with Pigfarts (haha nerd jokes)) and he is trying to avoid the escaped prisoner Sirius Black while living through normal teen wizard life. Still with me? Great!

Now, although I have read this book dozens of times, there are a few reasons why I keep reading it.

First of all, I personally feel that as a true fan, you have to reread the series every few years. I’m long overdue for a series reread. The general plan is to reread a Harry Potter book after I finish a few other books so they will be a bit spread out on here, which isn’t bad. We all need a few doses of Harry Potter every now and then. Since it’s been so long since I read these books, I’ve started to confuse what happens in them with things that happen in the movies. I’m glad that it’s all getting cleared up. Along those same lines, I’m noticing the things they have been leaving out in the movies and getting more and more upset. The information that seemed meaningless in the third book will end up being crucial in the seventh movie! Come on Hollywood directing types, pay closer attention!

Second, J.K. Rowling is a masterful writer. I’m glad I’m reading these books again as an older person so I can pick up an all the subtleties that she adds. Can you imagine how well she had to plan out her entire series before she even began writing her books? Throughout her books, she sprinkles little bits of foreshadowing here and there that don’t show up again until the seventh book. If you remember, in the third book, Professor Trelawney predicts the whole thing about the slave rejoining his master and helping him come back. Later in the book, Dumbledore remarks that that is the second correct prophecy that Trelawney has predicted. He is hinting at something that doesn’t become important until the 5th book! And even the littlest things that she writes about become main things or provide hints about events to come. The fact that she can keep all of those things straight is truly quite amazing.

Third, Harry Potter just makes me happy. Rowling has created such a relatable character that has faults and grew up along with the reader. The first book came out when my generation was eleven and we grew up with Harry. Rowling kept every year realistic by making the events match up to what her readers were experiencing. I couldn’t help but smile at the end of the book when Harry returned to the Dursley’s after his year at school to begin his summer vacation. As corny as this story could be, Rowling makes it so hopeful and alive. The happy endings that fill the books just make you love the characters and the story more.

As a Hogwarts hopeful that is still waiting for her acceptance letter, I can’t help but want to read Harry Potter. And after reading some pretty serious books recently, it was nice to fly back into my childhood with Harry. Now it’s back to real life and more serious reading!

Until next time, happy reading! Send me your book recommendations if you have them, I’d be happy to check them out and review them all! Leave any comments below! I’d love to hear them!

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