Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

May 31, 2013 Review 0 ★★★★★

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #1
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on 1997 June 26
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: Hardbound
Source: Purchased
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five-stars

Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

Friends, I know that this is an ultra-late post and I am sorry for that. I am still making my best effort to create a blog posting schedule that would work out for my busy life. And I know that no one is harassing me to post immediately. However, when I decided to start this blog, I promised to myself that I make everything work out and that I’ll ensure that my first efforts in blogging weren’t wasted.

I’m not sure if you’ve read one of my posts where I explicitly announced that Harry Potter was the main reason why I became addicted to books. And it has been ages since the first book was released and yet, I can still perfectly recount how I met “The Boy Who Lived.” It was in my high school years when I was dedicating my precious time reading Pinoy romance short stories when one of my closest friends nearly harassed me to buy the first two books (SS and CoS). I can still remember how my mother was irritated when I didn’t stop asking her for the two books every time she went home and forgot to buy it. I wasn’t really keen to read the book but I just want to have it so that my other friend would stop pestering me.

At long last, our family had an out-of-town trip one day and that was when I was able to get hold of the two books. Although I Immediately fell in love with the cover, I was still hesitant to read it because my patience and attention is only programmed to read short stories. But my friend was really adamant that I read it because it’s one of the amazing things in the world. And so I did. And today, 11 years later since HP 1, I am still suffering from Harry Potter withdrawal.

I understand that most of you who’s reading this post right now have already been to the world of Harry and have read countless of reviews for this epitome of book perfection and would have been trying to compose a mail to tell me to shut up and make a review for newer books. If that’s the case, I am begging your pardon then. Harry and his world is a part of me and I don’t think that this blog would not completely represent me if I do not make a review of my beloved series. I don’t care if you wouldn’t read it… I don’t care if it’s a waste of time for you. But I am posting this because I owe Harry.

With HP, it was love at first read. I immediately fell head-over-heels inlove with the first chapter of SS that I only stopped reading to eat or to get a little sleep. And since I will be starting to annoy you to death, here is my blow-by-blow analysis for HP 1:

Plot

As I’ve said, HP is the epitome of book perfection. I am impressed with the plot, with the setting and with everything that’s been going on in the world of Harry. It might be a children’s book but what sets it apart from the others is that it has depth. It has unexpected twists that is absent from the other children’s books that I’ve read.

The book is captivating with the fact that it tells the story of an ordinary boy who despite of everything, despite the kind of life Destiny has given him, chose to be strong and rose to the challenge of battling evil at all costs.

The story consistently portrayed a picture of heroic and wicked deeds all throughout the book that you cannot just help biting your nails every time you turn a page. It was like daydreaming an epic story set in a very wonderful world where everything is almost perfect. From the setting, to the story, to the hero, to the villain and to the supporting cast, everything was flawless.

Another thing that I love the book is that even if everything seems to be unrealistic, it was realistic. It does not talk about forever happy endings. But rather about present happy endings that entailed a lot of sacrifices along the way. And that would constantly involve a lot of sacrifices to maintain those happy endings.

Sorcerer’s stone ended wonderfully and yet it was only just the beginning, the opening salvo of one of the world’s greatest book adventures.

Characters

I don’t know how JK Rowling did it but Harry Potter and the rest of the gang felt so real. Like they’re living, breathing human specimen we’ve known for years. Everyone in the cast were individuals whom we can relate, who resembled real people that we’ve met over the years. They’re witty, funny, and most of all, imperfect. And like us, they are also battling and absorbed in their own daily troubles, trying to survive one day at a time. That even with magic, they are also encumbered by mundane things such as petty fights with their close friends, immaturity and materialism.

My favorite characters of the book were of course:

  • Harry- He wasn’t handsome, not even the brightest, a product of painful unfortunate events and when you look at him, he was just one of the ordinary boys whom you’ll pass by without giving your most coveted second look. But his bravery and unwavering belief in goodness made all the difference in the world of magic.
  • Ron- Do I have to say it? He’s immature, an idiot and the funniest of the three friends.
  • Hermione- I.like.her.bossy.and.know-it-all.attitude.
  • The Dursleys- I have a love-hate feeling for these three. I hate them so much that I always look forward to reading about them. They’re a moronic, conceited, bullying family who always insist that Harry is non-existent and yet, their daily lives are unknowingly centered on him whom they hated so much
  • Fred and George- Well, who wouldn’t love guys oozing with sense of humor? They are the walking and talking joke books without the corny moments.
  • Dumbledore- I just wished that every teacher in the whole world is as cool as Professor Dumbledore.
  • Voldemort- Harry and his world would have never been a “to-die-for-read” if this *Y@*@%^# of a villain did not exist.

Interactions and Dialogue

As I am typing this portion of the review, I am already smiling from ear to ear. JK Rowling really knew how to bring fun, sadness, suspense, thrill, hair-standing moments in one book. Every time I read the convo of every character, it feels like I’m there, listening to all their hubbubs. And I am laughing, crying, fighting with them.

Sometimes it felt more real being in the company of the gang than being here in the physical world. Their witty jokes, snide comments, practical remarks were stress relievers and oftentimes, it creates the opposite, stressing the hell out of me.

JK Rowling is a master of words. Master in a way that when the character talks, it is already enough to set their identity apart from each other.

Lessons learned from the Book

In our childhood years until these days, we’ve been presented with a lot of fairy tale books and the lesson that we can always glean from them is those of heroism and loyalty. In HP, we also have these but it in a more intense portrayal of what it takes to be a hero. They do not need to wield swords, or be the handsome blue eyed knight in shining armor. But HP tells us that even ordinary people like us can be a hero in our own little ways.

HP also teaches us that no one is perfect and yet, that doesn’t prevent us from consistently doing the right things and creating the right decisions at all costs…and that includes doing the right thing even at the face of adversaries.

HP also tells reminds us one of the ancient Bible teachings, do not do unto others what you don’t want to do them unto you as greatly portrayed how Voldemort was defeated by the infant Harry.

And lastly, we must never waver in believing in the good because it is the only thing that keeps the evil at bay.

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