My Harry Potter Journal Part 2 - Finished Reading The First Book
Welcome to my second Harry Potter Journal. For those of you who don't know, I've just started reading the Harry Potter series and up until last week, I had never read a Harry Potter book, or even seen a movie. However, after dodging the hype for well over a decade, I decided it was about time I do so. I know I'm one of the few people in this generation to have neglected Harry Potter to such an extent, so I figured some fans might find it interesting to read about my feelings as I progress through the series. Perhaps I can remind you about how you felt when you were reading the series, or if you're like me and haven't read the series, maybe I can motivate you to start! My original article about starting this series of journals can be read here.
In this journal, I have finished reading the entire first novel. I started last week and wrote my first journal after reading the first 5 chapters. What started off very slow quickly turned out to be easily one of the most exciting things I've ever read (granted I haven't read a lot). From what I've been told, the first book doesn't even come close to the excitement of the others.
After Reading Chapters 6 - 8
Finally introduced to the main cast of the series! In my first journal, I predicted that the snobby kid Harry met when he was trying on his clothes would be Ron, but that was in fact Malfoy. I've heard all these names before, so it feels good to understand who they finally are. Ron seems like a shy innocent kid, who's just trying to live up to his older brothers. Hermione seems like the most interesting character to me so far. J.K. Rowling is obviously portraying her as the teacher's pet type attention-seeker, who is full of hope and determination. At the same time, she seems like a really friendly and talkative person. I'm interested to see how Hermione's character will develop, and what her history is. I've heard from others that Hermione eventually ends up dating Ron or something of the sort, guess I'll have to wait to find out if that's true or not. Another thing I'm wondering is, why is Hermione spelled the way it is when its pronunciation is so far off. And is it even a real name or is it something that Rowling just decided to make up? All in all it's a pretty weird name and I can't help pronouncing it like it's spelled while reading the book.
Some new plot developments are (finally) taking place. There seems to be a robbery that occurred at Gringotts the same day that Hagrid and Harry were there. Mysteriously, Hagrid had gotten a package from one of the rooms and when Harry questioned Hagrid about it he just changed the subject. I'm not even really interested in this though, doesn't seem like that big of a deal at this point. I think Rowling just added this little conflict in the first book just for the sake of adding it, while her main goal is just to establish the plot and characters. One of my friends told me that the story doesn't really pick up much until The Prisoner of Azkaban.
Another thing that's happening is that Snape seems to dislike Harry. Considering Snape is from Slytherin, and the impression I'm getting is that people from Slytherin sort of looked up to Voldemort, it only makes sense that Snape hates Harry right? I don't know, but I've heard the name Snape before and I always thought he was a villain. Although that just may be because the word sounds like snake.
A few more chapters
The whole idea of Quidditch is the one thing I feel like the movie will always portray better than the book. The whole sport seems confusing enough as it is, with like 4 things going on at once, but I guess that's just to convey how challenging of a game it is.
The chapter with the giant troll is by far the most exciting so far. I mean, it does feel like everything was happening at just the right time, like Ron learning the spell and Hermione just happening to be in the same room as the troll, but it was constructed in a way where the events happening made sense and everything had significance. Hermione was upset so it made sense she wasn't at the banquet. Granted however, that it was kind of a cheesy chapter, I like how it solidified the friendship of the three main characters. The quote at the end of the chapter I especially liked, "There are some things you can't share without liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."
After finishing the book - overall opinion
Well, I've finally read my first Harry Potter book. I never knew this day would come, I always thought if anything I'd just watch the movies. The second half of the book really picked up, a lot of stuff happened and there was already a pretty big plot twist that happened - I hear J.K. Rowling really likes those? I was totally caught off guard when it was revealed that Quirrel was the one trying to steal the Philosopher's stone the entire time. I mean, I know JK Rowling set it up so Snape would look bad throughout the book, but I think I was a little more biased because even before reading the book I'd only heard the name Snape before and considered him a bad guy from the get-go. The back-story about Harry's father and Snape was also pretty interesting, I'm assuming more of that will be covered in the books to come.
I'm interested to see how eveyrthing is depicted in the movie, I'll probably be watching that soon in a day or two, and will write another entry with my thoughts about the first movie, and how I feel it compares to the book. I'm sure there are millions of comparisons out there between the movie and book, but most of them are probably from avid fans who are biased towards whatever they read or saw first, whereas I literally just jumped on the Harry Potter wagon last week and so hope to be a little less biased. I'm pretty sure I'll end up liking the book better though, which is what the majority opinion seems to be.
At this point, I'm officially a Harry Potter fan and have even added it as the only book I like on facebook. If you read my initial journal entry, you know that I'm not a big fan of reading. I slowly made it through the first Harry Potter book in a week by reading a few chapters a day, usually before bed. However, I think already I'm opening up more towards reading. I'm planning on reading the entire Harry Potter series, of course, but beyond that, I already have a list of other books I'd like to check out as well. I know the Harry Potter books are a fairly light read, so I'm not going to get into anything too mind numbing yet, but I hope to become one of those people that can read anything and still understand it. I've always tried to like reading but usually gave up on any book I read for one reason or another, but I think Harry Potter has finally paved the way for me.
My Harry Potter Journal Series
- Introduction: I Have Never Read a Harry Potter Book or Seen a Harry Potter Movie
- Part 1 - After Reading the First 5 Chapters
- Part 2 - Finished Reading The First Book
- Part 3 - Chamber of Secrets and First Two Movies
- Part 4 - The HORRIBLE Prisoner of Azkaban Movie