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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

Harry Potter & The Girl Who is Semi-Late to the Party

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

author's note: this is a mix of review of the books as well as sharing my own experience with the series.

 

Being a part of the generation that grew up with Harry Potter has been interesting, mostly because until now I had never completely read the series.

Several years back - in college - I had the first book put in my hands and I was told to read it. I did. I liked it. I never got around to reading any of the others. It had nothing to do with whether or not I liked it, because I enjoyed the first book. I am just not motivated to read books that people constantly tell me I need to read.


Because of most of my friends being avid fans of the series, I already knew which Hogwarts house I'm in - Ravenclaw. And because of ABCFamily, I saw all of the movies because they had marathon weekends almost every weekend when I was in college. So this was one of those series that I saw the movies before the books, therefore I had an idea of what I was getting into. At the same time, plenty of people had said that most of the movies were like the books. So I didn't really feel like I was missing out on anything by procrastinating on reading them.

 

SIDE NOTE: Another reason why I hadn't read them as a kid was because I wasn't allowed to - yes, I was a part of that crowd. The "not allowed to, and won't go behind mom and dad's back to learn what everyone is talking about" crowd.


found via Google Images

Now I have completed the whole series and I am tempted to just start all over again.

The ride that the series takes you on is wonderful. And I can see why so many of my generation are in love with the series. Rowling has crafted a world that stirs something up inside you that creates a desire to just be fully immersed in that world completely. I found it easy to allow myself to simply focus on the story that was being told.


Because of the "backwards" route of movie to book I took - as I was reading them, it made me appreciate a good number of the casting choices that much more. For example, Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart - I was equally annoyed by both book Lockhart and movie Lockhart. Emma Watson as Hermione Granger - I grew to love the character in both realms.


Naturally the benefit of reading the series is learning the information that they cut from the movies for the sake of time. But there is also a different perspective of certain characters to be seen. For example, Ginny Weasley in the books seems to have more of a connection with all of her relationships (family, friends, and dating) and I felt like I got more of a complete look at the complexity of the character in the book, than is seen in the movie. Even to an extent, I gained some respect for the character of Draco Malfoy that didn't fully exist before.


One of the things that made the series a satisfying read, to me, was the fact that I felt inspired to tell my own stories. And I'm not talking about personal stories - I'm talking about the fictional stories that I have floating around in my head. I love reading books that make me want to scratch the writing itch even more than I already do. It doesn't matter if the book is relevant to what I'm writing about. It's amazing to me when I read stories that create a desire to share the stories that I have in me.

 

When I started the series I hadn't planned on trying to read the whole series in a month.

At the same time, I wasn't expecting to get sucked in and constantly want to know more. For the first three books, I didn't listen to them outside of my car. But once I got to The Goblet of Fire, I just wanted to know what happened next and I listened whenever I could. Right there at the end (books 6 and 7), I almost pulled an all-nighter just to finish the series. But sleep won in that battle.


Now my plan is to watch all of the movies again. I tried to watch one after I finished the book, but that didn't quite work out with time and life. But it's been cool seeing how things are tweaked or changed when going from paper to screen.


I may be a little tardy to the party, but I'm glad I decided to jump in on the fun.

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