Book review: Harry Potter books 1-3

I hardly need to write an introduction to the now very famous story of Harry Potter, the boy who discovers he is a wizard on his eleventh birthday. Harry, who grows up in a rather un-loving family made up of his aunt uncle and cousin, is dreaming of a life far away from them, when his wish is granted and he gets whisked off to wizard school. There, he meets his two best friends Ron and Hermione, and together they go on rather dangerous adventures, nearly getting themselves killed but emerging as the heroes in the end. All along, we learn about the fantastic world of magic, wizardry and everything that comes with it, including quidditch and muggles.

J.K. Rowling has managed to write a truly enthralling story about magic, mixing in not only fantasy but also the ordinary lives of young children who turn into teenagers and the world surrounding them. She shows great imagination be it in the names of characters, in poems and songs she makes up, or the various existing beasts and plants the students are confronted with. Harry’s life and that of his friends can so easily be related to that it is a joy to read, and also easy to follow and start to feel real empathy (or hatred) for the characters.

Re-reading the books for about the 6th time, I am still rediscovering bits and really enjoying the read. It’s incredible how much one can forget over time, and particularly get stuck with what is shown in the movies, which is a little unfortunate. Although the films are good, they of course miss out a lot of important parts and details that can really only be found in the books.

Reading the books again, now knowing the ending, is also really interesting as you pick up on small details and clues throughout the stories, even in the very first books, which make you think back to the way it ends. I don’t know if J.K. Rowling knew the ending when she started writing, but the way she has managed to bring together and tie in all the tiny bits and pieces and details is very impressive! Re-reading the books also makes you remember details you may have forgotten, as for example how Harry finds out about the Chamber of Secrets in book 2 as I had. It is simply a joy to discover or re-discover all the characters in the Harry Potter books, from the most obvious ones like Dumbledore, to some you might have forgotten, and to think of the adventures that are to come.

If you have not yet read the Harry Potter books then I highly recommend them. They will provide many hours of fun, anticipation, sometimes frustration and sadness, followed by joy, and you probably won’t be able to put them down. Even if fantasy is not your favourite genre Harry Potter is easily accessible to everyone and to people of all ages. If you have already read the books, then I strongly recommend reading them again for all the reasons stated above. J.K. Rowling has succeeded extremely well with her books and I am sure they will be handed along through many generations.

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