(All of my reviews are spoiler-free unless stated otherwise, not that Harry Potter needs to be spoiler-free, since I’m sure 99% of you have read or watched the movies and know what happens)
I was one of those people who never read Harry Potter as a child. Like I’d literally look around at my classmates when I was about eleven or so and wonder how on earth they were reading books that were so thick????? I sat there as most of those around me were reading Harry Potter, or had already read Harry Potter, and I just couldn’t do it. To be fair, I wasn’t much of a reader when I was younger. I really only started getting into reading when I was about sixteen or seventeen. Even though I hadn’t read the books, I still watched all of the movies. The first few movies I watched many, many times, but after Goblet of Fire, I think I only ever watched each movie once or twice.
So, obviously I already knew a lot of the main events and scenes (are they called scenes in a book or not, because it seems strange to call them scenes when you aren’t watching it…), and even if you have neither read nor watched the movies, the chances that you’ve been spoiled for what happens is pretty high. So yes I had watched the films and knew what was mostly going to happen, but that didn’t at all stop me from enjoying the story. I had been told countless times that J.K Rowling’s writing is amazing, which I found the moment I picked up Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone for those in the U.S). The way she tells Harry’s story is remarkable, and just the world that she created is truly amazing and inspiring. As a writer, I find myself paying extra attention to the way a story is worded, how differently each writer tells their story, and sometimes even picking out words that don’t sound like they belong or grammatical errors, which I usually do without meaning to.
J.K Rowling just has a way with words. She draws you in instantly, and you’re hooked even when you put the book down. I found myself thinking about Harry and his adventures constantly even when I wasn’t reading the book, which is a telltale sign that the book is good. It took me quite a while to finally finish the series. I mean it’s a long series and some of the books are monsters, but I was struggling to balance reading with uni, so it took me a bit longer to get through than I would have liked. I found that even though I had seen all the movies, I had forgotten a lot of what happened. I knew, of course, that the movies would have left a substantial amount of the what happens in the books out, as all book to movie adaptations do, so I was looking forward to much more of Harry than what is in the movies. Of course, the movies were done brilliantly, but in most cases, you can never beat the book. Having not remembered a lot of the movies was actually good, it felt like at some points I was really experiencing the story for the first time. It makes wonder what it would’ve been like to read them before watching the movies, which so many people have had the blessing to do. However, watching the films before reading the books did not at all ruin my experience in the wizarding world.
I absolutely loved the Harry Potter series, as I knew I would. I now need to go back and rewatch the movies, because I already miss all the amazing characters so much.