Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

hp4Gah! It’s been so long since I’ve finished a book. The problem lies in choosing to read a book I was super excited about, having it be the only book I brought on vacation, not being really into it. When we got back from vacation I picked up HP because the time was right having just spent two days at Universal Studios immersed in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My slow book didn’t stand a chance against HP. So, I know I keep saying this as I am rereading this series, but I’m really really enjoying this. Possibly more than the first time? I love reading the books so much more closely together than as published because this time I’m really appreciating the story arc, the momentum, the turn towards the dark, and I’m feeling very caught up in it without having forgotten any prior details. It’s also fun to read them after we see the movies because the movie leaves out so much of the book that it’s like the movie is an exciting teaser for the full story. [I’ll probably switch to just reading the books now because I don’t think our kids are up for watching #5 yet, but I don’t want to wait to read it.]

As a reminder, this one is the one with Cedric Diggory, the tri-wizard tournament, and the ultimate return of Voldemort, leaving the ending one filled with the threat of impending danger, battle, and sides being drawn. The Malfoys are proven to be aligned with the Dark Lord, Snape continues to confound, and the Weasleys are becoming more prominent characters. Also, Ron, Hermione, and Harry are aware of boys and girls now and thus the beginnings of romantic and confusing feelings.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

hp2See everything I said about Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone for the set-up of rereading these books.  Ditto the pleasure of the re-read and getting to read from the beginning when you know some things about how it all turns out. I read this one in the two days following seeing the movie, so I was really doing a lot of movie/book comparison as I read.  I loved the movie, but it was very satisfying to read the book right after because I found the book had a much better timeline. Which, it would because she has many pages to write in while a movie only has about 2 hours. So, lots of events that happened apparently quickly in the movie, were very drawn out in the book. Sometimes weeks would go by.  It definitely added to suspense, a build up of emotions, and the boarding school/school year aspect.  One important aspect that was in the book that they really overlooked in the movie, was Ginny’s role in helping Tom Riddle gain his strength.  Fantastic and I’m looking forward to continuing on the series. (I love being able to just go grab the next book! The first time I read these  it was as they came out-a suspenseful wait!)

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

hpIt almost seems silly to write my thoughts about this here and now. I mean, don’t we all know what it’s about? What happened? But, the series has been on my “to re-read” list for this year. I haven’t read the books since they came out, it was just this year that my son read the first four books in the series himself, and last week we all watched the first two movies together for the first time. (Well, Paul and I have seen all the movies, but the kids hadn’t.) While Clark was reading the books I was dying for him to share some excitement with me about the stories, but he really couldn’t say much about what he liked or didn’t like, just that he liked them.  So, it was very satisfying to watch the movie with him and see his excitement, and also see, as he obnoxiously kept saying “oh I know what happens…”, that he did remember a lot of the books. Anyway, it made the time right for me to pick up the first book and begin my re-read. And o! what a delight it was! You know, when they came out (and I was working as a librarian at the time) and the crazy phenomena swept the world I did often wonder why so many people loved them. It was clear to me why I loved them: boarding school + magic=something I like. But, guess what? There are plenty of other very good magical boarding school, orphans and adventures, magical fun, etc. books out there. (that then people “discovered” afterward.) Well whatever.  I found it just as delightful the second time around and was quite swept away into the world of Hogwarts and getting to know Harry and all the Weasleys and the professors and so on.  This time around I had the added satisfaction of knowing that there would be a big story arc and which relationships would be important and so on. And of course there’s more in the books than the movies, so that was fun to remember and rediscover those things.  Super fantastic, and I have extra added pleasure of having all the books published already so I can read the series not spread out over years.