A beaten and battered old library book. The pages are bent and contain some sceptical stains…but that takes absolutely nothing away from J.K. Rowling’s incredible Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone! Yes, yes, I know I’m probably the last person on the planet to read the famous Harry Potter Series (apart from my mum), but I’m getting there!
At first, I wasn’t going to do a book review on each Harry Potter book because I thought that most people would’ve read them or watched the movies and already know what they’re about, but then I thought there might be some poor souls out there (like my mum) who are missing out on all the excitement that goes on in the dark hallways of Hogwarts!
To start with, Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone is the first book in the Harry Potter Series. The book starts by introducing the Dursleys: Harry’s awful Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and their son, Dudley, who just happens to be one of the rudest, most disgusting, spoilt-rotten kids Harry knows. The Dursleys force Harry to live amongst the spiders in the tiny cupboard under the stairs; they don’t acknowledge him at all on his birthday, and they make it one-hundred-percent clear that Harry is the outsider.
Harry has always been told that his parents died in a car crash – that’s how he got the mysterious lightning-strike-shaped scar on his forehead. Harry had no reason not to believe this, that is, until a week before his eleventh birthday. Strange things; weird things; peculiar things start to happen to Harry. Unexplainable things. One day, Harry receives a letter. However, before he gets the chance to open it, the letter is snatched right from his fingers by Uncle Vernon. This happens several times as more letters keep coming. Eventually, the strange things that have been happening to Harry get even stranger – so strange that Uncle Vernon moves the family to live in a deserted lighthouse in the middle of the roaring ocean. On the night of Harry’s eleventh birthday, when everyone is already asleep and Harry is thinking about how he didn’t receive one ‘happy birthday’ from the Dursleys, the deserted lighthouse gets a visitor. A very tall, very wide, and very hairy man knocks down the door, pulls a birthday cake out of his pocket, and hands Harry a letter. The same letter he hadn’t got the chance to open yet. On September 1st, Harry is to board the train at platform nine and three-quarters, ready for his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At Hogwarts, he becomes friends with mischievous Ronald Weasley, and brainy Hermione Granger. He finds an arch-enemy in blonde-haired Draco Malfoy, and discovers dangerous and mysterious secrets within the depths of Hogwarts.
When I first started reading Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone, I was pleasantly surprised. J.K. Rowling’s way of writing is very simple and easy to understand. She uses short sentences with lots of description. Even though the way the sentences were written was so short and simple, I loved how there was still an impressive amount of detail put into each and every thing that Harry saw. I also really enjoyed the way that J.K. Rowling described her characters at their first appearance in the book. I immediately didn’t like Mr Dursley as he was hard-headed and stubborn; Mrs Dursley seemed like the kind of woman to stay away from; and Dudley, on the other hand, drove me crazy with his childish behaviour and immature tantrums.
I enjoyed the first book a lot, and I’ve just started the second book! Read them so you don’t become one of those people who has never read Harry Potter (just like me a few days ago!)