The year is 2018 and the last millennial has finally read Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling; a series that has made more fans and more money than god. I’ve done it. I’ve read it.
If you’ve been here before, or you follow my Bookstagram (and you should) then you know that I never wanted to read this series.It’s a natural prejudice against things that become insanely popular; they don’t tend to be all that good, just easily consumed. So I went into this expecting to have a little fun but not to *like* it all that much.
Let’s see how that worked out. Now below is a spoiler free (in case anyone else has been living under that rock with me. I wouldn’t know. It was dark and cozy and full of other great books to read), and is just brief thoughts on each book accompanied by a cute little quote.
Sorcerers Stone– 3 stars
“ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?”
This book is quite clearly a young children’s book (a bit on the young side of middle grade). It introduces us to the Wizarding World and from what I hear a lot of people have fond memories of it. I really didn’t like it. It was painful. The ending was irritating and predictable. I simply did not have that much fun reading this. Had I not already committed to reading the entire series I wouldn’t in anyway felt inspired to pick up the next book.
Chamber of Secrets– 2.75 stars
“When in doubt, go to the
This book, for me at least, was completely forgettable. I was just annoyed by the entire thing and it, even more than the first, made me not want to keep reading. This book seemed to just be Harry not communicating and leading to every problem in the plot. That turned out to be my main issue with the entire series; Harry withholding information for no other reason than to further the plot.
Prisoner of Azkaban– 4 stars
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
The third book in the series wasn’t just the first book I enjoyed but I really fucking loved it. In this book we are introduced to some fun and complex characters, there was a plot capable of a twist and also holding my interest, and it was the first time I started to really like our Golden trio. It’s not the best book in the series but I had a lot of fun reading it.
“Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl”
This one was a better book than the previous one but I liked Prisoner of Azkaban just a tad bit more. i still loved this one though. Again there were some interesting characters and a plot twist that caught me completely off my guard. If looked at by itself this would probably have been a 3 star book but I really liked it as an addition to the series.
Order of the Phoenix– 3 stars
“Give her hell from us.”
This. Book. Dragged. I hated it, I hated Harry,I hated the story, I hated having to read it. This one was another that overused Harry having a shitty and illogical personality just to further the plot and there were several times that I wanted nothing more than to DNF it. The only thing that saved this from being a 2 star was that around page 400 t kind of caught my attention. The story picked up a bit and I found myself actually *wanting* to read it. Fred and George Weasley were my favorite arc in this book and they made it enjoyable. The ending was pretty forgettable but I stayed up until 4am twice for it so it has to get at least a 3.
Half-Blood Prince– 4 stars
Harry was left to ponder in silence the depths to which girls would sink to get revenge.
I flew through this book. Not just in comparison to the 10 or so days it took me to read the previous one but I genuinely finished it in about 2 days. This was fast paced, all of the characters were interesting, and fun, I absolutely loved it. This was the one where i truly started to be a Harry Potter Fan. it’s also the book where I became Ron and Hermoine trash. I have loved them for quite a bit up until this point but this was the book where I started getting so anxious about their relationship and wondering just WHEN they were going to finally get together. My only complaint about this book is that the ending, which I feel is supposed be emotional, just didn’t do much for me. I think Rowling has a hard time making me feel things when she wants me to.
Deathly Hallows– 5 stars
“ARE YOU A WIZARD OR WHAT?”
This is by far the best book in the series. It veers off of the standard story line that the other books have been following and es us on a wild and emotional adventure (emotional for the characters, not for the reader). The characters arcs in this book are great and had me obsessed (Ron & Hermoinie killed me). It was climactic and a fitting end to the journey. Except for the epilogue. It was unnecessary fan service and it ruined the end of the story for me. It took away that satisfaction of the end of a journey.
The Cursed Child– 3 stars
“My geekiness is a-quivering”
This is the 8th installment of the franchise written as a play set 2 decades after the Battle of Hogwarts. It read like fanfiction and I have decided to treat it as such. It adds nothing to the story and was only mildly enjoyable; the best part of the whole thing for me was adding Scorpious to my view of the world. That doesn’t mean I don’t think you should read it, it’s a journey. Just an unnecessary one.
Hogwarts Library– 3 stars
A compilation of “Fantastic Beasts and Wear to Find Them”, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard”, and “Quidditch Throughout the Ages”, this is a cute addition to the Wizarding World. Maybe not something you’d want to read unless you, like me, get giddy about world building.
The world is by far my favorite thing about the Harry Potter series. I said above that Rowling didn’t do a great job making anything all that impactful for me so there wasn’t much attachment to the characters so much as the story itself. If these books hadn’t been part of a massive series or if i hadn’t binged it over the course of a month i don’t know that I’d have had such strong feelings about it.
Though I will say that for the lack of emotional impact this series somehow had one of the best romances I’ve ever read. I know Rowling herself says she regrets Ron and Hermoine’s romance and I can’t for the life of me think why. It was amazing to read and I adore them.
In all my rating for the entire series comes to 3.52 stars out of 5 and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I wouldn’t be opposed to rounding up to an even 4 stars and calling it a day. So yes, I admit it, I *liked* it. Hell didn’t freeze over but the government did shut down.