BookPeople is buzzing. Everyone is getting excited about the arrival of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II, so excited that we’re throwing a midnight release party! (Get your vouchers here!) And so excited that one of our booksellers, Melissa, is going back and rereading all of the original seven Harry Potter books and giving us her input on what it’s like to read these treasures as an adult. Check out what she has to say below!
(If you haven’t read the series, first off, do it now. Second off, don’t let me be the reason something gets spoiled. Please don’t read this blurb unless you’ve read the series.)
This book is my absolute favorite in this series! I’m a little biased because Sirius Black is my favorite character, but that is not the only reason why it’s my favorite. First off, Dementors are really super scary. They suck out people’s souls! Which is really messed up. As if poor little child Harry hasn’t gone through enough in the last two years, now he’s basically being followed by soul suckers. Jerks. But that’s just the beginning.
There is one part of this book that was never a big factor when I was reading as a teenager that I became almost obsessed with as an adult. It almost hurts now to think about how I just didn’t even catch how important this was, but the character of Remus Lupin is something I’ll never be able to think of the same again. He is the first link to how Harry’s life could have been if his parents hadn’t died. This time when I read the book I was drawn to who Remus is as a person, more so than I ever was as a teenager. If James and Lily had lived, he would have been Harry’s uncle, instead of his professor. He has had such a tragic life (having to deal with being a werewolf, and the loss of all his best friends in one swoop) yet he is still such a great mentor to Harry. You can feel it in your chest how much he cares for Harry. Once all this hit me right in my adult heart, Remus Lupin became one of my favorites.
I wouldn’t be a very good fan of my favorite character if I didn’t dedicate a paragraph to him as well. Even the first meeting of Sirius Black seems fitting to who he is as a character, not to the whole being a murderer thing of course, but because he just is suddenly part of Harry’s life, and there’s no going back after Harry learns he’s “trying to kill him”. He just barges in, which I see now, is very much who Sirius is. But also, the fact that he followed Harry around to protect him is one of the most beautiful parts of this novel. Then we actually meet Sirius, and let me tell you, it made me tear up because I knew what this would end up meaning for Harry. And the whole unraveling of learning who really portrayed his parents is one of my favorite scenes in this book because of how many layers there are to it. Even Snape busting in to break up the reunion of sorts, shows to the readers (even if it went a little over our teenaged heads) how Harry’s dad was as a teenager. Which is just great to the story building. Then once that’s all said and done Sirius wants Harry to move in with him, and finally…Harry feels like he has a home with someone. Which, I can openly say right now, is a big part of the reason why Sirius has always been my favorite character.
This book is already amazing, but then the third act happens, and I am always blown away by it. It flows so beautifully, and JK Rowling really started hitting her stride with this novel, you can tell by how well (on top of other things) because of the writings of this third act. I want to read this whole book again, just thinking about it.
We also can’t forget other amazing aspects of this novel, such as: Whomping Willow. Crookshanks’ relationship with Sirius. Buckbeak. Marauders Map, then learning it was James, Sirius, Remus, and ew… Peter. TIMETURNER. And the fact that Harry finally feels he has a family. I was so excited to read this book, and am even more excited that it held up as well as I hoped it would. Despite being a hundred pages longer than the first two, I read it much faster.