Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Harry Potter Generation

So for the second review/commentary (in 2 days no less!) I thought I would go with a series that has pretty much defined my generation. And no, I am not talking about Twilight, I am talking, of course, about Harry Potter. In seven books J.K. Rowling managed to encapsulate the entire growing-up process, create characters I could fall in love with, and determine what I wanted to do with my life. Well that last part took a little time, but I'd say now I'm pretty dang determined to make it in the publishing industry one way or another.

But anywho.... on to the books themselves.
My favorite book is probably either the the second one (it introduces us to Dobby) or the last one (it seemed fitting that I was applying to college just as the Harry Potter chapter in my life was closing). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone for my UK friends) will always hold a special place in my heart as the book that started it all. It is kind of funny looking back on it after nearly 15 years how much my view has changed on it. I hated Hermione for much of the first book (which is odd because I pretty much am her) and loved Ron, but as the books progress their roles kind of switched. I still love both characters, Ron just seemed to get more annoying, or maybe I was projecting about the boys around me, I don't know. The second book introduces my favorite creature from the world of Harry Potter: Dobby. He is the most infuriating little thing but I immediately grew attached to him. I think for some reason he reminds me of ET (one of my favorite movies of all time). It does make me sad that he is entirely CGI and not a puppet that I can go see at Harry Potter world or something....

Book 3. This was really the big "fan" beginning for me. I remember being really excited that the book came out. It is kind of middle-of-the-pack for me, though. Though I really wanted a time turner! It was nice to see that the supporting characters like Hargrid have a bigger role I felt like J.K. Rowling had a better idea of the Harry-Voldemort mythology than she explained which ended up being a little confusing. Harry Potter mania was definitely in full swing by the time the fourth book came out. I actually got the pre-order in my stocking as a Christmas present and was beyond thrilled. I was really excited to see the special effects in this book translated onto a movie screen and the storyline is great because we get to see the wider world outside Hogwarts, a theme Rowling continued for the next few books, but some of the characters seemed a bit flat.

Book 5. As a fan I hate to admit that the fist two times I read the book I just couldn't remember what was happening. It definitely isn't a favorite. I think it is all the mythology again. I didn't mind it so much after the seventh book when a lot of the things that happen make more sense, but still isn't the first Harry Potter book I'd be tempted to pick up. Book 6 was a big improvement for me over book 5 and marked the passing of a character that I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle. The ending had been spoiled by the time I had finished it a week after it came out, but Dumbledore is such a father figure for Harry that it crushed me to see him mourn.

Book 7. It was the end of an era. I actually really like book 7. It captures teenage-angst very well. The deaths nearly broke me though. The works was definitely Tonks and Lupin's because it was like history repeating itself with Teddy and Harry. Dobby's death and Fred's death are awful though too. It is like loosing a big brother and a pet/invisible friend all at the same time.

Well maybe I'll do more indepth thoughts on a book-by-book basis later because otherwise this will be a 23 page long blog post...

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