#26-32 “The Harry Potter Series” by J.K. Rowling
(Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows)
Genre Children’s Fantasy
Book 1: 320 pages
Book 2: 352 pages
Book 3: 435 pages
Book 4: 734 pages
Book 5: 896 pages
Book 6: 672 pages
Book 7: 784 pages
Book 1: 7/19/13-7/22/13
Book 2: 7/22/13-7/23/13
Book 3: 7/23/13-7/26/13
Book 4: 7/27/13-8/1/13
Book 5: 8/1/13-8/7/13
Book 6: 8/7/13-8/9/13
Book 7: 8/11/13-8/13/13
I think this is the shortest time period it’s taken me to read them, only 26 days. I think my previous record might have been 31 or 32. I used to have great read throughs when waiting for the next book. If a book came out July 16, I would try to read the first X number of books during the first 15 days of July. Those were very good times.
Plot in 3 lines or less It is impossible to try and summarize this series in three sentences or less, why are you even bothering to ask me? Also – there are so many reviews of this out there, that you can find out the plot line just by typing “Harry Potter” into Google. Harry finds out he is a wizard, and must overcome evils beyond your imagination. I saw it summed up this way and I think it expresses it adequately.
Book 1: The magic begins.
Book 2: Something evil has returned to Hogwarts.
Book 3: Something wicked this way comes.
Book 4: Dark and difficult times are ahead.
Book 5: The rebellion begins.
Book 6: Dark secrets are revealed.
Book 7: It all ends here.
See, I told you it would be impossible for me to summarize it quickly!
New Read or Re-read? Re-read.
Would you read it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
Favorite book in the series: Why must you torture me so?! They are all my favorite. If an order needs, the places they reside at on the scale can change with each reading. In this particular instance, my order of favorite would be: Book 3, Book 7, Book 5,* Book 6, Book 2, Book 1, and Book 4.
Was it easy to read? Yes, it was, both when I first read it, and now having read it too many times to count.
Can you relate to anything within the story? It’s a coming of age story, a story of a boy who had to grow up the hard way, and fight with every fiber of his being for the people he loved. I’d say I can relate to just about everything in these books. One thing I am surprised by is how much I feel I relate to Neville, of all characters. I feel so bumbly at times, so out of place, and I feel like I can say right along with him, “Why does it always happen to me?”
Favorite Character: Too many to name. Harry, Ron, Hermoine, Luna, Ginny, Dumbledore, Snape, Fred, George, Neville, Sirius, and Lupin are the ones who immediately jump to mind. And for anyone who’s read the series before, they can guess at how emotional I find myself every single time I get to the end of it.
Favorite Line: Why must you ask me such hard questions?! There are too many favorite lines to choose from! I will settle for one (or two or more; don’t judge me) from each.
Book 1: “It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live, remember that.” / “Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!”
Book 2: “You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.” / “It is our choices, Harry, that show who we truly are, far more than our ability.”
Book 3: “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” / “What was there to be gained by fighting the most evil wizard who ever existed? Only innocent lives!” / “You think the dead we love ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?”
Book 4: “Percy wouldn’t recognize a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing Dobby’s tea cozy.” / “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” / “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!”
Book 5: “Give her hell from us, Peeves.” / “In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you.” / “You heard them just behind the veil, didn’t you? They were just lurking out of sight, that’s all.”
Book 6: “It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” / “It is important to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay.”
Book 7: “Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him.” / “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” / “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” / “He – well, he must’ve known I’d run out on you. No. He must’ve known you’d always want to come back.” / “Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” / “Keep each other safe: Keep faith.” / “After all this time? Always.” / “You’ll stay with me? Until the very end.” / “Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.” / “Of course it is happening in your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?
Is there anything about it that you did not like? Of course there’s nothing wrong with this series! Who set these questions up?! Wait, don’t answer that. If I were forced to choose, it would be that I hate for it to end every single time I finish reading it, and realize I have to wait at least an entire year before I read it again.
Anything else you’d like to add? I found this series when I was in college, after the first four were out, so I got to experience along with countless others the excitement and joy that came from anticipating the next one coming out. I was one of those who didn’t want to read it to begin with, for various reasons which now are too silly to enumerate. I am just glad I became convinced to read these. They have now become a part of who I am. I have learned lessons from these stories, I have lost sleep and made and forged friendships over them (as well as in some sad instances, also lost friendships). My appreciation and love for these books goes past words, for truly, I’m having a hard time describing to you how much I love them. I am still trying to reread this series once a year. I’ve missed the last couple, and some circumstances in my personal life helped me see that a reread of them was in order.
I will probably have to get a new set of these at some point, as almost all of them are falling apart. Truly, my book five has the entire section from chapter 13 to chapter 20 completely detached, and I can pull it out and set the rest of it aside when I am at that point. Books 3, 4, 6 and 7 are all loose from the binding.
Whatever else might be said, I will see you again, Harry, and much sooner than I could have possibly guessed. Thank you.
*To have Book 5 in the top three used to be unheard of. It had been my least favorite and remained my least favorite until Book 7 came out. When Book 7 came out, everything fell into place and it all made SO MUCH MORE SENSE and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Book 5 on the spot.