Let’s start out with a little introduction: Hello, my name is Branden, and welcome to my first ever blog dedicated to something other than just myself and my interests! I supposed maybe that’s a bit of a fib, seeing as this is about the books I read and enjoy for the summer, but none the less, let’s get started!
If you aren’t reading this right off my new tumblr page, then let me explain. This is a summer reading project that my good friend Lindsay and I are starting, just to give us something to do for the summer. It’s suppose to be fun, relaxing, and just keep our minds active during our summer break from college. I picked some books that I like, she picked some books she liked, and she organized them so that we would have enough time to read all of them over the course of the summer. Isn’t that kind of neat? She thought it would be cool to let everyone in on this, so tumblr was the place to go! Now, I haven’t read all of these books, and neither has she, so together we’ll be learning and sharing our thoughts on the different series’ we’ve picked, as well as some of the authors.
First on the list, one of my favorite series growing up, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling! “Good ole J. K.” as the Doctor would say. (Doctor Who references may or may not re-occur through out this blog)
**’Spoilers’ and the like beyond this point for anyone who hasn’t read them by** ***now. I am referring to you Lindsay, but you might as well read on.***
So I began today around 4:30 pm, May 16th with the first Harry Potter book. My copy, paperback, was worn and the pages stained yellow like most older books get (My favorite kinds of books too). The memories came flooding back to me about the boy who lived, and those mean Dursleys on Number 4 Privet Drive. We begin with them, and the books creeps along for bit with Mr. Vernon Dursley, he complains about crazy people in cloaks, crazed owls, and Pentunia hating her sister, magic finally happens, and we meet Albus Dumbledore…erm, I mean Harry Potter! We meet Harry, because he’s the most interesting protagonist ever ;-) Obviously I like Dumbledore, and if you’ve ever seen A Very Potter Musical, or the Sequel, you would know why. But on his own, he’s still my favorite character. Who else would you expect to claim that the thing they want most in life is a nice pair of wool socks, or has a thing for 10 pin bowling? Harry is an obvious favorite, but Dumbledore shines, cause he’s just fabulous. Another thing worth noting is that Draco Malfoy was a little twit! I can’t believe how terrible he was, even compared to the Dursleys, right from the beginning. I see why he and Harry became such bitter rivals. They first meet while being fitted for robes, and Draco begins talking to him like he knows the way things are, and says things like it’s better for his parents to be dead witches and wizards then to have been muggles! I was also a little bit more creeped out by Mr. Ollivander than I had ever been before. Maybe it was the way she described his eyes, just un-blinking and staring. (Into your soul!) Ron is also introduced early on, and I have to point out Rowling describes a lot of people with ‘hooked noses’, including Ron, and Dumbledore. I’m not ever sure what she means when she says that either. If they went by the books descriptions for characters, I think everyone might have ended up being a hideous mess. I also remember from this book and forwards a lot of “and they turned on their heel” walking away descriptions. Those always perplexed the young me, as I imagined all of their movements kind of like Michael Jackson, and Snape doing the moon-walk down the the dungeon hallways or something. I enjoyed the wizard’s chess stuff a lot more, because I love playing chess so much now, but the giant ending chess game annoyed me for one reason. Harry was a bishop, and she said that he moved four spaces to the left! What is that!? Bishops move diagonally! Maybe I’m wrong on how she meant it, but that was really the only thing that bugged me. She introduced a lot of characters in this book, and I’ve heard that she wrote back stories for all of them, even the ones named only once during the sorting ceremony. That’s commitment, and shows how great an author she really was.
Just one more note I’d like to make is that I even in the first book, you see the anger in Harry, and the hurt and emotion he’s carrying, and how he feels about himself. The fifth book touches on this the most with Harry’s anger, but you can already see the characters beginning to develop even in this first year. Neville, Ron, Hermione, even Draco all start some good development here that leads to some good story later on, and I just love that.
Going in knowing everything about the series already, it’s kind of a shame, but I still really enjoyed reading this book. It leads into all of my favorite scenes from the other books, and it’s a great beginning to a series. I actually learned some things I had forgotten from the series, like the fact that James Potter saved Serverus Snapes’ life at some point, Hagrid borrowed Sirius Blacks’ flying motorcycle, and that Dudley actually had ‘friends’. Or that there were a bunch of soccer (football for the Europeans) references, along with some major foreshadowing in the later books of the series. Good old J.K. seemed to know what she was doing from the beginning, and I really admire that. I enjoyed these books a lot growing up, and it’s clear not only by how worn out from reading they were, but by the sheer fact that they’re still making a lot of money. The movies bring in so much because clearly Ms. Rowling did something great. No question, I can’t wait to read the rest of the books this summer, and I’ll definitely be at the final movie premier at midnight. This concludes my first ever book review (this summer). I’ll be posting another this weekend when I read the first Immortal Instruments book ‘City of Bones’ by Cassandra Clare. See you then!