Friday, January 17, 2014

Title:     Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone [Harry Potter, book 1]
Author:   J.K. Rowling
Rating:   ★★★
Availability:   National Bookstore | Powerbooks | Fully Booked Online | Amazon

I have a lot going on this January, and I'm taking my sweet time reading books this year, so finishing a book is taking longer than it did the past two years. But I finally reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone after so many years, and let me tell you, I actually hugged the book afterwards. I hesitated in writing this review because what could I say that hasn't already been said? But my mind's been stuck on Harry Potter, and I just had to let it out. So here we are.

Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is not my favorite book in the series, but it definitely holds a place in my heart because it's the book that introduced us to the amazing, fantastic world of everything-Harry Potter. Even Voldemort because, as Mr. Ollivanders said, "terrible, but great". Although in this context, when I say great, I meant that he was able to acquire so much knowledge and Voldy was, undeniably, highly skilled, and that is, more often than not, the basis for the usage of the word 'great'.

I first read this book in 2001, and this copy is so special to me for so many reasons. When the whole Harry Potter franchise first became popular in the Philippines around the year 2000, a lot of schools banned the books, and the book was highly controversial. I was approaching high school by then, and I wasn't aware of the whole hype. You know how I got a copy? My parents surprised me with the book for my birthday. How cool were they?! I mean, they're pretty conventional and strict Catholics, but they didn't buy into the whole 'magic is evil' argument that was spouted by some back then. All they thought about was that I might enjoy the book, and so they gave it to me. Gosh, I love them. Funnily enough, I remember my mom giving this to me while I was in my school when she came to fetch me. Hahaha. Are they cool or what?

Another reason why I like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is that aside from the loss of Professor Quirrell, whom I first pitied but is now one of my most disliked characters in the HP world, all our beloved characters are happy here. If you've read the series, then you must know that the books progressively get darker and darker, and this is one of the books that still has a happy tone to it.

I love the different values espoused in the book even though they are not 'in your face'. There's strong family ties, great friendship, support system, discipline, and knowing when to give a person space and a little slack to get his act together. I also love that even at a young age, Harry, Ron, and Hermione took it upon themselves to do what must be done even though they're scared, or they might get hurt.

Now that I'm older and have read more books, I am even more impressed by J.K. Rowling. While reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I really wondered at her imagination and how she was able to create this whole world, all these characters with different personalities, the various structures (hello, Gringotts and 9 3/4 quarters?), and the character progression. She put all these fantastical creatures in a single world and made it, and nay, even logical that they are just there (goblins + centaurs + unicorns?). Plus, she made you just want to be in that book, or even wish that the whole wizarding world is not just a figment of her imagination, even though there's 'real' evil lurking everywhere. I know she's into adult/mystery books now but I'm really waiting for another fantasy series from her. I hope I'm not the only one.

How's your 2014 so far? :)


18 comments:

  1. Great review :) I love reading reviews of this series because it makes me want to pick them up again, too! I love how you mentioned that your love for the author has only strengthened since you've read more, I think that basically says perfectly how great of a writer she is.

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    1. Oh thank you! I'm surprised because I thought this review wasn't even going to be noticed anymore, hihi. :)

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  2. I totally agree with you here. I read The Sorcerer's Stone in 2001 and I fell in love with the series. I have read book 1 and 7 the most because both are my faves and they have a totally opposite feel to it.

    Great review...and you really made me want to pick up an HP book and reread it again! lol

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    1. I love book 7 although it's the saddest for me :(

      Thank you!! I hope you get to reread the wonderful series again! :)

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  3. Great review of your rereading, it really is a brillant world!

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    1. Aw thank you, Brandi! You have a lovely blog! :)

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  4. When I first saw the title of this post, I thought, "Great! Someone other than me has not yet read HP!" But then I saw that this was a re-read for you. :) It's unfortunate that these books were banned, but I'm glad your parents were wise enough to purchase them for you. Thanks for sharing what this book meant to you.

    I bought the full series last year, and I hope to at least get this one read in 2014!

    Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia

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    1. I hope you do get to read and enjoy the books! :)

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  5. Ok! I have to be honest here and say I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books (I know, I'm awful). I did watch the movies :)
    Maybe I can make my goal to read the series this year x)
    BTW, your parents sound like really good people.
    Ruty@Reading...Dreaming

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    1. Haha, yeah they have their moments.

      Don't feel so bad! I know a lot of other people who haven't read the series, either :) But if you do decide to read it, I hope you'll enjoy it! cheer

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  6. I think my biggest problem with Harry Potter is I can't reread the first 3 books. I really enjoyed the last 4 books because of their darker themes, and the plot just gets so...interwoven, I guess is the word I'm looking for. I've been wanting to reread them because this series is AMAZING, and definitely a timeless one, but I just can't. I think I just need to force myself to start from the beginning and work my way through, but alas, it's a tough thing to do for me because I can't get into the first book anymore. Maybe I'll just reread the last 4...

    Also, I'm always impressed with J.K. Rowling. And I mean *really* impressed. The world she created is so complicated, but not so complicated that we as readers don't know what's going on. She's a wonderful woman. :P

    Sydney @ Utterly Bookish

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    1. I get what you mean. I want to avoid rereading books four to six myself because they broke my heart too much. (p)

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  7. Oh gosh, this review wants me to re-read HP ASAP. HP never gets old despite the number of re-reads I've done during the previous years. My last re-read was last year, around May. I'm happy to know that your admiration for Rowling only strengthened when you're done re-reading this book.

    I actually smiled at the part where you shared about how you were introduced to this book. It was different for me. It was my book nerd friend who actually forced to me to buy and read the book. And after that, things changed for me. I suddenly found an unwavering love for books when previously, I just hated the mere sight of them.

    Lovely review, Goldie!

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    1. Oh yeah, Harry Potter has had that effect on a lot of people. I've read various blogs that said they started reading because of Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling is one amazing woman!

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  8. Throwback, love it!! I never knew that they tried to ban the HP books in school! Well I was already in UP by that time and had escaped the clutches of the Catholic nuns. *phew* Your parents sound really cool though. Looking forward to your thoughts on my favorite HP book (which I still can't decide if it's Book 3, 4 or 7. Definitely not 5).

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    1. Four? :( I dislike four a lot because it was like the mark of the 'dark' era in HP for me. But five hurt a lot. Mine is 3, because it's the last 'happy' book but also 7 because it was so wonderfully written and everything felt right even if too many beloved characters were lost. (f)

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  9. Oh my gosh, I have been wanting to re-read this series forever but there just isn't enough time :/ I do plan to get to them again someday though. When I first got pregnant with my daughter, I was so tired all the time, so I got back into reading some more. I borrowed the whole series from my friend and blew through them. I'd like to take my time with them next time like you did, so that I can cherish every line.

    I never thought I'd liked re reading books, but reading it the second time really is different!

    Happy Reading!

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    1. Yes, especially if some time has passed after your previous reading of a book! I hope you have a happy week ahead, April :)

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