Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Don't get mad at me: I haven't read the Harry Potter series all the way through. Ever.
But I've got to say, having now read all the way through six (I don't have access to seven just yet but I promise as soon as I do I will read it and have it finished in a matter of days), I'm a fan. I'm a big fan.
I was one of those children who couldn't read Harry Potter when she was young. Eventually, I grew older and I really wanted to read it. It was immensely popular, everyone around me had read it. Everyone around me teased me for not having read it.
So I found the PDFs online and started reading. I thought they were ok, sure. But I didn't see what all the hype was about. Maybe it was simply the fact that I was reading the books on a screen, one finger on the home button at all times, always ready to exit out of the PDF in case a parent came in the room. Maybe that's why I didn't love it the first time around. By which I mean the first time I read books one through five.
Because as I started on the sixth book, my sister went to my mum to ask permission to read the series, now that we were older. And my mum, being an amazing mum (I don't think I said this before but I do believe she had good reason to stop us from reading them when we were really little. And then I had younger siblings so she had to wait until we were all old enough to understand and read violent stuff and be ok) said we could read them.
But of course, now that I had permission to read them, I would have to start over from the beginning. Because I couldn't exactly check out book six from the library and start reading it and not expect mum to be suspicious. However, having only read the first book recently, I gave up on the series and left it behind.
I tried again a year or two ago, even getting books two and three for myself for free somehow (I can't remember exactly how). But I was busy with schoolwork and didn't have a lot of time for reading and so halfway through book four I got bored and stopped reading.
This time though, egged on by friends sending a hundred Harry Potter GIFs and quotes that I didn't understand, I decided to watch the movies to help me to understand (yes I know you should read the books before you watch the movies but I'd already watched the movies before os what's the point? Besides I was still not quite finished with Les Miserable so I couldn't start the books just yet).
Egged on, even more, I began to read the books, getting much more into them this time, now that I had both the time and the freedom to read them.
And I discovered that I really enjoyed them!
The characters are created so well, given personalities that can be found in people in everyday life and having them deal with some of the same issues that we deal with as well as the monsters and evil people that they face. I loved reading about the mounting pile of homework Ron and Harry had and how they kept procrastinating it. I loved reading about Harry's struggles with Cho and Ginny and Hermione's struggles with Ron. I loved reading about the character's frustration when they felt they were being left out, mistreated, when they were in pain, or when their hearts were aching. Rowling did a good job of portraying her characters as wizards, but as wizards with personalities that could be real and I loved that.
I also loved how she wrote her books in a way so that that they could be potentially read by younger kids (I always find them in the kid's section in the library) but so that they can be really enjoyed by adults as well. She doesn't include too much hard to understand language in her books (other than the spells of course) so a younger child, perhaps a fourth or fifth grader or maybe even younger, could probably understand every word in the books but even so, she doesn't lose the attention of adult readers. The action, especially in the first books, is not gruesome (though it does become more so in the later books and I wouldn't want a young child reading the later books) but it's still extremely exciting and keeps the reader on their toes. Not having my hands on the seventh book, I went to read the first Percy Jackson book today (it used to be one of my favorite series so I own the entirety of them). But I found myself bored very quickly. The book seemed to be aimed at and only at, children. Whether or not that was intentional, on both authors' parts, I don't know.
Five stars to Rowling even before reading the seventh book (though perhaps better I grade her before reading the seventh book as I know I'll be mad after reading all those deaths). I would most certainly read again and plan on buying myself copies of the rest of the series.