Saturday, December 4, 2010

Harry Potter and Me! Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This isn't going to be the type review that you typically see. I just wanted to talk about the Harry Potter series and what it means to me. Also, I'll talk a bit about the movies. The focus will eventually be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I started reading the Harry Potter books as soon as the first one came out when I was eight. I'd always been a big reader, preferring curling up with a book to many other activities. I used to sit in the tree in our front yard, reading. But that's another story. I got each book right after it came out, and sped through it. I wasn't one of those kids who would go to the midnight launches, or anything, but we'd be at the store the very next day. When the Deathly Hallows came out, I remember getting my parents to stop at the store on the way back from my cottage so we could pick it up. Then I was half way through it by the time we got home, a few hours later.

Like it does for many people, the Harry Potter series holds a really special place in my heart. Not only did I read them, but once I had finished with a book, both my parents would be next in line. My dad isn't that big of a reader, especially fiction, but I could tell he loved reading those books as much as anyone. Once they'd finished, my little sister would pick it up and sometimes, even my older sister. Both of my sisters aren't very big readers, so it's really great to see Harry Potter getting them excited about books.

Onto the focus of this post: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Unless you live under a rock, you know that the Harry Potter movies are coming to an end, with Part 1 of the final book just being released in theatres on November 19. My tradition, that I've kept since the movies first started coming out, is to read the novel corresponding to the movie, right before going to see the movie. I've done this for every single movie. You can only imagine how shocked I was when I realized that the movie release date was 2 weeks away and I hadn't picked up the book, yet. Some people would think that's plenty of time to read a 600 page book, but with my school schedule, I'm not granted that much time to read. I ended up reading throughout the day before going to see the movie (I couldn't push the movie-viewing back because I was so excited to see it). I knew I wasn't going to finish it and instead made my goal to read to where I thought would be the end of Part 1. I did some research: I asked my friend (who'd seen the movie already) where they'd ended it, but since she hasn't read the books, I still spent about 15 minutes flipping through the book figuring out how far I had to get. I ended up reading until 2:30 am the night before seeing the movie (which was at noon). The best part is that I had read the THE EXACT SPOT where they ended the movie. I definitely did a little happy dance in my seat, and turned to my friend to state that: "I am awesome." I was impressed with myself for reading to the right spot. Over the next few weeks, I finally finished reading the rest of the book.

Here's a quick mini-review for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (though, really, I just want to tell everyone to read it no matter what anyone says):

The final instalment of the Harry Potter series is just as good, if not better than the rest of the books. I remember reading that J.K. Rowling had the last few chapters written since she started writing the books, which I think is great. Since she knew where she was going, she as able to wrap everything up very nicely. Yes, she killed off a few characters and it definitely made me cry profusely, but you can't have a war without casualties, as much as that sucks. She allowed some characters to redeem themselves and show their true colours. I think that's great because it shows the reader that even if someone seems "evil" or bad, they may actually be good on the inside and that they just needed the opportunity to show it. As a future, teacher, this is a great lesson for children and adolescents to learn.

Ok, I honestly don't know what to say to convince people to read these books, if they haven't read them already. They have action, adventure, suspense, mystery, romance, comedy, and more. No matter what type of novel you like, Harry Potter is a great fit for you because it reaches across genres, genders, and ages. If you haven't yet, at least give them a chance. I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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