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H: Harry Potter #AToZChallenge

I never thought that I'll be the one to read fantasy books. Especially after being forced to read Twilight. That book was wrong on so many levels that I cannot start pointing it out. When Harry Potter released while we were in school, I was busy with the Shakespearean classics and had just discovered Sidney Sheldon. I was so in to the mystery and thrill genre that Harry Potter felt way too childish for me. Especially with all the kids standing in line to buy those books. Some of my close friends were really crazy about these books and used to wait desperately for a year for the next book to come out. Even if I wanted to read the books, I would not have had the patience to wait for the next book to be out. So I let it be. Once out of the blue, for reasons I don't remember, I asked a friend of mine if I could borrow the books one by one. She clearly did not want to share them and made up a story about her sister being "possessive" about the books and all that blah. So, I let it be again.

A few years later, another set of friends dragged me to watch the second movie, 'The Chamber Of Secrets'. People flying on brooms and a snake that looked like a roller coaster made no sense to me. I was too bored to follow the story and left the theater fuming. Whenever people spoke about Harry Potter after that, I politely nodded and whenever possible I left the conversation. Thankfully after seven books, the frenzy died down a bit, albeit not completely. People were still talking about the movies and what an awesome writer J. K. Rowling was. After a point of time I was so tired about hearing this all the time that this became a "ignore" topic for me. Then I became the center of conversations when I told people I hadn't read a page of Harry Potter. This got on to my nerves more.

Finally, last year, after 'The Cursed Child' was released, I thought it was maybe time I gave up the "not having read it" tag and decided to read it. Then on my birthday when my husband gifted me the entire box set including the new book, I thought okay fine I'll read it. On September 1st, the same day that Harry was supposed to start school at 'Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry', I started reading the first book. I had tried reading the first book some time ago, but once the cat turned into a woman I stopped. This time I read the book with no expectations and without any thought of fantasy and kiddishness in my mind. There were a bunch of friends waiting for my reaction and you know what, I loved it! I finished the whole book in two days and was fascinated with the writing. I had tried J. K. Rowling's adult book, 'The Cuckoo's Calling' before and had found the writing to be tedious and heavy. With Harry Potter, it was different. Good different.

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I loved the writing this time. Maybe it was easier because it was intended for children, but whatever it was I liked it. I breezed through the first three books in fifteen days, loving every bit of it. The third book in particular is my favorite. I was reading a book and watching the movie immediately. I loved the portrayal of the characters and fell in love with Hagrid and McGonagall in an instant. From the second book on, I had faces to the characters I read and I did not mind them one bit. In this case, I did think that the films did justice to the book. Not entirely, but very closely there. While I was basking in the happiness of being the new member of the "Harry Potter Lovers" club, I began the fourth book. Then the worst thing happened. Just like a switch, the interest was turned off! The book felt too long and it dragged on and on and on. While the Tri-wizard competition was brilliant and the tasks were very interesting, something about it did not stand out for me. Maybe the fact that Harry was helped by someone throughout the competition, instead of figuring it out by himself, put me off.

I wasn't very pleased with this book, but the movie I liked. The idea was to finish the entire series within 2016, but I found no motivation to read the fifth book. I still haven't. Yes, I've read half the series and I'm stuck there. I've heard it only gets better from here, but the book is so huge and the writing suddenly feels so dense. I've read the fifth until the order of the phoenix was received, but the book mark still stays there. I've picked up so many other books since then, but have never felt the urge to go back to the barely started book. I did start it once again, when I was going through a bad time and hoped that the magic in the book would cheer me up, but it did not. I abandoned it again. Hopefully some day soon, I'll get to it.

Having said everything that I have said, I do feel J. K. Rowling is a brilliant writer. I mean imagining a story like this and bringing it out in seven books is not easy. Every character is etched so well and have a quirk of their own. I even bought the first two books in their illustrated format and they are so damn beautiful! Every page is a form of art and I cannot wait to read them. I love the story, to be honest. The story takes time to build up and makes sense as it goes along. Now that Lord Voldemort is back, I'm dying to know what happens next. But a look at the book lying on my coffee table with a bookmark after ten odd pages, I turn away and find something else. But I'm glad I did start the series and know at least half of the characters now. For the other half, I'd better get some motivation soon.

Have you read the Harry Potter series? Which book was your favorite?


  1. My favourite book in the series is the one your bookmark is currently resting in! I'm rereading it again. Personally, I find it lengthy too, and I skip some parts while rereading. But I identify the most with Harry Potter in his fifth year, and I just can't seem to identify with him in any other year!

    If you felt that Harry didn't do things enough on his own in the 4th book, maybe the last book would change your mind about him. I wouldn't give away the plot, but I'll surely say that Harry made a lot of tough decisions in that year, without any help (sometimes, even without help from Ron and Hermione)

    I hope you finish reading the entire series this year, Soumya! Do enjoy it, and keep us Potterheads updated about your progress!

  2. I've enjoyed reading Harry Potter. I was unaware of the world of Harry Potter until my uncle gifted me a bunch of DVDs one of which was first Harry Potter movie. I then borrowed the books from my friends and read them when I was in high school. My favourite was the Order of Phoenix.

  3. Nope, haven't read any of the books, you Hottie Potterhead! My neighbor's kid keeps scolding me and tries to pressurize me into reading them. (I do have a box set too) I would never say I won't read it--I just don't know when. Strangely, some months back I had a random tv channel on that played one of the Narnia movies and I kind of liked it.

    Hugs, Hottie!

  4. OMG, You've left it half way? That's blasphemous! It does get better. Asks an user to be my favourite but then Order of the Phoenix was so fantastic it tied for top spot. Harry isn't my favourite character but I love Aron and Hermione. I've actually reviewed each of the books on my blog (as I've re-read them several times) and have also written a post as to why it isn't just a kid's book due to a lot of adult themes. Each time I read it, I come away with something new.

  5. I read the first 4 books at one go in 2000 and then the others in the series as and when they were launched. A colleague met a foreigner at a hotel where we had our workshop and the two got talking. My colleague had helped that man for something and he returned the favor by giving him his brand new HP books. My colleague, who isnt a book reader, promptly gave it me the next day. I started reading the first book and was sure that it was not my genre but wanted to read it because of all the hullabaloo. And boy! I was hooked and there was no looking back. I read all 4 books in a week! Son is big HP movies fan so with him I have lost the count of the times I watched the movies too. I am re-reading HP series. Have read the first 2 and will pick up others too soon!

  6. Even I read all the books after the 7th book came out, cos I'm a little weird about not following the herd. I did read the 3rd book while in school and wondered why there were werewolves in a so-called children's book.

    I hated the Cursed Child. It was weird on so many levels, don't even get me started. Sullies the good name of the original series.

    I think more than her writing, I admire her as a person. She's so fantastic! Man!

  7. My story is similar. I have had my three cousin brothers urging me to read the books but I always thought how can someone read about magic and wizards! My cousins were crazy. They used to stand in long queues since the eve of the book release day to get the first copies. Anyway, after my post graduation, I was a home doing nothing, waiting for my call letter and I wanted to read the entire bookset. Mom said she was not going to pay for it, cos' it was I who told her that these were children's books. I bought ebooks (which I hate doing), read the entire 7 books in 5 days! I couldn't even get up from bed cos' I was so hooked to it! :) The movies made sense after reading the book. My boxset arrived when my husband gifted it on our 3rd anniversary :P And yes, I wanted to read it again ever since. But I am stuck at book 3.
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  8. The third movie is my favorite along with Half Blood Prince! :p

    I have to read this series yar :/

    Do read Hunger Games and Mortal Instruments as well since now you won't mind fantasy :p


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