Review | Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Format: Paperback, 332 pages
Published: June 26th 1997
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 9780747573609
Rating: still unsure
I don’t know why I am having such a hard time deciding how I feel about this book. I think it might be because I built it up so much that it was impossible to live up to what I was hoping it would be. I know that I am going to be torn apart for this review but I have vowed to be honest!
Here are a few feelings that I have:
-I love the world building. You can really picture the scenes and the world.
-The characters – quirky, fun and memorable
-My version is very British – I was told that some of the newer editions have been edited with more American vocab/word choices but I am enjoying the original.
– I can’t help but feel as though I’ve seen this all before. I’m being reminded of books and movies that I have seen that are similar to this in plot line, characters and even in the world descriptions. I realize that this book came out 19 years ago and my opinion here may have been different if I would have read it when it was first released.
– The majority of the book IS world building. I luckily found it interesting but I know that a lot of readers get too impatient for world building that takes 200+ pages. It takes a very long time for anything truly eventful to occur, unless you count Harry going to Hogwarts as eventful but I don’t count that as a big plot event.
– Other than his life with the Dursleys he is handed everything on a silver platter. He didn’t have to work to get into Hogwarts, he is famous for something he doesn’t know he did, he doesn’t get punished for breaking any rules, he is instantly rich and without Hermoine I think he would have failed epically.
– Editing! This is always one of my biggest pet peeves. Some of the sentences are really awkward. Some of the characters that are randomly thrown in there seem so pointless (I’m hoping they make more sense later on in the series), and again, take out some of the world building. Do I really need 4 pages about candy and chocolate frogs?
I believe this book should be called Hermoine Granger and the Philosopher’s Stone. She came from a muggle family, has to work hard and study to succeed, has to face stereotypes and struggles because of her family history (or lack of). If not Hermoine than give credit to the group of them.
Overall, I did enjoy it and because of this challenge I will continue to read the series. My husband keeps saying “You’ll like the second book better because it was MY favourite”, So I am going to trust his judgment and cross my fingers. I have decided that we are going out for Halloween as Harry Potter and his parents. My little dude can be Harry as a baby 🙂
I am open to hearing your defences to my negative Nellyness. I’ve been in a bad mood lately so maybe I am judging too harshly. Let me know what you think!