October 21, 2009

Review: Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J.K. Rowlings

I warn you up front that I blow off some steam about certain religious types. As I am a religious type I think that what I have to say is important for both sides of the controversy but I understand if you don't feel like going there with me.

So I know that I am not the last person on the planet to read Harry Potter but it sure feels that way sometimes. Maybe it's just because when people like it they love it and when people don't care for it they claim it is a sneaky way that Satan is using to turn their children into witches and warlocks. Interesting how that works.

Since everybody actually knows the story I will skip the summary and move into the opinionating.

I liked it. As everyone says, it is not stunning literature. It's not that original. The character development is fairly 2 dimensional. It is 100% plot driven and in this case it works. It is a story written for kids, more for boys but girl are not excluded from the pleasure. Hermione is an intelligent and loyal character that will attract many girls. Snape isn't so convincing to me but it was still a fun story.

I was really dreading reading it. I've avoided the book for so long. I ranked it up there was an Oprah Pick telling myself that it was way too overblown to actually be good. I can admit when I'm wrong. Occasionally Oprah picks a winner and occasionally the public rallies around a worthy book. Harry Potter will go down in the annuls of time as a book that attracted the attention of millions by first, getting children, specifically boys, reading, and second, because Christians everywhere left their common sense in the closet and took it way too seriously.

I have touched on the effect of HP in the christian community for a reason. See, I am a christian. There was a time when I was ostracized for having the dreadful books in my house. People avoided me because I didn't think it was that big of a deal. After all, Christians everywhere had no problem with the Narnia books or Lord of the Rings, both of which contain witches and wizards. My family had decided that as long as good overcame evil in the stories then we were OK with our 10 year old son reading them. We used our reasoning minds instead of fear to direct our decision. But it didn't matter. Some of our closest friends claimed we were exposing and enticing children to witchcraft.

Guess what? I won't go to hell because I read a book, whether it contains witches, golden compasses, different religions or is about Satan himself. I won't go to hell for anything wrong I have done if the God of heaven and earth claims me for his own and forgives my sins. Period. I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. What a relief to know that I am secure in Christ!

Clearly this is still a sore subject with me. It hurt to be judged harshly over something so stupid(now that I've read it myself it seems even more ludicrous). But I try to release the hurt and forgive because they also are not perfect. They are trying to do what is right in their eyes and that is to be commended. Not many live by convictions anymore. I do my best to live by my convictions, one of them being the freedom to read what I like without guilt.

So I liked it. I'm told they get better as they go. I will read the rest of the series when I get a round tuit. Does anyone happen to have a spare round tuit?

I'm reposting this picture because it is magical. I wanna attend a boarding school that looks like that.

9 comments:

Aimee said...

I loved reading this (your review - I've read the book at least ten times). I'm glad you enjoyed it and haven't "put your common sense in the closet." ;) (I'm a bit over the folks who have, especially since I lived in the county in Georgia where one particularly vocal mother made so many headlines about these books and our school system. Anyway...)

I'm eager to see what you think of the character development as the books progress. Now that I've read them all [multiple times], I can look back and see Book 1 as a sort of a prelude - the prologue of the series. It's never going to be considered great literature, but I don't particularly like "great literature" most of the time, so I'm pretty cool with that.

(Love that picture, too...we can't wait to go to Universal and see the real thing!)

Christine said...

Guess what? I won't go to hell because I read a book, whether it contains witches, golden compasses, different religions or is about Satan himself. I won't go to hell for anything wrong I have done if the God of heaven and earth claims me for his own and forgives my sins. Period. I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. What a relief to know that I am secure in Christ!

Woo! Preach it, sister :)

Nicole said...

Good for you for reading what you want to read and trusting that you are able to discriminate and lead your family to appropriate book choices based on what you feel is best. These things don't occur to me so this was truly fascinating to read.

Petunia said...

Thanks for the support ladies. I was quite nervous about posting this. It built to a fever pitch but I've been wanting to say this for so long. I promise all future HP reviews will be rant free.

Jenny said...

Aw, I'm glad you enjoyed it - and good for you for reading what you want to read! :) The books do get better, but I have to say, the third one's the best. I'm kinda jealous that you have the opportunity to read these for the very first time.

Petunia said...

Jenny-I'm glad I finally gave this series a chance. Thanks for chiming in.

Zibilee said...

I am right there with you about your feelings regarding Christianity and the appropriateness of media. At our old church, my kids Sunday school teacher took me aside to scold me about my kids reading choices. I was totally furious! I told her in no uncertain terms, that no one, especially her, tells my kids what they can and can't read. I find all this nonsense about how reading fantasy causes your kids to turn to witchcraft to be utter crap, and it's one reason (among many) that we left that particular church. SO I applaud your post and insight on this topic, and I urge you to continue in the series, they are fascinating books, and as the series goes on they become even more so. Enjoy them!

Jeane said...

I was a little shocked to hear you got shunned for reading Harry Potter! They're fun books, and not the first to have schools for wizards, either (none of which made kids want to out and become witches, as far as I know).

I love your new look!

nintendo dsi r4 said...

Hi,
I like this article but..
last night i went to the midnight premiere of harry potter and the half blood prince! I was honestly so disappointed! was it just me or did it seem very choppy and for some reason didn't feel like it was a harry potter movie. Don't get me wrong some of the parts in it were either really funny or somewhat scary but i really was not satisfied. I don't know, what did you think?? Am i wrong? Give me your opinions..