Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Over the past few years, J.K. Rowling has made statements that are TERF, or against the trans community (especially towards male-to-female). These statements are completely against the thoughts and ideas of the creator of this blog. I have been and always will be an ally for any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. You exist, and you are valid. If you are struggling and need to talk to a counselor, there are many resources available at thetrevorproject.org.

Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.

The book is originally called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. When it came over to America, the title was changed. Since I am American, I will be using the Americanized version in my review.

When the Potters were attacked, only baby Harry Potter survived. Albus Dumbledore decided that the best place to put baby Harry is with his Aunt Petunia Dursley and her husband and son, a family of non-magical “muggles”. In the lead up to Harry’s 11th birthday, letters begin to arrive from a mysterious sender, and ignoring them only seems to increase the amount sent. Finally, on his 11th birthday, Harry gets a surprise visit from Hagrid, a half-giant who informs Harry that he’s a wizard and invited to attend Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards.

After obtaining all of the materials and books he needs for his first year, Harry gets on the Hogwarts Express. He meets Ron Weasley, a fellow first year. They quickly become friends and once they are both sorted into Gryffindor, their friendship is cemented. They meet a fellow Gryffindor first year named Hermione, whom they joke about because she is incredibly smart and overly attentive in class. When Ron says something mean and Hermione overhears, she runs to a girl’s bathroom, one that just happens to be attacked by a troll. After Harry and Ron save her, the three become a unit.

When they are out of bed after hours, they accidentally run into a restricted part of the castle. There they find a 3 headed dog that is guarding a trapdoor. When talking to Hagrid about it, the name Nicholas Flamel comes up. During the winter holidays, Harry and Ron stay at Hogwarts. As a present, Harry gets an invisibility cloak. Planning on using it to investigate the Restricted Section of the Library for the name Nicholas Flamel, Harry finds the Mirror of Erised, a mirror that shows you what you really want.

When they figure out who Nicholas Flamel is after a Chocolate Frog, they learn that the thing being guarded is the Sorcerer’s Stone. They also learn that two of their professors, Professor Snape and Professor Quirrell, have been arguing with each other in relation to the stone. When things begin to get dicey, Harry feels like he has to obtain the stone in order to prevent the stone from getting in the wrong hands.

We spend a lot of this book learning about what is going on within the wizarding world, so it has quite a bit of background. It is the shortest of all the books, so there are a lot of times where it feels like not much happened, especially compared to the later books. I think that it is a great first book and stand-alone, but it seems lackluster once you read the rest of the series. I think I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Compared to the Movie

The movie is relatively accurate when compared to the book. Once of the biggest changes is how the kids find the room with the trapdoor. In the book, Harry and Malfoy were supposed to duel, but the staircase changes in the movie and that’s how they find it. Also, in the book, the kids give Norbert to Bill, but in the movie, it is glossed over. All-in-all, the movie did a very good job of sticking to the book. The acting was a little stiff, but the special effects in the movie were honestly not that bad.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Over the past few years, J.K. Rowling has made statements that are TERF, or against the trans community (especially towards male-to-female). These statements are completely against the thoughts and ideas of the creator of this blog. I have been and always will be an ally for any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. You exist, and you are valid. If you are struggling and need to talk to a counselor, there are many resources available at thetrevorproject.org.

How I Read It: Audiobook/Print

Dates Read: 12/10/21-12/24/21

How I Found It: Childhood/ Pop Culture

Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.

Why hello everyone! To give you guys some context on my relationship with these books, I’m going to start by saying that I was about 1.5 years old when the first book was published. I was 11.5 years old when the final book was published. Actually, I remember going to a release party for Deathly Hallows in my hometown bookstore where I had butterbeer for the first time and within minutes of getting in the car, my friend read the epilogue of the book and spoiled the ending of the book for us. When I was 13, my dad told me that I could not read adult books if I couldn’t read these books. So as a dutiful daughter, I got to the 7th book and gave up almost 200 pages from the end. I have seen all of the movies multiple times (in large part because apparently they are Christmas movies now) and have even seen the Fantastic Beasts movies when they come out in theaters. But the fact that I never finished reading the 7th book has always been a weight on my shoulders, and something that I wanted to remedy. Almost 2 years ago, having started a blog where I give my opinions on books, I planned to read the books. And with all best laid intentions, I picked up the first book and brought it downstairs and never cracked it open.

The next question I am sure that you are wondering is why now? Well, we have officially reached 20 years since the first movie came out, and in order to honor that, the Harry Potter actors have come together for a reunion to talk about their time in the universe. And as I was trying to figure out what my next book was going to be, there was a huge draw to the series for me. After about 2 weeks, I have officially completed something I have wanted to do for a very long time, read the series that was supposed to be a gateway into adult fiction.

Firstly, it is hard to find fault in a series that has played such a big part in popular culture. With that being said, one of the most disappointing parts of this series is the lack of representation. Not only is there is no explicit LGBTQIA+ characters, but there is little representation of non-white characters, as well as terrible treatment of characters who are overweight.

Secondly, if you are someone who has only seen the movies, you are missing a very large part of the series. The most common thing across the board that is missing from the movies is the ghosts. They are introduced, but are not used, especially as we get later into the movies. Peeves, who isn’t introduced in the movies, plays a part in all of the books even into the 7th book.

And thirdly, the first 3 books are an easily digestible, but the fourth book is when the amount of pages almost doubles. It is actually kinda hysterical when you look at the size of the first 3 compared to the sizes of the last 4. If you have a hard time staying engrossed in longer books, the end of the series is a huge deterrent.

As a series, I would rate the overall series as a 4.75 out of 5 stars. There is definitely some part of that score that is purely due to my childhood memories, but I also think that this is a very well written series overall.

If you would like to see my individual posts on the books and other random Harry Potter topics, check out the links below!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!