Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 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.

Harry spent the summer at the Dursleys’ when a house elf named Dobby appears. He warns Harry not to return to Hogwarts that year. Considering Hogwarts is the only place where he feels at home, Harry chooses not to heed his warning. In order to get his point across, Dobby uses magic in order to get Harry in trouble with both the Dursleys and the Ministry of Magic. The Dursleys put locks on his door and bars on his windows so Harry could not leave his room. However, the Ron Weasley and his twin brothers, Fred and George, showed up in the middle of the night in a flying car in order to rescue Harry and bring him to their house.

When they head into Diagon Alley to buy their school supplies, they learn that Gilderoy Lockhart will become the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Lockhart, who definitely likes to hear himself talk, creates a crowd, leading to an awkward confrontation between the Malfoys and the Weasleys.

As they head to school, Harry and Ron end up getting stuck out of Platform 9-3/4, leaving them unable to catch the Hogwarts Express. They decided to take the flying car to school with the assumption that there was no other way. When they arrive, the car ends up landing in the Whomping Willow, a tree that clobbers anyone who comes near it. Once they are safely out of the willow’s range, the car kicks out Harry, Ron, and their luggage/pets. Once they return to the castle and get into significant trouble, they begin their year of classes. Harry, Ron, and their friend, Hermione, get invited to Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday party, where they meet the ghosts of the castle. On their way back after the party, they come across a message claiming that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Beside the message is a petrified Mrs. Norris, the caretaker’s cat.

As the year continues, more and more people are coming away petrified. These victims are primarily “Mudbloods”, wizards who came from two muggle parents. In order to see if they could get information from him, Ron, Harry, and Hermione try to use Polyjuice Potion (a potion that allows the user to gain the appearance of another person) to interrogate Malfoy, which unfortunately produces no results. Harry ends up finding a diary in a bathroom that says it belong to Tom Marvolo Riddle. Realizing that he was at Hogwarts when the Chamber was opened before, Harry uses the diary to learn about what Tom saw. According to Tom, Hagrid was the original opener of the Chamber. When Hermione is attacked, Harry and Ron go to Hagrid to see what he can tell them. He leads them into the forest to talk to the original monster Hagrid got in trouble for, Aragog. There they learn that Hagrid had nothing to do with the Chamber of Secrets.

On their return, Harry and Ron begin to realize that if anyone is going to get into the Chamber, it is going to have to be them. As soon as they figure out where and how to get into the Chamber, Ginny Weasley is taken by the Chamber’s monster. Planning on taking Lockhart with them due to his extensive resume, the boys enter the Chamber of Secrets to find the secrets within.

I personally have nothing against the book, but it isn’t one of my favorites. I would probably give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Compared to the Movie

One of the most significant scenes that was not put in the movie was the Deathday party. In fact, wee see a lot of the ghost interactions go to the wayside after the first movie. Otherwise the movie sticks pretty well to the book. One of the very slight things that I noticed at the end of the movie (spoilers ahead), Lucius Malfoy began to say the Killing Curse, but never said that in the book. Whether that was because Rowling had not created the spell yet or because the movie accentuated Lucius’ behavior, but I did find that one an interesting deferral.

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!