Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 4.5 / 5
Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable muggle aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend Hogwarts school for witchcraft and wizardry and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright.
-- As seen on Goodreads
How, how, HOW am I supposed to review this?! I don’t think it’s possible at this stage, all the praise has been said before and I’ll be joining saying the same things as everyone else. This won’t be a review as such, more along the lines of my reactions to finally reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, over a decade late! (Yes, that decade part made me feel old!)
When I finish a book, and the story still lives on in my mind weeks later and it keeps getting better, I’m pretty certain I’ve found a new favourite series. It’s only happened to me a handful of times in the past, but when it does, it’s such an amazing feeling. Reading about all the people and places I’ve heard so much about, but knew so little, was so special: Dumbledore, Hagrid, Voldemort, quidditch, platform 9-and-three-quarters, Hogwarts (!!) and how can we forget: Harry, Ron and Hermione.
My biggest concern from the start was the third person POV, as I’ve found at times I struggle to fully connect with the characters when their stories are told this way, and I’m a very character focused reader. I greatly prefer books in the first person, but that’s just a personal taste thing. I’m so glad to say it didn’t bother me at all! I absolutely loved Harry from the first couple of chapters. How can you not instantly connect with him? And Hermione and Ron! I absolutely adored seeing the beginnings of one of the most famous fictional friendships of our time. I did get all choked up when I read:
“But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other. And knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
I loved the world-building side of the story, and Hogwarts is so vividly described it almost becomes a character in itself. The only slight negative I have was that the writing was a little too middle-grade if I’m honest, but I was warned about this before starting, so at least I was prepared. I’ve been told books further on in the series have a more YA feel, and I can’t wait to continue on with the next six books! What’s awesome is I’m pretty sure the rest of the series gets progressively better, so I know I’ll have six books to read I know I’m going to love!