Now I will first take a moment to geek out. I love Harry Potter. In fact, there have likely been moments throughout my childhood where this love was borderline obsessive. True.
My sister is almost 7 years older than I am and there was definitely a point in my childhood where she was out and about with her friends in high school and I was still into American Girl. From this, I developed a very vivid and bright imagination because on days where I was just at home, I didn’t have an of-age playmate so I came up with stories and ideas and would act them out. I learned to be my own playmate, my own best friend, and make my own fun. (Hahah Doooon’t worry, I always had friends and was still a well-adjusted child. I just also knew how to play alone. Laurel- I have you to confirm this, thanks!)
Because of this, I grew to very much love the characters of the books I read and credit this part of my life to why I love writing, stories, and reading so much. I can get very attached to any story when I care enough about the characters. This also likely contributing to my love of acting and performing as well.
Anyway, though there were plenty of books and series I loved as a child – Roald Dahl stories, American Girls, Sweet Valley Twins, Baby Sitters Club, etc… the second I got my little fingers on Harry Potter. The world changed.
Like I said, I was always a well-read kid so I knew what a good story was and there was something so interesting and intriguing about Harry Potter that combined my love of magic (yes I loved B*witched and Sabrina the Teenage Witch) with an on-the-edge-of-your-seat story, that just enthralled me.
J.K. Rowling created a spider web of complexities, storylines, and characters that connect and intertwine throughout 7 books and years of stories. There are things that are mentioned in book 1 that show up as significant in book 7. Her universe of this story is well thought out, more than creative, and simply a stunning story based on friendship, love, and death. The topics are heavy but the reward for reading and loving these amazing characters in this story, is great.
I was the same age as the characters when the books came out so I quite literally grew up with them and found that the completion of the books and the movies were reflective of my own childhood. I’m even now looking forward to reading them with my niece and nephew (Hudson (my neph) already knows that he isn’t allowed to start to read those without Zia!).
Of course, the Wizarding World is always present with Ms. Rowling releasing tidbits every so often, Pottermore still alive and well, my tearful visit to the Leavesden Studios in London (where my best friend will note that I cried when I saw the doors to the Great Hall), and of course, I can still look forward to visiting The Wizarding World Theme Park one of these days soon.
So you can imagine how at first I was annoyed when I realized the new story would be a play in London but then completely elated when I heard that they would release the script as a book.
Sure enough, I had it delivered to my house after work on Monday, after a long vacation and dove straight into learning more about the lives that have came to be for these old friends of mine.
It’s a sensitive subject for so many because those who love Harry feel an entitlement to the characters and want to preserve their memory as we see it so there is a bit of apprehension when picking up this book.
Now, a boy in middle school told me the end of Book 4 before I was finished and I must admit, holding grudges is something I am unfortunately spectacular at and I never quite forgave this kid of that faux pas. So, I will not give away but I will WARN YOU that unless you are not super sensitive to this, please don’t read on. I will allude to things as best I can without going deep into spoiling anything.
For starters, it is different. Our three heroines are no longer children and their lives are different than we last left them. Even though Voldemort is gone, there are still ripple affects of his legacy, and they are still dealing with every day life troubles and concerns that any adult or parent would. It is also a script. I have read a few scripts in my day and they are different than a book. There is a bit more left to the imagination because blocking and delivery are all interpreted differently among various actors, audience members, and directors. There is an x factor when reading that you don’t have when reading the books and that’s ok, it is just something to accept before you begin reading.
Something that I found wonderfully surprising? An unlikely character stole my heart. I have a new favorite and I can’t say who it is but if any of you fellow geeks are reading this and want to have digital book club, I’m down to spill!
My favorite part of the story though? It gives you insight to some scenarios that could have been had various outcomes happened in one of the books. You start to appreciate the idea that in life sometimes things are simply meant to me and that there will always be sacrifice. Though these books have always been labeled as children’s books the themes in the story are anything but and actually very mature and deep.
I also really appreciated how it gave a little bit more detail into the lives of these characters. The Harry Potter universe is so detailed and full. J.K. Rowling knows back stories and characteristics of people, spells, and things that she never indulged in the books, she just kept to herself to enrich the novels. It is amazing,
The fact of the matter is, I know if I am anything in this world, I am loyal (duh, I’m a Gryffindor). If I love you, you are under my umbrella and I will do all I can to protect you (and since I hold that umbrella, I have no issue defending myself either!). So, I will innately just love and support whatever J.K. Rowling does with this story and her world because I have such a sense of gratitude towards the joy and fun it has brought into my life. I mean I am pushing 29 and I still have my Harry Potter t shirts, have been both Bellatrix and Harry for Halloween, display the books in gorgeous Harry Potter bookends on my shelf, and when it is time for me to get married, will weave some nod to my love of this story some way. I’m not alone in this and that on its own, is magical.
So even though there were things that were different about it, I thoroughly loved diving into this story again and learning more about the world that I still sometimes dream about when life sucks. (No joke, just yesterday I told a friend I want to quit life and move to Hogwarts). Haha and if you are judging my geekdom presently, I really do DGAF. Just doin’ me boo.
Go check it out! As always with Jo, you won’t be bored when reading one of her stories. :o)