[To see an updated review of when I re-read this in July 2018 click here.]
How many times can I say ‘WOW’ to open a book response? Especially if I’ve read the book already? Apparently, every time because these books just make me so happy. Definitely considering abandoning all challenges next year and just reading whatever strikes my fancy, but I doubt I will.
When I first read this book, I wasn’t that impressed. For some reason it just didn’t mesh well with me, but unlike Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this book has definitely grown on me. Whereas Book 1 introduces us to the world of Harry Potter, Book 3 introduces us to some of the vitally important characters to the world and the series. How can you not be intrigued by Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew and want to find out even more about Severus Snape? You can’t! Rowling gives you just enough information to make you question what you know about all of the characters, but not enough to reveal who or what they really are or where they’re going or who they’ll be at the end of the series.
If there is one scene which stands out for me in this novel having reread it after a good break and after the entire series (both film and book) ended, it is the scene where Snape confronts everyone in the Shrieking Shack. Knowing what we know after Book 7 and Snape and Lilly’s past added a whole new ‘HOLY COW’ aspect to that scene and his resulting actions. I mean I hated Snape, I still do honestly, and that’s a tribute to Rowling’s writing his character as one you have to hate regardless of what you know at the end of the series.
Now looking at the films is a different matter. When Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban came out on film I was not impressed. I honestly blocked it out of my memory. I did this because I was still hoping they would stick truer to the books and I was still upset that the original Dumbledore, Richard Harris, died after filming Book 2. It took until after the 5th film came out, I realized they were actually good adaptations of the book and started to view them as a separate entity, before I went back and watched the film again. At that point I realized how great a job Alfonso Cuarón did directing the movie. It’s definitely in the top of my favorite movie adaptations of the Harry Potter Books
Recommendation: READ IT! (Like I’d say otherwise.) This is one of my favorites. Make sure you pay particular attention to the scene I mention above if you haven’t read the books before and then come back to it after Book 7 and tell me what you think. WHOA, right?!
Opening Line: “Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways.”
Closing Line: “Harry set off toward the station exit, Hedwig rattling along in front of him, for what looked like a much better summer than the last.” (Whited out.)