Intellectually, I feel like I prefer The Sorcerer’s Stone (Book #1) to this second book in the Harry Potter series. But emotionally? I finished this book and drew in my breath and smiled and thought, “That was even better than the last book! I love this series.” Okay, in the first half of the book, I felt a bit restless. I felt like Rowling kept telling me things about Harry and all that I literally just read in the previous book. I know that this is because readers might enter the series in any of the books, so she has to recap to keep readers from getting confused. But it was a little boring and repetitive for this reader in places. That might have simply been because I had the flu last week. I read the first couple chapters while I was healthy and loved them. The flying car, ha! The garden gnomes! I laughed aloud in several places. Then when I caught the flu, I read about the headless ghosts party on Halloween, and I think I was supposed to laugh but didn’t find any of it at all funny. The mystery, the repetitive recapping of the plot, eh. I wasn’t laughing and wasn’t all that hooked to the story.
I thought the little elf was odd, and I started thinking, “Oh, no. Here we go with the elves. This is starting to feel like fantasy. Yuk.” And the weird little screaming babies that can kill with their scream? I thought that was really weird and didn’t feel at all interested in hearing more. Then when the second half starts, and I was recovering from the flu, and Harry and Ron go to the cave, and the little elf... Well, I was turning pages fast, and feeling all, “I love imagining that there is a Hogwarts under London! And that little Harry is trying to save the world! And that there are Christmas parties with such beautiful decorations and majestic Dumbledore sits there celebrating and it’s all so magical!” and stuff. Which means that when I closed the book I was fully satisfied and no longer minded all of the recapping of plot. I don’t feel like recapping here either. Instead I’m just writing this little entry to remind future me that this is a joyful story, and that I might look back on it in twenty years and think, “Hm. Maybe I should re-read, but really, it’s just Harry Potter.” But no! It’s so magical! And funny!