Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Accio New Post!

I read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" over the summer because I figured it was a cultural thing and I needed to. It was cartoony ("Muggles"? Really?) and childish (Minerva McGonagall? Please.) and I couldn't see why anyone would like the books.

I felt obligated to read "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" after that because my friend wanted me to. It wasn't really better, although I was at least used to the stupid lingo.

Then I read through "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." I actually liked that one. I liked Sirius. I read over phrases like "Let's use Polyjuice Potion" and "Try Summoning it" without thinking.

I started "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and couldn't do it. It was mind-numbingly boring and I quit, finished trying. Who cares THAT MUCH about Quidditch??

Two months later, I forced myself to try "Goblet of Fire" again. After the beginning, I got into it. It was...great?? I got sort of into it, in a way.

I wanted to read the next one, so I read "Harry Potter and the Order Phoenix." ...I really liked it a lot. The book didn't even start out boring, though Harry was a whiny git at first. The whole thing was becoming surprisingly interesting and extremely complex. I was delighted at how insignificant things started to fit together so perfectly.

I devoured "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" in like two and a half days. I laughed at Ron, marveled at Hermione and cringed at Harry. It was second nature to summon things (Accio!) and I registered the complicated fighting scenes (Stupify! Protego! Petrificus Totalus!) without difficulty.\
I eagerly read and savored "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." I cried. It was intense and realistic. It felt like I was watching my friends right before my eyes. I knew their histories. I knew their styles. I had watched them grow up for seven years.

I finished the series, including one of the most satisfying epilogues I've read, on Christmas Day (really the day after; it was 12:46). I never intended to like Harry Potter. And I'm not sure why I do. It IS cartoony at times, and I'm not sure that it's exceptionally well-written. But...for some reason, I DO like them. I like them very much. And I'm sad they're over.

I know a lot of you are very anti-Harry Potter. Whatever. I was too. But there's a lot to appreciate in them besides witchcraft and wizardry. There's mystery and humor and realism and morals and great quotes and strong characters and enough creativity for half the Renaissance period.

Stop judging the books before you read them. I was just as guilty as y'all are; I condemned them too (and I still wouldn't NECESSARILY recommend them for impressionable little kids). But I now stand on the issue of HP where I do with the dread T series:

If you haven't read them, don't judge them. (Ah ah ah, no buts. Stop it. Stop--STOPIT. Shush.) It's just as bad as calling a cheerleader stupid or a homeschooler unsocial or a nerd creepy.

That is all.



Sarah said...

The thing that makes me love Harry Potter is the idea, not necessarily the books. Harry, Ron, Hermione and all the other characters do seem cartoony and annoying, and the writing style throws me off.

The idea behind the story is what makes me such a fan, I'm just not a fan of J K.

Great post!

Kendra Logan said...

I totally understand what you mean! I eventually started to enjoy the writing style, but I get what you're saying.

Thank you!


Ian said...

I tried to read one of the Harry Potter books once. I got through the first two pages. It was the most boring thing I had ever read. I closed the book and haven't opened them any of them since.

It isn't the witchcraft and wizardry that turned me away; it was the ONLY book that EVER managed to get me to give up reading it altogether in so few pages. Usually I read at least a chapter, but this time I just couldn't. :P


Elizabeth said...

What I love about this series is the progression-both the characters and the writing style grow and mature with each book. I probably wouldn't reread the first several, but they are intended for a younger audience than the last several, so the style is appropriate for the audience. And the last one... oh man, AMAZING to me. I read the series in a week(and the last two in a single day!) because I got so wrapped up in the story, but that was partly due to my familiarity with the movies. Anywho, I agree with this post, especially that last bit, 100%. People shouldn't slam something they haven't given a shot/are ignorant about.

HatterTheSecond said...

I stopped reading your post because I'm only just now on the third book. ;D