Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter #1)

Read from January 23, 2012
to January 24, 2012
Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling
Publication Date: June 30, 1997
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Number of Pages: 223 pages
Genre/s: Fantasy

Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed for ever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!

Excerpt: "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

Let me give a little background about my life's Harry Potter history. I read the book first through borrowing from a classmate, then from the library, reread it sometime in High School, when I finally bought the whole set, and then this month when I reread it again for the HPRC2012. 

That's a total of 5 times and guess what, the magic is still there and as bright and sparklous (my self-made word after reading this) as ever. It was still as hilarious, still as enchanting and still as exciting when I first read it. The chills and nostalgia are even worst than before, if that's even possible. 

On her first book out of the seven in the series, Rowling introduced as to a scrawny, bespectacled boy with an oddly shaped lightning scar on his forehead, named Harry Potter. Little did she know, Harry Potter will not only be famous in her head and in the wizarding world she created but it will also be a worldwide phenomenon.

Harry Potter lives with his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon who treated him awfully. He lives in a cupboard and was forced to endure his cousin, Dudley, who enjoys bullying him all the time. One day, he received a letter saying that he's been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and that he's a wizard. From then on, Harry Potter embarked on a journey some of us can only hope for.  (and still hoping...)

As a wizard leaving in the world of Muggles especially with no background at all about magic, Harry Potter has a lot to learn and to take in. He didn't know what is the real reason behind his parent's death. That he is special because he has somehow defeated Voldemort when he was still a baby. 

"Everyone thinks I'm special...All those people in the Leaky Cauldron, Professor Quirrell, Mr. Ollivander...But I don't know anything about magic at all."

I feel this odd, powerful connection to Harry, knowing that he's trying to make sense of everything around him. Pictures that move, brooms not for sweeping but for riding on sale, candies with "all" sorts of flavor and a bank run by goblins. It was too much. But what's too much for him is like a treat to the readers. It was a different world for us too and seeing it in the eyes of Harry Potter is all so very interesting. 

What's really commendable about Rowling's writing as well is its simplicity. When I reread it again today, I thought is this really how Rowling wrote Philosopher's Stone? I keep imagining it as mind-boggling and quite required the use of a dictionary but no, it's really straightforward. It must've been the British talk, I was imagining then. And the humor and hilarity were superb as well. 

The friendship was also one of the things I really loved about the book. At first it was Hermione "the know-it all" vs. Ron and Harry "the troublemakers". But then the troll happened, and it was enough reason for them to be inseparable.

"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."

And the characters, oh my I can't tell you how much I love the characters in this book. Albus Dumbledore, an enigmatic, powerful magician and the Headmaster of Hogwarts who has nothing in his heart but kindness. Severus Snape who I loathed but then pulled a big shocker on us at the end of the entire series. It was enough to say I cried harder because of him than I did because of Dumbledore and Sirius combined. Minerva McGonagall who is strict and fair and just about everything but is truly a softy at heart. Draco Malfoy whose name says it all. Hagrid, a giant and the game keeper of Hogwarts whose bigness of heart and loyalty far exceeds his height and Hedwig who is not really a person but an owl, but still as important as the rest.

And the other things that sprouted out of Rowling's head is just pure, unadulterated gold. The magnificence of Quidditch and Harry being the youngest seeker in a century, the Mirror of Erised in which we got a glimpse of the longingness Harry felt for his parents that almost broke my heart, the Invisibility Cloak which lead the trio to their first adventures, the Sorting Hat which is an old hat who sings and sorts students to their houses, the Forbidden Forest first appearance on the books, Harry's first meet-up with his mortal archnemesis, He-who-must-not-be-named. Man, I could go on and on but still could not even touched the epicness that is Philosopher's Stone. Yes, we are still talking about Philosopher's Stone.

Honestly speaking, I cannot understand why I love Harry Potter so much the way I did back then. And until now I cannot really explain why I was still drawn to this wonderful world of magic and spells and why it never grows old. Somehow this story of "The Boy Who Lived" made its way to my heart and refused to leave. And I'm not even complaining. Sparklous.

Cupid's Verdict:


  1. i like the cover ng book na nasa pic dito sa post.

    philosophers stone pa at hindi sorsorer (anhirap ispel).

    Gusto ko sa book yung sa mirror of Erised

    1. Yes, it's the original one and I personally liked it as well. And I also loved the scene about The Mirror of Erised. Thanks for visiting, Khantotantra. :)

  2. Awww! Harry Potter! This feels rather nostalgic.
    So, I've read HP several times already, and I think I've just read HP1 a couple of years ago, but your post makes me want to reread it again. Right now. Or maybe soon. But yeah.
    Seriously, everything in your post mirrors my own sentiments. Gosh! I miss those witches and wizards and just about everyone and everything from the HP world.

    Thanks for the wonderful review. :)

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Noely! You do read HP 1 so we can both reminisced together. :)

    2. You're most welcome. And it would be my pleasure to reminisce with you. :D

  3. Amaazing review! I miss Harry Potter so much. I must get around to re-reading the first book. I signed up for the challenge, so I should've re-read it by now! Those quotes from HP1 made me all warmfuzzy again! I love that line after the Troll incident. It's easy to forget that the trio wasn't the trio from the very beginning!

    I miss Dumbledore. And the Forbidden Forest and Sorting Hat! Brilliant review. It really took me back to what I loved most about the book!

    1. Yes! Thanks Ajoop! :) I miss HP so much, I wish I could go back to those years when I was still discovering what a gem this series were. My childhood will never be that special without welcoming these wonderful books. Sigh.

  4. I have the whole set and I keep rereading them too. In fact, I hold them in my hands so often that my daughter convinced me to give them to her, even though she doesn't even know how to read yet. :)

    Lovely and detailed review. The friendship was one of my favorite things about these books as well, and I love how all the names actually mean something.
    Maja @ The Nocturnal Library

    1. Thank you, Maja! :) I love stroking my set as well and smelling the papers. The papers look so old and worn now but I love them to pieces.

  5. Harry Potter is the best! I miss this series already... I must reread them soon! :) One of my favorites! Thanks for this amazing review! :)

  6. AHHHHH *fangirling*
    I'm rereading them and I'm currently reading Deathly Hallows and I always want to cry because it'll be over again until next time I read them :(
    Ohh, excellent review! Love love LOVE it!

    1. Aww, I know exactly how you feel. I can't get pass Book 2 myself because I just know how I'd feel when I'm on the last book! And thank you, Taneika! :)

  7. Hi Sarah,

    "And until now I cannot really explain why I was still drawn to this wonderful world of magic and spells and why it never grows old."

    I hear you.

    I've been trying to tell myself that Harry Potter is not perfect but the mere fact that it's still on the top of my favorites denies that :)

    1. It is. I just can't explain how much these books have affected me and how much it's still a part of my life. Thanks for stopping by Melody! :)

  8. So so sad this series is over :'( I'm a massive potterhead! Looking forward to JK's new series...

  9. Am I going to get slapped when I say I haven't read the books yet? Well, only the first two in my language but I wanna read them all in english. *-*

    Great review!!

  10. That is why I love Harry Potter so very much. I have reread them all numerous times, and I will reread them again and again, and they have not and will never lose that magic that makes them so incredibly special. There are so many books out there that I love and that are definite favorites, but there are none that match this series for me. They hold a special place and they always will. Thanks for the great review!


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