Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Author: J.K. Rowling

Genre: Young Reader

Published: 1997

Pages: 309

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Source: Personal Library


Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come


 I loved the Harry Potter series when I was young. The story was great and I fell in love with the Wizarding World. Recently, my friend and I decided to reread the first book to see if it held up after all these years. I wasn’t expecting it to be as great as I remember; I knew that I had to set my childhood nostalgia aside, as well as most of what I remember from the movies.

The writing style is simple and easy to follow. I zipped through the first couple of chapters pretty easily. There were a few things here and there that I had forgotten about or had deferred to the movies for in my memories of the story, so I’m glad I was able to clear up that. The characters were a bit more rounded than I remember, even for the easy way everything was written. Overall, it was a nice trip down memory lane.

Now, there are a few things I’d like to question. First off, why was Peeves never added to the movies? He’s a great character and his mischievous nature would have been a great addition. Of course, they might not have added him because of time for the movie, but still. None of the other movies? Also, I would have loved more of the sass Harry portrays in the book to be present in the movie. Really, guys, he’s got some really fun one liners and comebacks. 

Let me talk about some questions about the plot, now. Did no one ever think to look in on Harry while he was at the Dursleys? I mean, he was abused, even if there’s nothing explicit about it, but no one really went to check up on him? Or how about the fact that they’re not allowed to do magic outside of Hogwarts, but Petunia remembers Lily turning teacups into rats and Hermione even mentions that she’s tried a few spells before they even got on the train. Um…what? Also, if Hagrid bought Fluffy the previous year, why does no one remember it? You really think Hagrid wouldn’t want to show off his pet? And then what happens to Fluffy after the first year? That poor pup is stuck in one place for most of the year probably without exercise and then he’s just gone?

I’m probably overthinking these things, but I am genuinely curious. Rowling might have answered a few of these questions, but, honestly, I stopped listening to her a while ago. I understand she wants to expand the universe she created, and I absolutely love it, but there is a point where you can go a bit too far. So, I’ll just have these questions unanswered for the time being. Also, did anyone else remember that Sirius Black was mentioned in the first book? Twice! I completely forgot about that.

Well, I wasn’t too impressed with the book by itself, but it is a good first book to a series. I gave it a three for that reason. It’s not my favorite in the series, but it’s where it all started. I definitely recommend revising the series, of course. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia. What do you question about the series? What was your favorite and least favorite parts of the first book or series? I’d love to hear from my fellow Potterheads.


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