Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling

"To the well organized mind death is but the next great adventure." - Albus Dumbledore

There are no words to describe how phenomenal this book series is. J.K. Rowling has, without a doubt, written the best series in history. Her characters have touched my heart in a way no other characters have, and I love them all dearly. She created a magical dream world for me, one that I always longed to be a part of. One that I still long to be a part of. Harry Potter is a series that I can go back and read again and again and again. And each time, the plot twists will shock me just as much as they did the last time. Each time, I will feel my heart wrenched out over and over when my favorite characters are taken away from me, far too soon. Each time, I will fall in love with Harry, Ron, Hermoine, Dumbledore, Lupin, Sirius, all of them.

Harry Potter is the best protagonist to ever live in our personal book world. He is brave and strong, humble and generous, loyal and determined. He is everything good a person can possibly be; his heart is full to the brim. He is not a perfect character, but it is the imperfections that make him realistic, that bring him to life. It is the imperfections that make everyone love him so dearly. That make me love him so dearly. Harry can always count on the support of his best friends; Ron and Hermione. I adore both Ron and Hermione, for just being themselves. The three of them are so diverse, so insanely unalike that they are perfect for each other. The bond between the three of them is not abrupt, it does not happen overnight, but rather grows and strengthens over time. The way they meet, the way they develop their friendship, and the way they bond and defend each other throughout the year; it's all perfect.

In the beginning of the book, Harry seems to be all alone. He is stuck with the horrid Dursley's who all hate him, and he is forced to live in poor conditions. He has no friends, no parents, no love. He feels invisible. Who couldn't pity him? But Harry soon finds out that he is nowhere near invisible. He is the most famous wizard in the world! And so Harry's new life begins. The telling of Harry's story is phenomenal. From Hagrid breaking down the door, to shopping on Diagon Alley, to arriving at Hogwarts, it is all written with just the right amount of excitement and fear. The emotions are right on the dot. Watching the beginnings of the wizarding world begin to take shape was the best part of the book for me. There's the singing hats, the talking chess pieces, the moving staircases, the giant three-headed-dogs (named Fluffy, ironically enough), a lunatic for a headmaster, a hilarious giant with a pet dragon, mail carrier owls, unicorns, trolls, centaurs, man-eating plants, goblins running a bank and much, much more. What's not to love? Being introduced to all these new characters, and creatures, and ideas that seemed unthinkable to me! I felt just as excited and nervous as Harry did! I could feel my stomach churning and my cheeks heating up as I devoured the book. 

And then Harry begins his first year at Hogwarts. He begins to get into the swing of things. He learns that he really is not all alone. He is surrounded by a network of friends who all love him and treat him like family. There's wise Dumbledore, sweet Hagrid, motherly Mrs. Weasly, tough love Ms. Mcgonagall and so many more! And I feel such joy for Harry, that he has finally found a place where he belongs. It is a testament to J.K. Rowlings writing that she can make me feel emotions so raw and so real that I almost think they are happening in real life. Like the fierce hatred I feel for Snape and Malfoy. At times I want to teleport to Hogwarts and give Harry a hug. Tell him everything is going to be all right. And maybe reward Snape a slap across the face, while I'm at it.

The introduction is done perfectly. I feel like I have known the characters for ages. Each and every one of them has a unique personality which is integrated in the plot so smoothly- it all comes off as well polished and fast-paced. Then the action comes in. Lord Voldemort- the ultimate villain- is brought into the story. Harry- at the young age of 11 years old- is faced with death and danger. But he remains strong. He delves deep inside to find what he needs to battle Voldemort. He knows it is his destiny. Others might have shrugged it off, saying it is for the adults to worry about. "Not my problem". But not Harry. Harry, with the help of Ron and Hermione, spends every hour of every day researching the Philosophers stone. What might Voldemort want with it? Where could it be hidden? How can he stop Voldemort from retrieving it? He constructs a plan, and then puts his plan into action. With valiance, bravery and determination he fights his way through fierce traps and dangerous concoctions until he is faced with the final test. Lord Voldemort himself. And he comes out on top.

This book is the one that started the world-wide phenomenon. I love it. It will forever be my favorite book series. I bow down to J.K. Rowling for creating such a magical, amazing series. I remember being a kid of 11, waiting for my letter from Hogwarts. It never came, and I was so disappointed. Even now, years later, I am still waiting. Because a part of me doesn't want to believe that Harry's world is not real. And it is not every book series that makes you feel that way.

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