Okay, here goes...
I'm obsessed with Harry Potter.
(Peeking out from behind my hands... are you still there?)
There are few things in life more polarizing than Harry Potter, I've come to find. People either LOVE it or HATE it. And, friend, I am firmly and completely in the LOVE camp.
So, here are my Harry Potter confessions, y'all...
(Oh, and if you haven't read the series, you may not want to read this. It contains spoilers. But, if you haven't read it, do me a favor and scroll down to number 11, okay?)
1. I didn't read a single Harry Potter book until I was 25.
I know. You can stop judging me. It's just that... well... I don't like books about mythical creatures and fantasy. So, I pretty much never had a single reason to pick up a Harry Potter book. I also think I was about ten minutes too old to get right in on the craze when it was happening. It seems like my friends who are 2 or 3 years younger have been fans for their whole lives and the people my age kinda jumped in as adults. Does that make sense? (Just for reference, I'm about as close to 30 as you can be without actually being 30 yet.) Also, if you can believe it, no one ever told me to read these books! Not until a friend recommended these books to me at 25 did I ever even consider reading one. (Moment of silence for all the years I missed out on!)
2. The summer I first read the books, I basically became a hermit.
I wish I could say I was joking about this. And, I guess I'm exaggerating a little bit, but not by much. I bought the first book and decided I'd read it when I got to it. I picked it up one summer day and it honestly took me about two weeks to read it. No, I'm not an insanely slow reader, I just wasn't super into it. When I finished it, I bought the second one and pushed through it in a few weeks, too. My friend told me they'd get a lot better with the third one, so I just kept on reading. I bought the third one and by the end of it, I was completely and totally obsessed. I went to the bookstore and bought the last four books! I basically sat around for the next two weeks and read nonstop. I couldn't put them down. I would stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning reading. People would invite me to do stuff and I would say no. I was 25, y'all. Did I mention that?
3. I've read the whole series about three times.
Now, look. Even for mediocre books, I like to reread. I hate the library for that reason. I buy books because I know that if I enjoy a book, I'll want to read it again. And these books were no exception. I will say I haven't read them at all in the last two or three years. (Might need to remedy that soon!) But every time I read them again, I notice parts that I didn't notice before. And honestly, the characters and the story are hard to just let go.
4. Harry is my favorite character.
I know this seems obvious, but hear me out. A lot of people out there don't really like Harry. They think he's too ragey and teenagery and mean to his friends. I think everyone respects him and is fond of him, but people just really love them some Snape and Ron and Hermione. And, I love them, too. But, y'all? It's always been Harry for me. It's his story. It's his life. He's so vulnerable and scared and conflicted, but also he's a normal kid who just wants to lead a normal life. I laughed when Ron said funny things and I got mad when Snape was mean to the kids and I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Draco, but no other character gave me that feeling. The feeling where it literally hurts in my chest because I feel so badly for someone. I feel like every single darn thing in his life is so heartbreaking. I guess I just love tortured souls. ( See also: Tim Riggins)
5. I like the angst.
Apparently, some people didn't like The Order of the Phoenix. They thought it was too long (what?) and Harry was way too angry and mean. But, those are two of the reasons why it was so good to me! First of all, this is a long series in general. I know this. But, I think every fan would agree that that's a good thing, right? I just love that there's so much substance to this book! The DA, the Department of Mysteries, occlumency, the Order of the Phoenix, St. Mungo's: just to name a few. I think this book introduces so many cool things! Now, about Angry Harry. First of all, Voldemort was messing with Harry's mind this whole book. I don't get why people forget this! Also, I can't find it in me to be upset with Harry for being angry and short with his friends. In fact, I like him more because of it. Because it's real, y'all. What 15 year old wouldn't snap at people after all the things he'd been through in the last few years? And, I'll just say it. At the end of the book when Harry is in Dumbledore's office and screaming at him and throwing things? That was my favorite part of the book. It felt real. It seemed like something a grieving kid would do after losing someone so important in their life. I'm not interested in reading about a character who doesn't feel real to me. And, due to his angst, Harry felt like a typical kid.
6. I can't forgive Snape.
So much of the series focuses around whether or not Snape is good or evil. I was very surprised at the end to find out he was "good." And, I know everyone loves him and people get "Always" tattoos and all that. But, guys? He was such a stinkin' jerk to those kids! It's awesome that he was looking out for Harry and I certainly don't hate the guy. I can certainly understand his love for Lily. But, I just have a really hard time thinking of him as a beloved character. I've reread the series (a few times) and even knowing what I know, I still find myself getting really angry with him again. I think he took out his hatred of James on Harry and I hate that. I know it's not a popular opinion, but it is what it is.
7. I kinda prefer Hermione with Harry (but, not in a romantic way)!
Here's the deal. I think Harry and Hermione had some amazing chemistry. (I think this is compounded by the fact that Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe had really good chemistry in the movies. But, I'm trying to make this blog post about the books and will try to do a separate post about the movies. Still, I felt like it was something to mention.) I don't at all mean that I prefer them as a romantic couple. I was excited that Ron and Hermione got together at the end and I HATED it when Ron left during Deathly Hallows. And, I LOVE Harry with Ginny. Like, love. But, I just really enjoyed the friendship between Harry and Hermione. I felt like Ron was kind of the ice-breaker. He cracked the jokes and was able to provide some fun times for Harry in the midst of all his sadness and stress. But, I think Hermione was his best friend. I think she understood him and loved him in a way that Ron couldn't. And, I actually think he was much more tuned in to what she needed than Ron was. I can't really explain why, but I just have a soft spot for the two of them together.
8. I don't understand why they could use a time-turner to bring Buckbeak back to life, but they couldn't use one to bring back Harry's parents or any of the other people who died in the books.
9. Voldemort is the lamest baddie ever.
This dude had soooo many opportunities to kill Harry. But, mostly, he just stood around and delivered dialogue. Less talky, Voldy, and a little more action, got it? I'm pretty sure every time we saw him in the book, it was two or three (or more) pages of him talking. I'm not really complaining because I found what he was saying intriguing. It's just that you'd think this guy would shut up and just do his job, right? ( I'll interject again to say that the kid who played Voldemort in A Very Potter Musical was WAY more awesome than the real Voldemort. He kinda made me love that character. Same with Draco.)
10. If a Weasley ran for president, they'd get my vote.
Seriously. Any of them. Except maybe Percy. I just adore this family and all their awesomeness. I already told you how I feel about Harry and Ginny. Their relationship was so sweet and the fact that the last thought Harry had before he "died" was of Ginny? Yeah, adorable. And, it makes me so happy to think that Harry became a part of this family when they got married! And, I'll always, always, always have a soft spot for Ron and Fred and George. They were the comedic relief these books desperately needed.
11. I wish I'd never read Harry Potter.
Did that get your attention? Let me explain. Discovering the world of Harry Potter (the books and the movies) was such a magical thing! I can rewatch the movies and I can reread the books, but none of those will EVER come close to comparing with the first time. You can never experience them for the first time again. I'll never again have that "I can't go to sleep because I have to find out what happens" feeling again. So, for that reason, I kinda wish I'd never read them. If you've never read them, you're the luckiest person alive. My advice? Put if off as long as you can. Because, honestly, you'll never have a better reading experience.
Stay tuned for more Harry Potter stuff!