Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.




Rating: 5 Stars

Book Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts 1 and 2)

Author:Jack Thorne

Release Date: July 31st, 2016

Pages: 343

Publisher: Little Brown UK

 

          I’ve already been chastised a few times for saying this, but when I originally heard about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child I wasn’t all that thrilled. Yes, I would have been elated to see the play itself if given the chance, but reading the screenplay of it just didn’t appeal to me.  If I was going to jump back into the wizarding world I had come to love, I wanted to do so in the form of another book.  And yet, as the pictures started to pop up on my social media feeds and more of my friends were raving to me in person about this book, I couldn’t help but wonder if I wouldn’t love it myself.
            I should have prefaced all of this by saying I am a Harry Potter NUT.  I’m from the so-called “Harry Potter generation,” meaning that I started reading them as a kid and I went to all the midnight showings of the movie.  I even went so far as to make all my neighborhood friends, who I am still friends with to this day, act out our own form of Hogwarts school, complete with a potions class and flying lessons.  We spent half our childhood chasing each other around on brooms from our parents’ houses, shouting spells we read from the books at one another. So when I say I loved Harry Potter as much as a person could (and can) possibly love a series, I’m not joking. So it still comes as a surprise to me that I was so skeptical about this book when I began reading it, even after I had heard such good things about it. WHAT A SICK JOKE THOUGH. I don’t know why I ever even doubted it would be just as magical as the other books. I should just know by now that anything Rowling has her input on in relation to this series is going to be fantastic.  This book was hands down one of the best things I’ve read in years, and reading the screenplay was just like getting that bit of magic back that came when reading the original 7 books for the first time. It’s always a treat to get to reread any of the books from the Harry Potter series, but getting to read any of them for the first time was an experience in itself.  The same can be said for this book and I can’t tell you all enough good things about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, so I’ll just touch on a few of my favorite parts of it.

Favorite Bits:
o   The Continuation of the Storyline: Although it was a play and not necessarily a subsequent part of the Harry Potter book series, I thought they did a really great job of picking off where Rowling left the story in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The characters we came to know to know so well in the first seven books are still in the Cursed Child, but with more minor roles.  This time we got to learn more about Albus, son to Harry and Ginny, who we met briefly in the end of the Hallows when they are leaving on the Hogwarts Express for school. 
o   Scorpius Malfoy: And who would have thought I’d be here today, raving about how I fell for Draco Malfoy’s son while reading the Cursed Child? As someone who truly despised Draco all throughout the original series, even when he was starting to see the error of his ways in the final few books, I still couldn’t stand his guts. And yet, although Scorpius is a product of his parents, he’s still his own person, and what a remarkable person that is.  When Albus first meets Scorpius on the train to school he has no clue who this talkative first year student is.  Even once he does find out, Albus still sticks with Scorpius.  From that point forward they are the best of friends, and they even end up in the same Hogwarts House (don’t worry, NOT a spoiler, because you’ll never guess which house they both get placed in. I was a little more than surprised to say the least).  Scorpius was a real treat though! His personality and humor was slightly reminiscent of Ron Weasley.  It reminded me of all those scenes in the first 7 books when the trio are getting into some sort of trouble (think Ron and Harry in the Forbidden Forest with the spiders) and Ron can’t help but crack jokes even in a crisis.  Scorpius is much the same way and I found myself laughing more times than not when I got to his speaking bits in the play. 
o   Getting To Check In With The Old Gang: Even though the book is heavily focused on the chaos caused by Albus and Scorpius, Rowling didn’t disappoint when it came to giving us some insight on the old characters’ stories.  Throughout the play it checks in with Hermione, Ron, Harry, and even Ginny’s lives, showing us what they’ve been up to since we last saw them.  Now adults, they all lead separate lives and have the amazing careers they always dreamed of.  Even seeing Hermione and Ron together as an older couple was downright adorable, and I loved the new interaction between all of the old friends.  Although the dynamics have changed a bit, with Hermione married to Ron and Harry to Ginny, as far as personalities go they are all the same, which is what I loved so much about this book. I think it would have been hard for fans to read this had any of the original characters changed a lot from the original series.
o   THE BIG SURPRISE: Well HELLO there, even though I can’t talk about this, I can’t let it go unsaid. There is a HUGE whopper of a surprise in this book that will leave your head spinning once you get to it.  For those of you who have already read the Cursed Child, what did you think of this reveal? Was it as much of a shocker to you as it was to me? Or were you really not that impressed by the reveal of this?
 

2 comments:

  1. I am so, so happy you loved it! Knowing what HP means to you, I can't imagine how devastating it would be to have read it and been disappointed. So glad that wasn't the case. It's obvious from reading your review how much you loved it. So neat that it picked up right where the last book left off. And who could have seen a Potter and a Malfoy being BFF's? lol I actually read a spoiler somewhere (knowing I wasn't going to read he book) so I think I know what the bis surprise was. And this is indeed quite a surprise! Wow.

    I'm just thrilled that this was everything that you wanted it to be (and more) and that it was such a great experience. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Tanya! And it was SUCH a relief to me too to have liked it, because I was afraid if I didn't that it would hurt my feelings for the series overall! The big spoiler is a little crazy and at first I had really mixed feelings about it, but the concept has grown on me!
      Thanks for stopping by as always Tanya!! I hope you're feeling better!

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