Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child- Parts 1 & 2

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two by Jack ThorneAbout the Book:
Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child- Parts 1 & 2
Author: Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, J.K. Rowling
Pub. Date: July 31, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown, UK
Pages: 343

Rating: 4/5 stars

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.

Unpopular opinion time!

I was probably one of the few people who originally wasn't sure about reading this book. Yes, it's a Harry Potter book, but I had read up on it when this was first announced, and realized that J.K. Rowling didn't actually write it...instead, it was the 2 playwrights. In my mind, this was fine, but I didn't like the fact that they were marketing this as "another Harry Potter story" and "by J.K. Rowling" (I mean come on, you can't blame people for thinking that it's written by her when her name is in big bold letters on the cover of the actual book!). However, I thought to myself, what kind of fan are you if you don't give this book a shot? I felt I owed it to myself to see where these beloved characters were in the future, and what the world was like for them now. But because of this, I went in with slightly lower expectations. I wasn't expecting that same love to come back, because after all...there's only one J.K. Rowling, and virtually no one can come close to this woman's amazing writing skills. However, I honestly greatly enjoyed reading this novel, and I even though I had my complaints, I loved being back in this world. 

There is definitely a lot to love about this story: the magic, the strong friendships, and full of twists. Was the plot my favorite? No...I think a stronger plot could have been created, but I also remembered that this has to translate to the stage. So in that way, I understand why the plot was the way it was. The one thing that I thought came through very well was the emotional toll that all of the events of the past had on Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Draco. I honestly felt their raw struggle while reading, and I thought the writers did an excellent job at translating this in the script. Obviously, everything that these characters went through in the Harry Potter series took a significant toll on all of them, and it changed them irrevocably. 

But this does lead me to one thing that upset me a bit while reading. This is a common complaint, but these characters that I know and love and feel like are family, didn't always act how I would have ever thought they would. I found Harry to be extremely harsh and rude at times, and yes, Harry was always a bit blunt and sarcastic in the books, the extent his character went to in this book was so unlike him. Hermione is awesome as ever, but I felt that she was even dulled down a bit. And Ron, while definitely used as comic relief in an otherwise dark play, got relegated to a side role that had no depth. Now is this because our trio truly wasn't supposed to be the main focus of this story? I don't know, but this was the conclusion I came up with while reading, along with the fact that this is also a play and characters aren't always given the same amount of depth as in an actual book. 

However, I did LOVE Albus and Scorpius (Scorpius just a little bit more though). They were both great characters, and I adored their friendship. This was where this book shined because it showcased how unique situations can bring together the most unlikely of allies and form the most beautiful of friendships. I can understand why people are shipping them (heck...I am too)! 

Overall, I think that this is worth checking out for any HP fan. Is it going to blow your mind, absolutely not. Will every single HP fan like/love it? No. But if you go into this book with an open mind, remembering that J.K. Rowling only offered slight input into the story and didn't actually write it; along with the fact that this is not the 8th Harry Potter book, then I think you will enjoy it. It's very easy to forget that this is even written in play format as it reads very easy and smoothly. I will tell you one thing though, I would absolutely love to see this as the play. I'm sure that just reading the script can't even remotely compare to the emotion and the exquisiteness that the actors' would bring to these roles. Check this out when you get the chance and get back into that world that shaped so many of our childhoods. You don't want to miss it!

Happy reading :)



  1. OOh nice! I have had my own conflictions over this one. The main reason because I too had heard Rowling didn't write this. Automatically it seems like fan fiction to me and other reviews I've read kinda say that it was (to them at least). but I will admit, a part of me is curious about this so onto my wishlist it went! Nice review!

    1. Thanks! It definitely is a bit fan fiction...but I would definitely recommend checking it out. If you go into with an open mindset, and remember that Rowling didn't write it, it's really not as bad as everyone says lol.