Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling

29069989Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author: JK Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, ITS HARRY POTTER

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Published: July 31, 2016

Page Amount: 327 pages

Blurb From Goodreads: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.

Why Read: I feel like I don’t need to even have a section for why I read the most recent Harry Potter book. Harry Potter represents everything magical and escapist about my childhood, any dreams that were made possible and the love of reading that it cultivated within me. It’s probably one of the series that has made the most serious impact on who I am as a person and how I developed into an adult. Without further ado: Harry Potter #8.

Review: Where do I begin with describing my emotions upon opening the newest Harry Potter book? The words “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley lived at Number 4 Privet Drive…” did not appear on the first page, that sense of deja vu was almost immediately torn away because (as you knew): it’s not a book, it’s a screenplay. Harry Potter adapted for the stage, the newest way that this series continues to be exploited for every single penny that it can possibly make (not that I’m complaining).

One of the perks of the book being a screenplay was how much quicker the reading went. There aren’t long descriptions of Harry being his usual doltish self, we aren’t treated to beautiful scenery of Hogwarts and of the magical world. Sure, there are opening screen descriptions that give the reader some idea of what’s on stage and how they’re planning on making it a beautiful cinematic experience, but the words are missing. Instead, there’s dialogue. I haven’t read Harry Potter in far too long, so I can’t say whether or not the normal Harry Potter characters tend to speak so often but it certainly felt as a reader that I was treated much more to how the characters were through how they spoke. In particular, Albus Severus (Harry’s son) and Scorpius (Malfoy’s son) are primarily driven through their dialogue (which makes sense since it is a play) – but I actually liked that part of it. The only pieces missing would, I assume, be their body language and would be evident in the play.

If I had one complaint, it would be that I couldn’t experience enough of the characters or their surroundings – but that’s just a function of the book being a screenplay. Pace-wise, the book moved quite quickly, and I found myself entranced by each different chapter and wondering how on earth I was only 40, 50, no 70 percent of the way through. The sheer amount of twists and turns the plot took was actually really fun, and I found myself bookmarking particularly funny sections of dialogue.

I’ve heard complaints that the book is just fan service. In a sense, it is. The whole plot finishes the reader back to where we were at the start of the novel, because the timeline is restored. Inbetween, we get to see what could have been if Ron and Hermione didn’t end up together, or if Cedric had become a Deatheater. It’s far-fetched obviously, but it’s the Harry Potter universe – if you haven’t learned by now to expect the unexpected, then maybe you have been reading a different series than I. So fan service aside, it’s a good book. It’s a fascinating, hilarious and all-around amusing read that brings us back to the Harry Potter universe in a new and exciting way. Everyone should read it, and laugh a lot (I certainly did).

Rating: 4.7/5 Stars

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