Editors Note: What’s This? Are we a book review website now?
Well no. We’re still doing all the great things you’ve come to love about FresYes. However, this is another book review from Emma. She’s in 8th grade and a voracious reader. We loved it and thought it just needed to be shared and hope you do too! Have a young reader in your home? We’d love to share their book review too.
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child
By: J.K. Rowling
This is a momentous occasion! 20 years ago, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone, whatever floats your boat) was published, and a culture was born. J.K. Rowling’s world swept the world with its magic and adventure, then in 2007, the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, and we all thought the story over. Then, we find out that a play is in the works in London, and it’s about the eighth Harry Potter story. At first, the wizard community was enraged that we could only see this addition in London, but we were soon appeased with the news that J.K. Rowling and writing partner Jack Thorne, would be publishing the script to this play! As one of the many people around the world who sacrificed sleep to go to their local Barnes and Noble’s Midnight Release party, I have to say that it was totally worth it. Though it’s not the same as the previous seven books, (it’s a script, duh) Cursed Child carries the same magic.
I remember the first time I read the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was in third grade, and by the time I finished the series I had just finished fourth. Reading Harry Potter means endless adventures, no matter how old you are. It’s the growing up with the characters and learning from them that makes the long nights of reading worth it. So when the Cursed Child came out, I was excited to see how that would carry over to a script. I wasn’t disappointed exactly, my reaction was more like surprised. For 4 years I had been in the comfortable bubble of normal for Harry Potter. I was comfortable with what I had been used to, and it was shocking that anything from Harry Potter could be different. But it was a good different. It was something new and exciting to learn about. I got to see what my childhood heroes had been up to.
It’s hard to criticize a Harry Potter book, because they always come out on top, but there are some things in the Cursed Child that could’ve been done differently. The characters for example. Harry, Hermione, and Ron, were so different from how I remember them. When I imagined them as parents, this wasn’t how I saw them. Harry especially seemed out of character. He was depressed and distant from his family, something that you would never expect from him considering his history.
However, I didn’t necessarily dislike Harry. One character who I didn’t like was Harry’s son Albus. It’s ok for a character to be dim, but at some point they should be given a wakeup call and realize “Oh wait, I made a mistake,” or “Ok maybe I’m being too stubborn.” Albus I felt like was one of the most frustrating characters I’ve read until about the last twenty or so pages. I just couldn’t wrap my head around his thinking process.
But on the good side of characters, I REALLY liked Draco’s son Scorpius. He was probably the smartest character in the book, second to Hermione herself. Although, he does give her a run for her money a couple times. I saw Scorpius as a real character, someone who I could’ve seen in the original seven books.
I’m not exactly sure about the plot of Cursed Child. Not that there was anything wrong about it. You have to remember, this is all supposed to be in stage form, so this story is probably beautiful when you’re not reading its pages. It did feel like though that too many things were being squeezed in. There were one or two plot holes that should not have been holes, and there were moments where I was left wondering why that detail was there.
As a hardcore Harry Potter fan, I do want to give credit to J.K. Rowling for even writing this new story, no matter the mixed feelings about it. As always, the morals and themes that have been there since the first book were present in Cursed Child, just in a different way. I’m grateful that the wizarding community was given something new to think about. In a way, it kind of reminds us to keep our minds open to the possibilities. J.K. Rowling writes for the sole purpose of teaching the readers to think outside the box.
Harry Potter will always have a special place in my heart and the hearts of thousands of others. I HIGHLY suggest that you pick the series up and start reading!
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