Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Young Adult
Publication Date: 1998
The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and WIzardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.
And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girl's bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.
But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone - or something - starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects... Harry Potter himself?
Rowling packs this tale with plenty of adventure and action, keeping the pace fast and furious. There's plenty of humor, too - both subtle and bold - as well as a few moral lessons. With overlapping themes that range from the simple to the sophisticated, Rowling's Potter tales should appeal to readers of all ages - the young as well as the young at heart.
Things I Didn't Love:
- Professor Lockhart. He's supposed to be over the top, but he made my blood boil everytime he came on the page. He was much worse in the book, than I remember him in the movie. Some of it is good characterization, but some of it just seemed blatantly obvious, and I wasn't sure how so many in the world could be so enamored with his books. Anyway, I'm glad I won't be reading about him anymore.
- When Ginny goes missing, Harry and Ron turn to the one person who they have both complained about and loathed through the entire book because they could see through his sham, to help them: Lockhart. Why would they go to him (as opposed to Dumbledore) when Ron's own sister's life is on the line? I wouldn't trust him at all!
- Once again, events at Hogwarts happen to coincide with the school year. Does this happen each year? I can see events beginning at the start of the school year, since it usually has to do with a student or teacher. But taking 8 or 9 months to come to a head (just enough time for Harry to solve the problem), and ending in just enough time for everyone to go home, isn't very believable to me.
Things I Did Love:
- The Weasley twins. They are hil-ar-i-ous! They appeared a lot in the beginning of the book, and then there wasn't much of them towards the end, but each time they appeared on page, I was laughing. I absolutely love the way they made light of the fact that people thought Harry was the heir of Slytherin. "...seriously evil wizard coming through...." Hahaha.
- Ron's howler. Best. Moment. Ever.
- How people's names, and the names of charms and such are starting to come together. I love that everything means something, and that shows a certain level of genius on J.K. Rowling's part. It is clear after this book, that plots that happen later on, began during the stages of these early books. Small elements now, become big things later on (at least, from what I can tell from the movies).
- The Burrow! I just love the Weasleys so much, and I love the descriptions of the home. De-gnoming, Mr. Weasley's obsession with muggle artifacts, and the way their family interacts, makes it feel just like home to me.
- Fawkes! (Self explanatory.)
- I also like that the scene with the basilisk was shorter in the book. There wasn't any running and hiding, near-misses, etc. That scene in the movie has always seemed unbelievable to me. Snakes are amazingly fast, and I have no doubt that Harry would not have been able to outrun a basilisk--even a blind one. Although that scene was probably better for audiences visually, I like the book's version better. Short, to the point, and much more realistic.
Overall, I liked this one more than the first, but I cannot wait to read the third!
Side note: I don't remember seeing much of Percy in any of the other movies. Does he not have that big of a big role after this book?
...you want magic, adventure, and a base for good morals.
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Read my review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (HP #1)