What are they? Only the Harry Potter novels, of course. I just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=Bibliograph07-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=054506967X&fc1=F3EDED&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=040404&f=ifrand immediately began Chamber of Secrets. I’ve never forgotten how wonderful these novels are, and have zealously defended them in the face of book-censoring fanatics and rabid Twilight fans alike. They are just plain amazing.
This is not trying to convince anyone to read or buy them. This is just me ranting about how much I love them.
First: Plot. It’s basically the same every book: Harry has a miserable summer, goes to school, a lot of really adventurous/scary/funny/crazy things happen, and the good guys win. But Rowling always manages to make this interesting, and ensures that for every heavy blow dealt, there follows comic relief.
Speaking of which, that’s another thing I love about these books: they are funny. Mostly I think it’s to do with how well she develops characters. Each character has his or her own set of unique characteristics: Harry is noble and tormented, Ron is gangly and loyal, Hermione is bossy and studious, the Weasley twins are clever and mischttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=Bibliograph07-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0439064872&fc1=F3EDED&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=040404&f=ifrhievous, and Malfoy is cowardly and cruel. The way Rowling portrays each of these characters (and others…Dumbledore, hello? awesome) makes them leap off the page. Any one of them could be your classmate, your professor, your next-door neighbor, your friend at church or school, or anyone else you know. They may be smack in the middle of some magical adventure, but they each possess traits that make the relate-able to anyone reading the books. When it comes time for one to deliver a punch line, it’s almost like watching a comedian–the inflection and timing is perfect. Even when characters argue, or get caught in a some crazy event, Rowling, most of the time manages to make me laugh. I LOVE it.
Additionally, I just care so much about the characters. I feel like Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny, Fred, George, and Dumbledore are personal friends of mine. Her writing drags you in and makes you feel like what happens to these characters is vitally important. She’s created a world and characters that I want to be a part of–a cozy common-room, a fast-paced action sport, a society in which FLYING and BEING ABLE TO SUMMON YOUR KEYS WHEN YOU LOSE THEM (or better yet, unlock a door with a flick of your wand and a magic word) are perfectly practical and common occurances. They live in a castle (I’ve always, since I was teeny-tiny, wanted to live in a castle). Unicorns, dragons, fairies, gnomes, elves, and yes, vampires, are all real. It’s a nice escape from a sometimes boring reality.
AND it’s an English-major’s paradise. These novels are chock-full of religious, historical, mythological, philosophical, astrological, and pop-cultural references and symbolism. For someone who enjoys those moments when you recognize these symbols and references, and manage to connect these children’s novels to another book or legend, it’s like a playground. They are just plain fun to read. I freaking LOVE Harry Potter.
Ok. I’m done 🙂