Sunday, August 12, 2012

YA Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 
Author: J.K. Rowling (Goodreads/Twitter/Website)
Number of Pages: 341 pages
Publication Date: June 2 1999
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic
PublisherArthur A. Levine Books
Series or Stand-Alone: Harry Potter Series #2
Book Disclosure: Purchased from Powerbooks


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?

Opening Line: 

Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive.


After ten years, I finally caved and started reading the Harry Potter series. I wasn't really into reading the YA genre before when HP became a big hit but I've decided to pick up the book after seeing a few clips of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on HBO.

I've read the first book in the series and totally got hooked. Before picking up the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I've read from some fan forums and have been told by some of my HP friends that the second book had been their least favorite in the series. So I had reservations when I started it and was even expecting that I'll just skim through it to finish.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets chronicles the second year of Harry Potter at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The book opens with Harry at the Dursleys house on Privet Drive being warned by the servant Dobby not to go back to Hogwarts. Though he had good intentions, Dobby's attempts to warn Harry had resulted in our protagonists getting into trouble because of it.

Rowling made a wonderful protagonist in Harry Potter. As a reader, you can definitely relate and cheer for him whether he is at Privet Drive trying to escape the wrath of his Uncle Vernon or at Hogwarts trying to learn magic and solving the mysteries there.

I actually enjoyed this second book as much as I did the first one. We definitely saw how the characters had grown up from the first book and how closer the friendship now between Harry, Ron and Hermoinie.

Though subtle maybe in her attempt to contrast, I can't help but notice that J.K Rowling described the Weasleys and their kind of living as totally different from the other families in the series like the Dursleys and the Malfoy. It was heart-warming to read about them and their bond as a family and as siblings and how each and everyone of them look after one another including Harry. Even with their limited means, you can feel that they are a happy family. Ron and Ginny have got to be my favorite in that family. Every scene in the book where Ron was included had been the funniest for me (howler scene was epic) and her banter with Hermoinie totally made me squeal.

We also got to know more about Lord Voldermot, his past and involvement with some of the people in Hogwarts like Prof. Dumbledore and Hagrid. I can't wait to read more about why he turned into the Dark Arts and where his hatred for Harry is coming from.

There are a lot of elements in this book that definitely made it a keeper for me. Maybe my opinion might change later on after finishing all the books in the  series but Harry Potter and the Chamber Secrets had been one of my favorite books this year.

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