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The Cheap Reader

The Cheap Reader is Alison. She works in a library and dreams of one day becoming a Youth Services Librarian. She loves reading and has a soft spot in her heart for YA and MG fiction.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré The book is still pretty mild but I liked that it started tacking some of the big issues to come primarily the idea of race/blood. One of my favorite things about Harry Potter is the depth of the book. You can read the book superficially as a fun fantasy story. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s how I read the series for the first few times. But when you start digging, you see the thought Rowling put into the books and you appreciate the story so much more. Like I said, blood line is the focus on this story. I definitely appreciated the fact that Rowling explained the different type of blood lines within in the wizard community. Even if you don’t agree with how wizards treat people, you start to understand why there’s animosity within the community. That’s some good world building and the world building makes sense.In conjunction with that tangent, Chamber of Secrets has one of my many favorite quotes from the series: “It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”The quote is so perfect and it’s definitely a running theme through the whole series. It doesn’t matter how good (or bad) you are with magic, it matters what you do with that power. Think of Lockhart. He’s a good wizard by technical standards, right? It’s what he chose to do with those powers that made him awful. The fact that the quote is completely applicable to real life is just icing on the cake.There’s a nice progression into the darker subjects. It’s just a step darker than Sorcerer’s Stone. I guess it’s not as big of a deal now since kids can pick up the whole series and read it back to back but when I originally read the series the gradual descent into darker subjects was perfect. I was a year older each time a book was published (much like the characters) so I grew and matured into each book. That definitely helped me love the stories more. I probably could have handled Deathly Hallows when I was 10 but at 18 I was much more prepared for the story.Oh Dobby. Yes, he’s not going about saving Harry in best manner but he’s doing the only thing he can do in his circumstances. Besides, his heart’s in the right place and that’s enough. Overall Harry is a pretty likable protagonist but there are many, many times he drives me insane. I know his heart is in the right place and he does make the right decisions but he’s very reckless and impulsive. He’s very quick to jump to conclusions and tries to fix the wrongs. You know that’s a horrible combination. I loved that we got to see more of the Weasley family at the beginning of the book. There was always this very homey feel to them. It’s been there since my first reading of the series. The warm fuzzy feeling I have for them only grows each time I read the books.The bottom line: A very solid sequel.