Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone Book Review

hpsorcererTitle: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Series: Harry Potter #1
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: June 26, 1997 (illustrated edition published October 6, 2015)
Genre: Children’s/Young Adult – Urban Fantasy
Pages: 256
Format: Purchased Hardcover

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.

All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley–a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry–and anyone who reads about him—will find unforgettable.

The beloved first book of the Harry Potter series, now lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist Jim Kay.

Yup, I’m doing reviews of these books. Why? I’ve never read the series all the way through before. GASP. I KNOW. It’s so weird, right? I was always the kind of person to never get into the hype of things and I just didn’t know about them, really, when I was younger. I’ve seen all the movies, though, and I love them to bits (they’re some of my most watched movies as I watch them any time they’re on TV), but as for the books I’ve only read the first three and part of the fourth. And I didn’t even start reading them until I turned 20! So I decided I’m going to challenge myself this month and read all seven books by the new year. That’s right! Rayna’s reading Harry Potter!

If you want to follow along with me as I read, you check out my Twitter where I’m using #RaynaReadsHP to talk about my thoughts, but I’m also doing an Instagram story with my reactions, too, so check out both! Now that I’ve said that, onto the review!

As I’ve read this book before, this is a reread, and I think I enjoyed it more than the first time! This world is so magical and the characters are so fun. This book is definitely light hearted compared to the later ones, I’m sure, but it still had its creepy moments (Filch is creepy AF) and it’s harrowing moments (like, why do people want to kill an 11 year old child?), but overall it was extremely enjoyable and I found myself smiling a lot as I read it.

The plot is centered around a boy who’s treated horribly by his Aunt, Uncle, and cousin when he’s left on their doorstep as a baby by some wizards and witches after his parents have died. He’s often left with nothing or hand me downs and left overs. I was shocked to really think about it and see how abusive this dynamic is, and it made me just mad at the Dursleys for how they treated Harry just because he was “different” and wasn’t their own child. As Harry grows up and strange things happen around him, and he gets his letter, he’s thrust into the wizarding world where life is much better for him – even though Lord Voldemort is still looking for him.

I thought that even though Harry’s life does get better and he’s thrust into this world, he was oddly calm about it when Hagrid had bust into that shack on the sea to tell him all about it. Like… I was in disbelief that Harry wasn’t in more disbelief or asking questions. I mean, I get he was eleven and everything, but I’d be a little confused if magic was never really introduced to me before. But I also guess that the weird things that happened around him were enough to convince him? I don’t know, I just thought that was funny. Harry as a character, though, was very brave and intuitive for his age. He was always ready and willing to do what was needed to save others or himself or just take on what was next. I liked him, for sure, and am interested to see what happened next with him.

I thought that the friendship that formed between Ron and Harry was in a manner in which a lot of friendships formed at that age: with food. It felt like it just sprang forth and was introduced to us and I think that it felt kind of genuine because do YOU remember how you formed friendships back then? I don’t but I know it was much easier and different than now. I thought that the two were fun together and that I really just enjoyed the Weasleys overall. They’re a fun family, really funny, and I need more of all of them. Ron, himself, was kind of sullen? I mean, I get he’s the youngest boy in the family, so he had a lot of pressure put on him. Maybe that’s why? But I found his character to be likable, for sure.

Hermione was treated poorly at the beginning, and I mean, I guess I understand why if she was acting like a know-it-all, but I thought Harry and Ron were just kind of mean to her until she stood up for them and lied to the professors after taking on the troll. And then that friendship formed and everything was fine (even if Ron and Hermione still fought), but I also found it to be believable. I loved that she was kind of like the conscience of the group and the voice of reason, even if she was ignored sometimes.

Neville is a precious cinnamon roll and I just want to squeeze him! He had so many unfortunate things happen and I didn’t remember how much of a role he played in this book! In the movies it was always the Golden Trio, but nope! Neville had a lot to do with the story, and I loved that.

I didn’t realize how awful Malfoy was in terms of his views of others. Like, wow, calm down there. I was glad to see Neville and Ron stick up for themselves as well as Harry during one of the Quidditch matches, though, and I thought that even though Malfoy was pompous, I found myself interested in how his character arc will form in later books.

Hagrid was so awesome! I thought that he made himself to be kind of like a father figure to Harry throughout the book, like he wanted to help him and protect and stuff. I don’t know, I just thought that the way Hagrid talked to Harry and was around to help was so great.

Dumbledore, McGonnagal, Snape, Filch, Quirrel, and others weren’t as present as I had hoped or remembered? Maybe I was projecting the movie onto the book, but I really want to see more of Dumbledore, McGonnagal, Snape… I want to learn so much more about them! I know it’s only the first book and they’re obviously going to be in the later books, too, but I just want more now!

I thought that some of the circumstances that happened in the book were kind of convenient in some ways, like things happened easily or some things weren’t fleshed out enough. That was probably my biggest gripe: I wished so much more had been fleshed out. Like, I seriously wanted to see more than what there was. I know that it’s only the first book (and therefore the smallest) and a lot more things will be revealed and stuff in the later books, but dammit, I want more!

ANYWAY, I really enjoyed this first book! There were just a few things that bugged me in very small ways, but it was overall enjoyable and I really liked the voice, the characters, the plot, and more.

As for the illustrated edition: omg the illustrations were beautiful! I loved how it added to the story and that we got to see the illustrator’s take on the characters and the world. They were all very beautiful and I think I enjoyed the book more because of it.

I rated this book 4.5/5 stars and highly recommend it!

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I’m Thankful For

Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday as hosted by gingerreadslainey from YouTube. Today’s topic is about the books we’re thankful for, and since I talked about my top ten non-bookish things I’m thankful for yesterday, I figured I’d participate in this week’s T5W.

So here are my top five favorite books that I’m thankful to have in my life:

5. A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb


I had to choose a book for summer reading one year, and I actually had to read the book this time because it was my last year for summer reading and I wanted to actually make an effort, and so when I found this book on the list I was amazed: it was boring, old, or weird like the rest of the summer book selections from years past. This book surprised me in the best possible way: it had romance, it has drama, it had a young woman trapped in someone else’s body trying to live again. It was amazing and wonderful and I think this is the book that got me back into reading when I first entered high school, and for that, I am truly grateful.

4. Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah


Though this story was extremely frustrating and saddening, it’s the true story of an unwanted daughter in China and it really just opened my eyes to a world in which I thought everyone could be loved, but really, it’s not that simple. This book showed so much hate and disdain for this girl, and how she had to deal with those things, and though I can’t exactly remember how it ended, I do know that it greatly impacted me, especially since I read it when I was a young teen.

3. Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer


I was a fan before these books got big, and let me tell you, I am thankful for it. This was the first book series I’ve ever fangirled over, and the one that I bonded with my friends over. Heck, I even got my husband to read them, too, back when we were just starting to date. Oh yeah, I’m amazing. I know this series gets a lot of crap for one reason or another, but during a time when I was just going into high school and trying to figure out life as a teen, this series was right there with me and for that I am grateful.

2. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer


This was one of the first novels I’ve ever reread. It was also one of the first ones that I remember effecting me so much and caused me to want to read more like it, even if I didn’t (I honestly can’t remember). It’s such a strong and powerful morally driven book, and it really explores the question of “what if the world was like this in the future.” It just brought out a passion in me for reading, I think, and I’ll be forever grateful to this book for that reason.

1 . Tokyo Mew Mew by Reiko Yoshida & Mia Ikumi


I’m so thankful to this series as it was the first manga series I was ever introduced to back in the sixth grade. It was one in which I found my best friend again after years of not seeing each other, and it was just a series in which I could escape reality from and imagine and dream of a world in which I could be a super hero with special animal abilities. Though that sounds kind of weird, it’s true, and I’ll forever hold this series in my heart.

So there you have it, the top five books that I’m grateful for. And I even still own all of these books because of how much I love them and how much of an impact they’v made on me over the years.

What books are you grateful for having in your life? Let me know!


Top 5 Wednesday: Books You’d Save in a Fire

Okay, so I’ve been wanting to do Top 5 Wednesday for a while now, but I haven’t participated because I never think to do it until Thursday or Friday, and that just defeats the purpose of it being on Wednesday. Well, now I’m going to do it! So, the topic for today’s T5W is: Books you’d save in a fire. (The way this works is you count down from 5 to 1 in order of the books you’d be less likely to most likely… but they’re obviously top five… anyway…)

twilight5. “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer

The reason this makes the list is because during the time that the book first came out, yes, I was a huge fan. Yes, I still like the series. And it’s signed. So… yeah. Plus it’s my most read book to date.

winniethepooh4. “The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh” by A.A. Milne

I bought this on my first trip to Disney World for my honeymoon in December and I love how beautiful the edition is. I grew up with Winnie-the-Pooh in movies, but I was never able to read the books because, well, I never owned them until now! Definitely a must save.

cityofheavenlyfire3. “City of Heavenly Fire” by Cassandra Clare

Though I have yet to read this book, it’s a massive thing and it’s the wrap up to the entire series. I love the Shadowhunter world and how Clare writes, so I’d definitely want to keep this book.

houseofthescorpion2. “The House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer

This was one of my favorite books as a teenager. I just have so many memories of reading it and rereading it and how it actually made me want to read more. This is definitely one I would try to save in a fire if possible.

heiroffire1. “Heir of Fire” by Sarah J Maas

I love this series SO MUCH. Like seriously, I can’t handle it. I’d definitely have to save this book, if not the whole series if I can grab them in my hands. It’s currently my favorite fantasy series and it’s just one of the best series I’ve read in a long time.

So there you have it! T5W is complete!

Accompanying video: T5W | Books You’d Save in a Fire

Let me know what your top five picks for books you’d save in a fire would be.