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!

December Wrap-Up & Book Haul

December was a very productive month in terms of reading and other things going on in my life. I managed to read six books this month! It’s the most I’ve read in one month in a long time. I’m very proud of myself for it.

So, let me first go through the books I read this month, then I’ll talk about my book haul, then I’ll list any tags I did I at the end of the post, including any discussions I did.

So the six books I read as month are as follows:

  1. Exquisite Captive” by Heather Demetrios. I did a full review of it, so you can check out what I thought about it there. I rated it 4/5 stars.
  2. Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell. I also did a full review of this book, so you can check out my thoughts there! I rated it 5/5 stars.
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling. This book was much better than I was expecting, as it included much more details than I was expecting. It was much different from the movie (as this was my first read through) and I was very glad to have read it. Great character and plot development happened in the novel and I can’t wait to read the next. I rated this 5/5 stars.
  4. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han. You can read my review and see what I thought. I rated it 4/5 stars.
  5. Stardust” by Neil Gaiman. What beautiful writing. You can read my review here. I rated it 5/5 stars.
  6. This Night So Dark” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I seem to be onto a patter here. I did a review! I rated it 4/5 stars.

All of the books I read this past month left me wanting more. Sure, some of them had their faults while others blew me away, but that’s to be expected, right?

Now my book haul! I bought seven books this past month, and they are:

  1. The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne. I got this book while on my honeymoon in Walt Disney World and I was so happy to get it! It’s fully illustrated and in color, so I’m sure it’ll transport me back to me childhood.
  2. The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien. I got the pocket edition and it is very adorable in its small size! I’m behind the times in not having read any of Tolkien quite yet, but I hope to in the upcoming year.
  3. Siege and Storm” by Leigh Bardugo. This is the second book in the Grisha trilogy. It’s very hard to find this book at my local Barnes & Noble, but I managed to find this one at another one!
  4. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and “Days of Blood and Starlight” by Laini Taylor. This is the first and second books in the Daughter of Smoke and Bones trilogy. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this trilogy and how the writing in it is beautiful. I hope to enjoy it when I read it!
  5. The Darkest Minds” by Alexandra Bracken. This is the first book in The Darkest Minds trilogy and I hear a lot of good things about it. Mind control, super powers? Cool stuff!
  6. This Shattered World” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. This is the second book in the Starbound trilogy. I’ve started reading it already and so far I’m really enjoying it.

Those are all the books I’ve gotten in the past month. All bought with gift cards, so I’m not really going against the project five books or anything like that. I’m very excited about this upcoming year! Read about some of my resolutions I hope to stick by in 2015.

Tags! I only did one that I didn’t already have in this post, so here it is:

Reading Habits Tag
1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading? Either at my desk or on the couch in the living room.
2. Bookmark or random piece of paper? Bookmarks are cuter, but I’m not opposed to pieces of paper.
3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages? I prefer stopping at the end of a chapter or section.
4. Do you eat or drink while reading? Sometimes.
5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading? Occasionally music, but I prefer silence.
6. One book at a time or several at once? Several at once, but I try to focus only on one at a time.
7. Reading at home or everywhere? Everywhere!
8. Reading out lout or silently in your head? Silently.
9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages? Yes. >> Sometimes. I have a bad habit of reading the last page of a book before starting the beginning.
10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? Break the spine.
11. Do you write in your books? SACRILEGE. No.

Links to various discussions I talked about this past month:

Accompanying video: December 2014 Wrap-Up & Book Haul

So that is it for my December Wrap-Up and the many things that has happened this month. Wow. Anyway, what did you read this month? Did you enjoy your choices? Let me know in the comments below!