I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda not sure what to do with myself at the moment. I know I’m one of the last people alive who hadn’t read the series but now I’ve done it. I’ve joined the club and I now understand all of the internet humor references to Muggles, Butterbeer and Draco Malfoy.
I’d never watched any of the movies or read any of the books before. Well, maybe I’d attempted to read the first book a time or two, but didn’t find it captivating at the time. I was determined to try again.
First, I feel like I need to explain why now, after nearly 20 years, I decided to dive in.
I tend to turn movies on in the background while I work at night. One night several months back I noticed Breaking Dawn Part 2 was on and I was sucked in, and sucked back about five years.
Isn’t it incredible how certain memories can be tied to smells, sounds, or tastes? A familiar scent can bring back a flood of emotions from our childhood. A song we hadn’t heard in awhile can move us to feel nostalgic.
It’s not the movie itself that makes me sappy and emotional. But all of the memories that come back when I watch it, and listen to the score.
It made me wistful for a period of my life when I had more time with my husband, before kids–when I had time to sit down and read a book for hours before bed, just because I wanted to.
I started the Twilight series well before it was the crazed fad that it is today. I can remember the night I started the book, buying the third book on opening day, and waiting in line for the midnight release of the final book.
I saw Eclipse in theaters five days after I was due with Lil’ J (she didn’t come for another five days). It was one of the final days of my life that I’d ever experience boredom, and a certain kind of freedom you can’t get back after you have kids.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but a couple months after reading Breaking Dawn–just days after Twilight the movie premiered, I started this blog. I was itching to have a place to write about something other than news stories. As lame as it sounds, I’d be lying if I said Bella’s first-person account didn’t influence the start of all of this.
So anyway, all of these memories came flooding back as I watched this cheesy yet personally-amazing movie!
Taking note, I decided I wanted to replicate this. I wanted to take on another series that could encompass this time and phase of my life as I made my way through the books.
I decided to read Harry Potter.
Tired mom escaping to the bubble bath for a few short moments of quiet while reading a book. Sneaking in a chapter or two a night as I rocked my kids to sleep. Will that be what’s ingrained in my mind when I think back to the first time I read Harry Potter? Maybe.
Lil’ J asks me night after night to listen to what I’m reading. I read her a few pages of the first book but was too eager to read at my own pace, and I told her I’d read it to her once I finished. Just as I was starting the final two books I noticed a new Illustrated Harry Potter book was released. I just ordered it tonight, and I plan to start reading it to her once it arrives.
I’m not sure if it’ll have the same lasting impression other series of books have had on me. I think there’s something to say about the spacing of release dates, and corresponding movies spanning over a decade, and the anticipation and excitement that builds with that. However, 2015 will forever be the year of Harry Potter for me. And perhaps, the year of a kindled love for fantasy.
So here’s a quick a spoiler-free review for others who have yet to give Harry Potter a try:
It’s not quite what I imagined it to be. I was highly critical knowing I’m not into fantasy. Witches and wizards aren’t really my thing. But neither were vampires, so I got over my hang-up and dove right in.
The first couple books may seem overrated but by the third book I was completely sucked in. That one is probably still my favorite. I was really amazed by Rowling’s creativity, especially from here on out. It was really hard to guess where she was going. I mean who things this stuff up?
Don’t watch the movies first. I mean, it’s ok if you already have, but the books are SO much better. After you read the book put some space between watching the movie or the movie will be such a letdown. Once you’ve forgotten some of the details that are fresh in your mind you’re safe to watch the movie.
I’ve held off watching the last three movies for this reason. I’m having a Harry Potter movie marathon by myself sometime soon.
I think the book could possibly be most touching to parents. While I love a good love story, this series focuses on the love found in friendships, and between parents and children and at this stage in my life that really struck me, and even brought me to tears.
As I closed the book (or turned off my iPad screen tonight) and heaved a sigh of satisfaction, my husband looked over at me and threw a curious look.
“I just finished reading Harry Potter,” I told him with a smile.
“Oh ok, so you’re going to stop ignoring us and rejoin the family now?”
He thinks he’s so funny.
But yes, I’m back. Until I discover the next series to journey away with.