Thursday, September 1, 2016

Harry Potter Summer Reread {Discussion}



And just like that, summer is over and so is our epic Harry Potter reread. Friends, this summer was a little heavy for both Jen and I. I lost my mom at the end of July and Jen's mom ran into some health issues of her own. Parental health issues are so scary and so heavy. I'm forever grateful I have a friend like Jen in my life who can help me through the rough things. All this to say that this reread came at a perfect time. I enjoyed getting lost in the Harry Potter universe and discussing it with Jen as we went along. I read Harry Potter in the hospital while I sat with my mom and after she died I found solace in the books once again. It was truly a magical summer, even if it was filled with loss, it was also filled with love and friendship. 

The last time I read Harry Potter was probably 8-9 years ago. It was so cool reading it again as an adult and then getting to discuss everything with my best friend. I hope you joined us, or that you will consider rereading the books! We might make this reread a bi-yearly tradition. Let's jump into it and discuss all things Harry Potter together! 






Discussion Time! 


Heather
Hey bestie! 

Jen
HEYYYYYY!



Heather
I'm so excited to discuss our summer Harry Potter reread, which was basically amazing and I never wanted it to end. It kind of made me fall in love with the whole Harry Potter universe all over again. 



Jen
Yeeeesssssss! I was basically heart eye emogis all summer! I absolutely loved living and breathing Potter for the last couple of months.  And I'm seriously already feeling withdrawals from it. I'm lost without Potter!


Heather
Same! As soon as I finished I wanted to start reading it all over again. It's definitely cemented as my favorite series of all time. I did kind of find it interesting reading it again as an adult. Did you notice any kind of changes in your reading experience this time around? 



Jen
Yes, favorite all time ever series! And yea, reading it through the eyes of a 30 year old opposed to a teenager was a bit different.  I found myself getting annoyed with Harry way more for his temper and his attitude, especially in The Half Blood Prince.  It didn't really take away from the magical-ness and I'm sure it was strictly a teenage thing! You know how teenagers can be. What about you?



Heather
I had a similar experience. I found him most annoying in Order of the Phoenix actually. He kept getting detention from Umbridge, which could have easily been avoided if he just kept his mouth shut! It definitely didn't take away from the magicalness of the series, but it was harder to relate to a teenager as an almost 30 year old. What was your favorite book during the reread? Did it change from what you thought it was before? 



Jen
Oh man, I think I misspoke, it was definitely The Order of the Phoenix where I felt super annoyed about his stubbornness.  Gah. When I was younger I would have definitely said The Prisoner of Azkaban.  That is the last book before shit really gets real for the kids.  They have to grow up and deal with so much more tragedy as the books progress.  But this time through, I really enjoyed The Goblet of Fire, which would have probably been my least favorite as a teen. I sobbed at the end because you could just see what a great support group Harry had around him.  Between Molly's mothering & Sirius's guidance and understanding, I lost it and sobbed through the last few chapters. How about you?






Heather
It's honestly so hard to choose, I love so many things about each book, and I love that JK Rowling did an amazing job at having them gradually grow up and deal with more shit. I think when I was younger Goblet of Fire was my favorite, because I loved the Triwizard Tournament but I also loved that the end of it shifted to Voldemort actually being back. It was the shift from childhood to adulthood for me. This time around I really enjoyed Half Blood Prince the best. I loved that Dumbledore was such a huge part of it and the fact that we got to see memories of Voldemort from before he came to power. I think the whole thing was mysterious and also I think I related a little more with him dealing with grief over Siruis since my mom died right before I started reading it. This reread, especially at the end, was a really cathartic experience for me. 
What about favorite characters? 



Jen
Man, I agree with your summary so hard. It was so hard to choose because each book really is amazing on its own. And I really did love learning more about Voldy's past and Dumbedore and really getting to the nitty gritty of how to possibly destroy Voldy. And I agree, this series has super healing powers.

Gahhhhh! So hard! All the characters are seriously so well developed and each of the purposes is so meaningful to the story, even those background characters! Butttttt, if I have to narrow it down, my favorites would be: Hermione, Luna, Hagrid & Dobby. Hermione is just such a bad ass witch, always. I really feel like I can relate to Luna with her quirkiness and the different way she views the world.  Hagrid is such a gentle giant and I just love how affinity towards dangerous creatures. And Dobby has the biggest heart of them all and I loved his knack of helping Harry in dire situations without wanting anything in return. AAAANNNDDDD I almost forgot about Neville! I love how hard he tries, no matter what! Who are your faves?






Heather
It is totally hard to choose a favorite character, like you said they are all so well developed and are vital to the story.I think I would say my favorites are Luna, Sirius, Mrs. Weasley and Neville. I love how Luna is so weird and quirky but never feels ashamed for being who she is. I love how Neville isn't the best wizard in some subjects but he's so brave and willing to be there for Harry when he needs friends the most. Sirius is just so cool and I love that Harry got family, even for a short time, who loved him and supported him, even if he was sometimes reckless. I think I relate to Mrs. Weasley the most as a badass momma witch who would do anything for her children. I also would say that Snape has maybe one of the best character arcs and his memories that we get to see in the last book and see how he was in love with Lily and dedicated to protecting Harry the whole time was so perfect and gut wrenching. See, too many characters to choose from!  
Anything else we didn't cover about the reread? Or just last minute thoughts that you wanted to throw out? 




Jen
Gahhh! I agree! So hard to choose! The story wouldn't be the same without ALL the characters. Even Malfoy! But I totes agree with your assessment of Snape. He definitely had the best character arc, of probably any character ever. You go from hating him, to starting to trust him, to REALLY hating him, then to totally understanding him and really appreciating his sacrifices.  Such a complex guy you really grow to love or at least, appreciate like hell.
Um, obviously Harry Potter is the best series ever and if you haven't read it you are seriously missing out on one of the best universes EVER created.  I could fangirl over Harry forever, and I probably will if we are being honest. #HarryPotterforLife



Heather
Just talking about it makes me want to read it all over again! It's just so perfect and even rereading is as an adult I still found it just as magical! Maybe we should start planning a trip to one of the Harry Potter theme parks for 2017?
I think I'm also really excited to share the books with my kids soon! We already watch the movies together but reading the books is just so special, I can't wait to do that together. 
Fangirls for life! 


Jen
Me too! I think it should be read every other summer at least, since it is such a huge commitment. This summer, even with our mutual heartaches, has been such a magical summer! Yes to HP Theme Park road trip! Of course we need to plan that! And I can't wait to hear how your girls fall in love with it. Such a great mutual bonding experience! And I might have read a few chapters to my cats over the summer.....



Heather
I totes agree about an every other summer reread. It was one of my favorite things we did this summer! Listen, kids or cats, Harry Potter is enjoyable for all! Next up we need to talk about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but let's take a break before we dive into that one! 




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