Why I Love...Harry Potter!
“We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.”
It's that time of the week again for my contribution to "Why I Love." I thought long and hard about this edition because there are so many series that I love, but, in the end, the choice was obvious. So, my choice for favorite book series goes to...drum roll please...Harry Potter. I mean, come on! How can you go with anything else?!
I remember not wanting to jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon when it first arrived on the scene. And I didn't. It wasn't until a fateful camping trip during the summer before college, well after the third book had come out, that I managed to finish both of the books I had brought with me before the weekend was over. Because of this I had to scrounge around the camper for something stashed away by my mom. Low and behold, I found Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets hidden away in a cupboard with some board games. It was then that my adventure to Hogwarts began and what an adventure it was!
Since that wonderful discovery of all things in the non-Muggle world, I have been a devoted follower of Ms. Rowling and the Boy Who Lived. I have wished that I could attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, whip up a batch of Felix Felicis, hunt for a Horcrux, hang out in the Gryffindor common room, and have dreadful tea with Hagrid. I've wanted to fly on a broom, play Quidditch, visit Diagon Alley, and drink some butterbeer. I've wanted to go on adventures with Ron and Hermione, become friends with Neville, fight with Draco, and be lectured by Professor McGonagall. The closest I got to any of these wishes was an amazing club in college, Dumbledore's Army: The Harry Potter Literacy Club (awesome fun...complete with themed holiday parties and wand making), and living in Scotland for a year.
This was actually before I moved to Scotland. At this time, I was living in Vienna, Austria and took a week long trip to London, Edinburgh, and Dublin before flying back to the States for the summer before Grad School.
But most of all, I've wanted to immerse myself in the wonderful, rich text that Rowling weaves throughout the seven books. Each book adds yet another layer and complexity to the ones that came before it. The Sorcerer's Stone sets the mood and premise. The Chamber of Secrets starts to bring the imminent darkness to the story and shows how far some will go to achieve their means. The Prisoner of Azkaban shows that it's not only Harry who has suffered at the hands of Voldemort and that everything is not always what it seems. The Goblet of Fire brings integral outsiders into the mix and presents the idea of cooperation across borders. The Order of the Phoenix shows the reader that there are people willing to fight for what's right. The Half-Blood Prince opens up the past in a way that leaves the reader with an internal struggle and shows that even those in powerful positions are not immune to the destruction that Voldemort brings. And, finally, The Deathly Hallows takes the reader on a voyage of discovery, salvation, determination, and the ultimate fight between good and evil. Once started, it is impossible to NOT finish this wonderful series.
To all the Harry Potter naysayers who refuse to give the series a chance, all I can say is "Shame on you." I, too, was once a naysayer to this series and I can honestly say that I am grateful I changed my mind and caved to the mainstream. These books truly have everything: adventure, friendship, heartbreak, fear, joy, family, and so much more. It promotes the power of doing good and perseverance in the face of darkness; qualities that every single person should strive to accomplish and possess. These are only a few of the many reasons why Harry Potter is my number one choice for favorite book series.
“We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
Runners Up for favorite Series:
~The Hunger Games Trilogy
~The Stephanie Plum Series
~The Twilight Series (despite the absolutely atrocious writing and overdone plot)