Review - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Series: Harry Potter #1
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy
Publication: Originally June 26th 1997, this edition: September 1st 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens
Pages: 352, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Jonathan Ball Publishers for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 5/5 CUPCAKES!
When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
This is going to be quite a hard review to write, as how do you write a review for one of the best-selling, most-loved and most widely-recognised books of all time? It's a series that most people would state is their favourite, millions of people have dressed up as the characters for World  Book Day and Halloween and everybody knows about the books, if they haven't, they have surely been avoiding people in the African desert. I read the first four books 3 or 4 years back but I'm hoping to finish the series. Re-reading the first book was absolutely wonderful and it was just as captivating as I remembered it! The story just as magical, the characters just as lovely and the writing just as fantastic. Oh, and those new covers are absolutely GORGEOUS!

I don't need to give a detailed synopsis of what Harry Potter is about as I am certain that most of you have read and re-read or at the very least heard all about it. Harry Potter is about eleven year old Harry Potter, an orphan after his parents apparently died in a horrific car crash, with him as the only survivor, lives with his dreadful aunt and uncle and their even more dreadful son, Dudley. Harry Potter lives in the cupboard under the stairs, pretending he doesn't exist, which is exactly the way the Dursley's like it. One day, letters start arriving for Harry, letters that his aunt and uncle hide from him. Eventually the sender has had enough and in bursts Hagrid, a gigantic man with warm eyes that tells Harry that he is in fact a wizard and that come September, he will attend Hogwarts, a school for wizardry. Upon arriving at Hogwarts, Harry Potter finds out that he is famous in the wizarding world, for he chased away a dark wizard who killed his parents and tried, yet failed, to kill him. As Harry Potter adjusts to his new life, he realises there are secrets lurking around Hogwarts, one of them happening to be the Philosopher's Stone, a stone that can turn a person immortal as well as turn everything into gold. With his newfound friends, Ron and Hermione, Harry discovers that a dangerous enemy is rising and it's up to him to stop it.

I really loved this book and I can understand why it's a favourite among the majority of people. The characters are so real and the dialogue is so witty and the magical world is one where you can completely lose yourself in.

When I was younger, I use to love reading fantasy novels and I rarely read contemporary. Nowadays it's the opposite as I find some young adult fantasy novels are incredibly dense and hard to get through. It was invigorating reading Harry Potter as it was a fantasy world where I didn't have to keep track of a thousand complicated character names or work my way through over 1,000 pages to reach near the end of the book and forget what was actually happening. It was a fantasy novel in a wonderful form, without strange names and endless amounts of pages yet still having such a magical element to it as well as witty, wonderful characters and such a fantastic storyline that it was refreshing from other YA fantasies I have attempted to read.

The characters are amazing. I absolutely adore Hagrid, Dumbledore and Hermione. I love how Hagrid is this massive giant but he has such a caring, kind soul. Dumbledore is extremely wise, kind and often says such funny things that I couldn't help but loving his character. Then there is Hermione who I utterly adore, perhaps because I see myself so much in her. She also loves books and school and I can completely relate to that. I felt extremely sorry for her because of all the teasing she had to endure but I'm so happy that she, Ron and Harry became such wonderful friends. They are a marvelous trio.

Harry is also extremely brave and kind, I felt his loss immensely when he was looking in the Mirror of Erised and wanting to see his parents, I truly understood then just how hard it must be for him. Ron and the other Weasleys are so hilarious and witty and I loved every scene with them in!

The plot was fantastic and there wasn't a single dull moment. I loved returning to the world and the characters that I had first met those couple of years ago. The writing was also great! The humour had me chuckling out loud and there were some beautiful, quotable moments in there that had my eyes brimming with tears, specifically towards the end.

Overall, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was just as fantastic as I remembered it! It was truly wonderful diving back into the world and becoming re-acquainted with the characters. No wonder this story is so well-loved, the characters are so brave and the storyline so original, that I couldn't help but enjoy my time reading this. Filled with bravery, friendship and such a creative fantasy world, anyone could enjoy this book.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!