Review - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Series: Harry Potter #2
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication: Originally published July 2nd 1988, this edition published September 1st 2014. Bloomsbury Children
Pages: 384 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Jonathan Ball Publishers for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review! 
Rating: 5/5 Cupcakes!
Harry Potter can’t wait for his holidays with the dire Dursleys to end. But a small, self-punishing house-elf warns Harry of mortal danger awaiting him at Hogwarts. Returning to the castle nevertheless, Harry hears a rumour about a Chamber of Secrets, holding unknown horrors for wizards of Muggle parentage. Now someone is casting spells that turn people to stone, and a terrible warning is found painted on the wall. The chief suspect – always in the wrong place – is Harry. But something much more terrifying has yet to be unleashed.
Highlight the white space between the words *spoiler* to read the spoiler!

I absolutely loved this book. It was even more phenomenal than the first book. Although I'd read it before, the amount of plot twists had me gasping in utter shock, as, truth be told, I'd forgotten what happened. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was magical, enthralling and had me utterly captivated.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets starts off with Harry spending summer at the Dursleys. His spell books are locked up, as well as his broomstick, so he can't do his homework or practise Quidditch. The only thing that provides him entertainment is that the Dursleys don't know he can't do magic at home, but even that is ruined when Harry gets a letter and they find out. However, strange things begin to happen when Dobby, the house elf appears and warns Harry that he must not return to Hogwarts as there is something extremely dangerous hidden beneath the castle's walls. As Harry tries to figure this out, Ron, Fred and George come to the rescue in the enchanted, flying car that they "borrowed" from their dad and Harry ends up staying at the Weasleys for the summer. When they arrive at Hogwarts, things start out fantastic, but soon terror takes hold of the pupils and the students. Several pupils have been found petrified, turned completely to stone and Harry has been hearing a disembodied voice that he thinks is what's been harming the students...and it's blood-thirsty.

This sequel was honestly so enjoyable! It made me laugh, it made me squeal and it made my jaw go slack. It was the perfect combination of magic, adventure and plot twists to hold my attention the whole way through and to become even more attached to the characters who I was introduced to in the first book! There was never a dull moment and I am currently exhausted due to the late nights I've been having thanks to the cliffhangers and suspense that the book contained. Do I regret it? Nope. It was too fantastic to regret losing sleep over it.

The characters...sigh...I just love them so much! I can see me being an emotional wreck once I've finished the series. I'm trying to read the series as slow as possible (which isn't going to happen because the intrigue has me completely ensnared in its conniving hands!) so that I'll be able to savour every moment. I love Harry's bravery and determination and I admire how he's willing to die to save others. His courage is something I highly admire.

Ron, George and Fred never failed to crack me up! They were constantly saying amusing things and their antics had me constantly laughing! I love how Ron sticks by Harry and even though he is terrified or certain things or doesn't think something is a good idea, he still faithfully sticks by Harry and helps him. Their friendship is utterly wonderful and something I admire.

Hermione is still my favourite character, one that is very similar to me! She really inspires me to work even harder at my school work and to try and get the best grades possible. Although I already do, Hermione's studious character motivates me to try my hardest if the amount of schoolwork frustrates me.

Lockhart was a new character we were introduced to and he was so frustrating and in love with himself. *spoiler*I'm not quite sure why he was incorporated into the story, perhaps to throw us off guard and suspect him.*spoiler*

I loved that I got to see more of the Weasleys in the book and see how they lived. They're such a wonderful, kind and loving family and it was lovely getting more acquainted with them. It was also interesting seeing more of Ginny as we hadn't seen much of her in the first book and I found it interesting seeing more of her character and learning more about her.

It was interesting learning more about Voldemort's past and getting more of his backstory as a child. It was also the first time I began to fully understand how dangerous he was, which made his part in the Chamber of Secrets even more chilling.

I thought the plot line was fantastic and there was a much more malevolent atmosphere throughout. I honestly was thrown off guard at who opened the chamber as I always thought *spoiler*Lockhart*spoiler* memory is appalling!

Overall, I absolutely adored The Chamber of Secrets. It was filled with suspense and mystery and I was intrigued the whole way through, utterly devoid of any boredom whatsoever. The twist at the end shocked me and I sat there with my mouth agape, trying to comprehend how I couldn't remember that. The whole diary episode was genius. I still can't get over how J.K. Rowling so thoughtfully crafts a novel. After I finished the book, I recognised the hints that were always there - the foreshadowing was impeccable! I loved this book and it was even better than the first! 

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!