At 33 years old, I had never read Harry Potter. In a world full of Muggles and Witches and Wizards, and tens of thousands of memes dedicated to all things Potter, I was unknowing. Oh, I followed Voldemort on Twitter and giggled at some of the things he said….but I didn’t get it. You don’t truly get it until you’ve read the books, even in a world saturated with Potterisms. I didn’t know about dragons, or three-headed dogs that could be sung to sleep, or potions and spells, or Quidditch and the Snitch, or Gryffindor, or invisible cloaks, or Platform 9 ¾. I didn’t know the Hogwarts school song, and I hadn’t met the Weasley Twins yet…or Professor Snape and Dumbledore. I may just have been one of the last people on Earth to begin waiting on my own letter (which, I suspect my postman may have stolen…).\r\nYes, at 33, I was a Harry Potter Virgin. These are my confessions of a Harry Potter virgin.
\r\nHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #2
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on 7/2/1998
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade
The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.
And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girl's bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.
But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble beings, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself.
I didn’t think it was possible to one-up a five-star book, but Rowling does it in The Chamber of Secrets, which becomes just slightly darker than The Sorcerer’s Stone. The first book introduces you to the characters and the places; The Chamber of Secrets begins taking you deep into the heart of Hogwarts, revealing secrets, dangers and Voldemort’s past, in fits and spurts. Harry was warned, don’t go back to Hogwarts, by a house-elf (which is the first I am introduced to house-elves – I want a house-elf!) named Dobby….of course he doesn’t listen. Harry never listens.\r\nThe plot intrigued me so! Something is turning students and teachers (and ghosts?!) into stone, but who??? Initially I was very suspecting of the new Dark Arts teacher, and then Draco Malfoy (the little bastard), but the Dark Arts teacher seemed too fluffy and Draco is just too young and stupid (and arrogant, and stupid, and….). That still left a lot of possibilities, though, so who could it be? Of course Lord Voldemort ALWAYS tops the list.\r\nLet me tell you, I LOVE THE WEASLEY TWINS. They are so vibrant and full of life and they completely make up for any stuck-upness that Percy the Perfect – I mean Prefect – has going on.\r\nHarry is without a doubt still the most fascinating character for me (maybe, for anyone?) and there is so much he doesn’t even know about himself!\r\nOverall, this was much more exciting than The Sorcerer’s Stone, what with the secret chamber and Voldemort getting into the school via someone else’s body. I can already tell the intrigue is growing and the books are becoming darker. I am also very curious about the ties between Harry and Voldemort!