This is a mostly spoiler free review of my rereading experience of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I do have a spoiler section at the very end of the review, but there will be a warning before that starts if you haven’t read the gloriousness of this book and somehow haven’t been spoiled (I’m totally not judging you people right now). I will say this review is a complete blabbering mess but enjoy!
A little irrelevant sidenote: I’m still not completely back to my regular posting schedule but thanks for dealing with me so far.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter (#2)
Publication: July 2nd 1998 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Ever since Harry Potter had come home for the summer, the Dursleys had been so mean and hideous that all Harry 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 who says that if Harry 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 and a spirit who haunts the girls’ bathroom. But then the real trouble begins — someone is 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!
As always, this book was so fun to read. I know a lot of people has this one as their least favourite of the series but I still love it. Surprisingly, I’ve reread this book more than any other in the series (young me absolutely LOVED flying cars – flying anything to be honest). It’s not my favourite out of the bunch but it was the only book I had and you know how it’s like. Sad? Harry Potter. Bored? Harry Potter. Frustrated with the world? Harry Potter. I don’t think any review can express how great these Harry Potter books are so, this is more of a mess of emotions and thoughts I had reading this book.
THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN OPENED. ENEMIES OF THE HEIR, BEWARE.
The plot reveals were mind-blowing and epic. Although all the book titles in this series kind of tell the endgame, the suspense and surprise is still there. Chamber of secrets – don’t I wonder??? There were so many genius foreshadowing details that I’ve forgotten from the last time I’ve reread.
‘Rubbish,’ said Hermione. ‘You’ve read his books – look at all those amazing things he’s done…’
‘He says he’s done,’ Ron muttered
Honestly, everyone needs to listen to Ron’s muttering because the likelihood that it’s true is almost 100%.
Something that I liked more in the movies (God forbid) was the length of the ending. i liked how in the movie it was more drawn out because in my opinion, it ended pretty quickly in the book.
Looking back at Harry’s experience at school, it must have been absolutely horrible. I don’t understand how he couldn’t have been more affected. He spends most of his year away at Hogwarts, “his home” from a horrible place at the Dursleys to face more insults and nasty interactions – being the target of rumours, gossip, being ignored and treated like a “freak”. How heartbreaking and disheartening is that?
We get to explore a wizard home, precisely The Burrow AKA the home of the Weasley family. I loved it so much. Just how everything worked, the family dynamic and their daily life – it was just so fascinating. A scene that I would have loved to see in the movie adaptation was the degnoming scene. It’s a really random comment but I think that would have been so fun.
And of course, Hogwarts. As crazy and dangerous as the school year is e.g. walking upstairs to get to your class, it seems fun.
Every book in this series, we get introduced to some new things. This year: the howler. I cannot fathom the embarrassment of experiencing that in general, let alone that happening in somewhere as public as the great hall. Which makes me wonder even more what the teachers do when public things like this happen.
Once again, I was impressed by the range of character personalities and individuals that Rowling could explore in such a small book. Even the side characters weren’t neglected which is fantastic!
Every time I have reread a HP book, I’m completely appalled by the way the Dursleys treat Harry. Their hatred seems so irrational and I get so angry at them.
I love the Weasley family so much I don’t even know how to explain it. I adored Mr Weasley’s fascination with muggles.
Another year, another defence against the dark arts teacher. And second year presents: Professor Gilderoy Lockhart. He is such an idiot I just wanted to slap him every time I felt his presence. I know basically everyone finds him a joke, but I actually cannot deal with him. He’s so frustrating and I am filled with so much hatred for him it’s not even funny.
Dobby the elf is another newbie we get in this book. He was irritating for a large portion of the book but I really warmed up to him.
I love how the trio’s friendship continues to grow and develop among their disagreements and discussions. The amount of illegal adventures they got up to probably could have gotten them expelled at least 10 times. Also Harry has a huge identity crisis this year and his self-doubt breaks me.
Dumbledore is so cryptic sometimes. Half my reaction to what he was saying was “wow that was so interesting, what could be the meaning of this statement” but then it gets to a point where I’m like “hey man, they’re kids can’t you just tell it to them straight”.
Voldy’s back (as expected)!! We get to learn so much more about his past and his time at Hogwarts.
I almost forgot about the wreaking havoc that is Peeves because of his absence in the movies. He can be so irritating but kind of in an endearing way. I just wanted to slip in some appreciation of this character.
– – – – – – – – – – – – SPOILERS AHEAD! – – – – – – – – – – – –
3… 2… 1…
Some random SPOILER thoughts on some great moments in this book…
An iconic moment:
‘Dobby has a sock,’ said Dobby in disbelief. ‘Master threw it, and Dobby caught it, and Dobby – Dobby is free.’
Do you love it or do you love it?
Some talk about the ending:
Hagrid being “revealed” as the person who opened the chamber of secrets shocked and confused me so much the first-time round. In that moment, I questioned all my life decisions. I was also confused about Voldemort being the heir of Slytherin because I was so certain that Rowling was referring to a student.
The names swapsies of Tom Marvolo Riddle had me gaping at the page for a solid minute or so – a major jaw dropping moment. Another shocking event was Ginny’s involvement. But I was laughing so much releasing all the stuff Voldemort had to deal with writing back to Ginny in the diary. The dark lord giving teenage girl advice bwahaha.
And some solid advice from Mr Weasley:
“Ginny!” said Mr. Weasley, flabbergasted. “Haven’t I taught you anything. What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain?”
Some strong sass game from Harry that revived me:
You’re not,’ he said, his quiet voice full of hatred.
‘Not what?’ snapped Riddle.
‘Not the greatest sorcerer in the world,’ said Harry, breathing fast. ‘Sorry to disappoint you, and all that, but the greatest wizard in the world is Albus Dumbledore. Everyone says so. Even when you were strong you didn’t dare try and take over at Hogwarts. Dumbledore saw through you when you were at school and he still frightens you now, wherever you’re riding these days.’
In times of desperation, I too believe the best course of action is to insult the dark lord.
A spoiler for The Half-Blood Prince:
‘Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?’ Harry said, thunderstruck.
I love when authors actually have an endpoint in mind because I feel the series actually has direction and the plot is less muddled.
– – – – – – – – – – – – END OF SPOILERS! – – – – – – – – – – – –
The book does start a bit slower in the beginning but it speeds up so fast towards the end. I’ve only come to realise and appreciate how much this book sets up for future plots in the series rereading it. It’s unique, it’s magical, it’s Harry Potter.
What did you think of the book? How often do you reread your favourites? Comment below!
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