Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Hey everyone! So, I was supposed to have a different post up last week about a reflection on my exchange, but I've decided to hold off a bit on it. Today is a book review on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is the newest addition to the Harry Potter series. If you don't know, I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I reread the whole series this year in preparation for the new book, and I've seen each movie over 10 times each. When I heard there was a new book coming out which is the script to the play in London, I was skeptical but excited. I am always on Pottermore (the official Harry Potter website) to keep up on what's going on in the wizarding world. JK Rowling posts some small blurbs and stories based off characters that we never really finished learning their backstories (i.e Remus Lupin, Lily, Snape, etc). I ordered the newest Harry Potter book while I was on vacation, and then it arrived the day I got back and I was super excited despite the bad reviews. Now, it's my turn to talk about it because I am slightly disappointed with the book.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

My Thoughts: (WARNING: vague mentions of spoilers)

First of all, this book is not written by JK Rowling but is approved by her because she has said that she is done with writing Harry Potter books. She wrote all seven of the incredible novels and then The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Hogwarts A History, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She probably wants to move on from the series because if she ever gets new ideas she can just post them on her website. I am going to say this again, but this book is the script to the play because not everyone can go see the play.

Secondly, the old characters have no depth to them. Ron Weasley, this mighty character in the series, has his personality literally stripped of him and he's like that uncle that just jokes around all the time and tells lame jokes. Growing up has not suited Harry well at all because he's stressed all the time and he's not living life to the fullest. I understand that all these characters had to grow up, but the author got rid of key things that would keep the characters similar to the way they were as children. How can three characters who had an adventurous childhood want to settle down and do the same repetitive thing every day? I do like Hermione still, but she doesn't seem as bright as she used to be.

There are quite a few new characters such as Rose Granger-Weasley (who is literally on 10 pages and then she disappears for the rest of the book), Hugo Granger-Weasley, Lily Potter, James Potter, Albus Severus Potter, and Scorpius Malfoy. Of these children, the only two the story fully revolves around are Scorpius and Albus. Unlike his father, Scorpius is a character you learn to love right away. 

Thirdly, one of the parts of the book I loved was the mentions of Severus Snape, and Cedric Diggory. In HP 4 and 5, Cedric is mentioned a lot, but then he kind of is a memory for the rest of the series. I liked that they become 'relevant' in the new book, even if it's just a small amount of the time. 

Lastly, there is barely any point in the plot. It's very similar to the whole "teenager gets mad at parents so they decide to rebel' genre of books. I honestly think that if this book was written like a novel and not like a play, there would have been more room for details of what happened in those 19 years instead of just jumping forward. I really don't want to spoil anything but there are huge plot holes involving characters like Albus Severus Potter and Bellatrix Lestrange. The timeline does not add up with the old books, which makes me question how much the author worked to make sense of what happened. 

It hurts my heart that I have to be disappointed in a Harry Potter book because I never stop talking about the series. I want to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play, but I am so upset with the book. I feel like I would have been happy without this book, just because there was some type of closure at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I still think people should read the book because it's another insight to the Wizarding World that I've grown to love. 

Un-answered Questions that I have still:

Did Ginny not have any say in naming the kids? Really... Albus Severus, Lily, and James.

How old is Professor McGonagall?

How did Ron end up getting the job he did?

Where are all of Ginny and Ron's other siblings?

Sorry if this spoiled some parts of the book. I really tried not to say too much. I am sure that people will love the book, but I just found it kind of upsetting and disappointing at some parts. 

Questions: Have you read this book yet? Do you want to read this book? What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?

                                                       Christina Madeleine



  1. Nice post! I have the book but I haven't read it yet as I'm in the middle of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and I don't want to stop reading it.

    1. Oh I love that one! I think my favorites are Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the Goblet of Fire. Enjoy them! It's honestly my favorite series ever.

  2. I'm an enormous Potter fan, too, but I'm nervous about this book, and upset that it's a play but not a movie since the vast majority of fans will never be able to afford to go see it, no matter what continent it's on. I'm going to read the book, because how could I not!?!?!? But I'm more anxious than excited.

    1. I think that people should read the book and all, but I was just slightly disappointed. I would love to know what you think if you read the book. xx

  3. Such a wonderfully honest review, I'll admit I've not read any Harry Potter books but my eldest daughter is a huge fan, she hasn't read this one yet (she'll be getting it as a present for finish exams in a couple of weeks), will be interesting to see how her opinion compares to yours. Thank you for sharing with #ReadWithMe

  4. My dad has read the book (but he's completely filled me in on everything that's happened), and we both agree that it definitely isn't the best installment in the Harry Potter world. Some of the "plot twists" seem very contrived and aimed at solely creating controversy, and the three best characters (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) lost their best qualities. Definitely agree with everything you stated here--great review!

    Tori A. from Prep For A Day

  5. Lovely post! I got the book but havent read it yet (have to finish the one im currently reading) but this was such a nice review!
    Xx Sofia

  6. I think I'll steer clear of this one. Thanks for the heads-up. Thanks for linking this post up with Booknificent Thursday on!



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