Book Review//Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 possible be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects… Harry Potter himself! 

My Thoughts

We’re continuing my re-read of the Harry Potter series! I started the first one before I went to Greece in 2019 (which feels like forever ago!) and I’m finally getting around to reviewing Chamber of Secrets. COVID was good for getting me back into this series and continuing my re-read. I might re-read the series every 10 years to see how much I’ve changed and what my take-aways are from the last time I read them. The last time I read this book I was still in University or high school… It was about 10 years ago, which feels like forever ago and like yesterday simultaneously.

Let me start off my thoughts/review of Chamber of Secrets by stating that this is my least favourite book in the series. There’s something that I just don’t enjoy in this book — it could possibly be the spiders because, like Ron, I’m absolutely terrified of them. If I went into the Forbidden Forest and saw Aragog, I would have died from terror. I understand how this book fits into the overarching plot and the significance of what the reader learns about Riddle’s diary, but it wasn’t my cup of tea (or even my cup of coffee), it was more like ‘let’s drink a bottle of wine to get through this.’

Like I said, the last time I read this book was when I was in University… or was it high school? I honestly can’t remember but it was a while ago. I still have very fond memories of reading this book for the very first time and discovering the magic that is Harry Potter — that will always stay with me. As I was reading Chamber of Secrets, I was more focused on ripping Rowling’s writing apart (was it because I just finished a Publishing program where we took editing courses, or because I was raging at her for her remarks again? Probably both). There were a few sentences where I cringed, they were written poorly, and it wasn’t because of the glass of wine! It had poor structure and didn’t make sense to me. I think I was nit-picking at the beginning because I remembered what my editing teacher said in passing about how Rowling’s work needed more editing… And I agreed with that statement.

Back in March when my region entered our first lockdown, I watched all the movies with my now ex-boyfriend, and I’ve never appreciated Book Ginny until I started reading Chamber of Secrets. I completely forgot how amazing and different she is from Movie Ginny — she’s much better in the books! Speaking of characters, I have a rather unpopular opinion… Ahem… I don’t like Dobby… At all. I find him annoying; I have never liked him and rolled my eyes whenever he made an appearance.

This book was set a slower pace, there was a lot of build-up towards the end which lasted maybe 50/100 pages or so? It followed a very similar plot and structure to Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone, which I was fine with as a kid. That’s cool, that’s fine with Elementary School Kaitlyn, but adult Kaitlyn wanted more. I actually forgot a lot about the dialogue that occurred in this book — I loved the twins in this one and their sassy comments which actually get better in Goblet of Fire which I’m currently reading. Lockhart was just full of himself and I was here for it this time. I found him to be super annoying when I was a kid, but now I loved every moment of it. I love how my tastes have changed and which characters I’m more drawn towards now as an adult.

Most hated characters still go to the Dursley’s followed by Malfoy. I hated them when I was a kid and I still hate them now. The Weasleys, however, can adopt me anytime now. I will gladly dye my hair red and somehow get freckles and then call them my family.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It was good, still not my favourite but I can see why it’s important for the overall plot. I can go another 10 years without reading this one. With all the being said, it’s still a solid 4/5… Glasses of wine, not cups of tea.

Cups of Tea: ☕☕☕☕

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (Although my copy of this book was through Scholastic)

Published: July 2, 1998

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