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Book Review for ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ by J.K. Rowling

“It’s our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

I read the UK Bloomsbury edition with the (beautiful!) cover illustration by Jonny Duddle. Once again, the artwork is breathtaking and captures the magic of this series.

These books only get better, don’t they? I simply loved ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.’ It’s Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, and strange things are starting to happen. As I had mentioned in my review for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, there’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said about the Harry Potter books, but I think this series means something different to everyone, so it doesn’t hurt to add my review to the thousands already out there.

⚡ I loved the introduction of Dobby and how beautifully J.K. Rowling wrote him. (Can I just go live inside Rowling’s head, please? I imagine it’s a beautiful place.) To conjure up this new character and bring him to life so well is a task, but J.K. did it so effortlessly. I love, love, love Dobby! I know some people find him annoying, but I think he’s simply adorable. [spoiler]Like many, I bawled when he died in ‘Deathly Hallows.’ How could you not?[/spoiler]

Dobby - Chamber of Secrets

Moving on.

⚡ We also meet Professor Lockhart in ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.’ He is comically annoying, and I’m glad Rowling added him. I’m pretty sure we’ve all met our own real-life Lockhart at some point—I sure have—so all of his scenes made me laugh a little. He’s quite the pretentious wizard, sure, but what’s a book without a good cocky character or two?

⚡ I loved the Howler. (Side note: Love how they brought it to “life” in the movie too.) I loved the Weasleys even more after this book; they’re just such a great family and the way they take Harry under their wing melts my heart. Ron having a broken wand in this book made for some great humor, too! Pretty much any scene involving good ol’ Ron Weasley involved some laughing, or at least a snort.

⚡ So the idea of Tom Riddle’s diary was what made this book darker (each book in the Harry Potter series seems to get darker). I love that Harry never gave up on the diary — he didn’t toss is aside or get frustrated and trash it. He kept with it until he found the little surprise lurking within it.

⚡ Hermione was the hero in her own way, which was great! She was absent for Harry and Ron’s visit into the Chamber of Secrets — because the basilisk petrified her — but Harry found crucial information about the basilisk clasped in her frozen hand with the word “pipes” scrawled under it. All of her research paid off in a big way because it lead the boys to the Chamber of Secrets. I also loved that Rowling made Hermione slightly more laid back in this book by having her disregard some rules. And her scene with the Polyjuice Potion was just hilarious. I actually felt a little bad for Hermione in this book. She was putting in so much work, but in the end she couldn’t catch a break between becoming a cat and being petrified. J.K. is wonderful for not making her female characters those helpless, damsel in distress types. As I stated, Hermione really was the hero in her own way.

Chamber of Secrets

⚡ Finally, thanks to Dumbledore’s help (and thanks to Harry’s loyalty to Dumbledore), Harry Potter was able to defeat the basilisk and destroy Tom Riddle’s diary. We also learn for the first time that there is a part of Voldermort in Harry. J.K. sets us all up for more magic to come, which she delivers in thee next instalment, ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.’

It’s not a secret that I absolutely adore the Harry Potter books, and despite them being targeted toward middle graders, I know many adults who covet this series! If you haven’t read them because the idea of child wizards sounds silly to you, I recommend you pick up the first book and just give it a try. Free your mind and get swept up in Rowling’s magical world. I was admittedly that person who heard the premise of this series and thought, Nope! I have zero interest in reading about small children and their adventures at a wizarding school. Boy am I glad I gave Harry Potter a chance, because it truly is my favorite series.