Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli
rating: 4 of 5 stars
OK, how do I start? Ever since I found out about this book, I've been wanting to read it, and even after I bought it, I took a long time to finally pick it up. Once I opened it though, I couldn't put it down.
Just the name, "Harry, A History" and the cover, a couple of old looking books with a familiar set of round glasses on top, brought tears to my eyes. So many memories...
I started reading Harry Potter after "Goblet of Fire" was released. I was expecting my first child, my husband was working nights, and we were living in a state thousands of miles from any family. Yes, I was lonely and friendless, and Harry walked into my life and became such a beloved friend that I lost myself in the series. I read the first four books in a week, and I reread them over and over.
Those three years until "Order of the Phoenix" came out were a torture I could only endure by participating in the online HP community, AKA, The Leaky Cauldron.
When I had the blue book in my hands, I quickly forgot the speculations I and others had raised on the online forums, and I ate the book up. In the early hours of the morning I finished reading it, and instead of happiness, I felt cheated, devastated; I hated the book! However, I reread it over and over, went online, and learned to love this change in Harry. Eventually "Order" increased my obsession for HP and JK Rowling.
I've dragged my kids to midnight book release parties, to celebrate HP birthday at the library, and for number 7, my husband gave me the perfect gift, and we took our whole family to Scotland for the book release.
I totally, utterly, completely love "Half Blood Prince" and "Deathly Hallows." I can read them over and over.
Well, you might be wondering what does my HP experience have anything to do with this book? I loved this book because even though I never had the joy of meeting JK or going to movie premiers, Melissa and I share this love for this story that has meant so much for us. I don't know how I ever survived childhood without Harry Potter!
I love her recounting of the "shipping wars", the fan fiction, the movies, interviewing JK with Emerson from mugglenet, etc.
I was a follower of leaky (I still visit the website every once in while) and I remember reading the interview for the first time; I felt like Melissa and Emerson were representing all the fans. I was grateful for the questions they asked, and the answers JK gave them.
I loved learning how HP came to pass; the chain of events that made this book so wonderful and popular. I loved learning about the music groups like Harry and the Potters.
I know!!!!!!! What a geek! But boy was it fun! And now, no more books to read, just the movies.
I'll never forget the anticipation, that feeling of magic in the air, when I got my hands on the newly released books for the first time. No one knew what happened, and I hurried home and read through the night, and I felt like I was living Harry's adventures by his side. I'm a little sad that my kids won't be able to experience that; but I have two images brandished in mind: my six year old son, who was just learning how to read, sitting on the hotel hallway, trying to read "Deathly Hallows," and now, seeing him, almost three years later, reading 200 pages of "Goblet of Fire" over one weekend, his eyes lit with the magic that emanates from the book. I'm reading HP for the first time again though him.
I loved that Melissa wrote this book, and that I could see that in spite of the details, our experiences were similar; except for the little detail of the two day interview with JK at JK's house. I'm so envious about that!!!!
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