2021 Reading Challenge Update | August Edit

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy/Children’s/Young Adult/Magic

New Harry Potter covers revealed | Children's books | The Guardian

Blurb:

For twelve long years, the dreaded fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts . . . he’s at Hogwarts.”

Harry Potter isn’t safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

I can always rely on Harry Potter to pull me out of a reading slump! Before cracking open the third instalment of the biggest book series in the world, I was reading ‘The Switch’ by Beth O’Leary and I think it was just a case of right book, wrong time. I had a little look through my bookshelf and ‘The Prisoner Of Azkaban’ was calling to me!

Growing up, I had only ever read the first and the last Harry Potter books as they were the only two we had, so a few years back I treated myself to the full set so I could read them all. When I was younger, everyone’s favourite Harry Potter movie was The Prisoner of Azkaban but mine was always The Goblet of Fire. I never really understood the hype that surrounded the third movie, but as I’ve got older, and now I’ve read the book, I totally get it.

Being the bookworm I am, I’m pretty ashamed of having not read the Harry Potter books before now 😬 The movies are of course, incredible but as with all movie adaptations, there are so many things from the books that have been removed or not explained very well. I think that’s the best part about reading the books after seeing the films though, as you get all these extra details and storylines that perhaps aren’t even mentioned in the movie. Peeves the poltergeist for example is in all of the books but not in a single film.

Something I found most surprising that wasn’t in the movie is the importance of Hermione’s cat, Crookshanks. Without giving too much away, Crookshanks plays a pivotal role in the Prisoner of Azkaban book, however, in the movies, he’s just a regular pet and only appears a couple of times. Speaking of Hermione, it was surprising to read in the books how much of a damsel in distress she was written as rather than the brave, courageous heroine we see in the movies. She always seemed terrified of what was going on, even crying many times in the books, it just caught me off guard to see how differently they interpreted the character on-screen. I will say though, part-way through the Prisoner of Azkaban, we definitely see a more badass side of her as she establishes a stress-induced attitude and ends up punching Draco Malfoy in the face. (Yass girl!)

angry punch GIF

The last couple of thoughts I had on the third book are that this is the first book in which we learn of the Marauders, whom we know and love from the movies, however, upon reading about them in the book, I can’t now see them as anything other than bullies. They do not come across well and what they did, or tried to do to Snape was inexcusable. And finally, speaking of Snape, he is an incredibly evil person in the books and I feel this is toned down and glamourised in the movies. The way he treats Neville broke my heart a little and I don’t understand how any self-respecting Harry Potter book reader can like this guy at all.

All the negatives aside, I really enjoyed reading ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban’. I loved learning more about the wizarding world and magical creatures such as Flobberworms and Kneazles. Also, in contrast to what I said above, I think that Professor Lupin may be one of my favourite characters. A lot of people in other reviews I’ve read can’t stand him but he just seems like a nice guy? Also, movie Lupin is one of the best!

A thoroughly enjoyable read, now for ‘The Goblet Of Fire’…

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Buy a copy (cheapest copy at time of publishing)

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