Going Potty 2
I’ve finally finished the seven Potter books! It took four months (shame on me) but as most of the books were over seven hundred pages long, I think I did alright in the end. I initially tried to stick to reading them only at bedtime but the last book was too good to confine to my bedside. It probably helped that I was on holiday so I could read it round the clock (much to the annoyance of my companions). But I’m not writing this post to analyse my reading speed. I am also not writing it to say which book I liked best of the lot (Deathly Hallows, if you were wondering) – you can find my individual ratings and reviews on my Goodreads page review. I am also not writing this to harp on about how Harry annoyed me all the way to the end of the series (I think I already mentioned this in my initial post). What I’d like to discuss is what bugged me after I had read the last book.
I had a conversation with my brother about how the theme of The Hunger Games was a disturbing one (kids set loose in an artificial environment to fight to the death) and my argument was that the Harry Potter series was equally disturbing. Although touted as a series for children, I felt that the books quickly went from Middle Grade focus to Young Adult focus as it seemed that Rowling sought to match the age of her initial audience and let the dark theme of the stories evolve with them. If you approach the later books as Middle Grade stories, I imagine you would be equally shocked by the amount of dark thoughts, bouts of depression, death and maiming that was introduced. There was always the idea of death from the first book – Harry’s parents dying, the notion that Harry or Voldermot had to die for the other to live, but I think it got a bit much in the last book. I am not really complaining because I don’t mind so much when characters are killed off in stories, as long as they are killed for a valid reason. Unfortunately, I’m not sure a lot of the death and disfigurement was necessary, even if it was a series aimed at adults. I admit I was close to tears when some characters died unexpectedly (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read the books) so I am probably not as strong as I thought I was (shock and horror!). Compared to the outright idea of death in The Hunger Games, the Potter series is a little better but I would still be cautious about letting my eight year old (if I had one) read them.
Other than that one gripe, I really enjoyed the series and would recommend them to fantasy lovers of any age – but make sure your read the last few books and check that your kids are not too sensitive for the amount of loss that Rowling throws at Harry.