*** Spoiler Free*** Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts 1 and 2) by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre(s): Young Adult; Fantasy; Play

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Pros:

  • It’s Harry Potter
  • It didn’t read like a play, but I think that’s because I’m already so immersed in the wizarding world that it seemed like just another book to me
  • It was super easy to read, and I read it in a few sittings
  • I’ve been hoping to see something about Harry’s kids for a while now
  • Scorpius Malfoy is so great
  • I really want a library like Hermione’s
  • This is really similar to some bad fanfic [DON’T CLICK IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS] I wrote a lifetime ago, so I’m kind of glad I was on the right track
  • I realized not all plays are bad
  • Hermione isn’t white (although you don’t actually see that while reading, the fact that this is a thing is AMAZING)
  • Spoiler-y stuff

Cons:

  • Around the end of part one, I had to close the book for a second and go, “Okay, what the crap is happening here?” Because I didn’t want to accept any of it.
  • Harry Potter is a shitty dad (not sure if this is a con, more of an observation)
  • Pigeons?
  • A blanket?
  • Sweets?
  • It was just sort of all over the place
  • Other spoiler-y stuff

Quotes:

  • “Those we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch.”
  • “We cannot protect the young from harm. Pain must and will come.”
  • “My geekness is a-quivering.”
  • “The truth is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
  • “Thank you for being my light in the darkness”
  • There are a lot more, but for the sake of leaving this spoiler-free and as vague as possible, I will leave them out of this review.

My Thoughts: Oh, how wonderful it is to be back in the wizarding world! I went into this play cautiously. I’d seen some negative feedback on facebook and goodreads, but it kind of seems like people think it’s the cool thing to hate popular stuff, so I didn’t let that affect me going in. And I’m really glad that I didn’t.

First of all, I hate plays. They were the bane of my English degree, and if it weren’t for Spark Notes, I wouldn’t have passed any of my play-related semesters. So I was really iffy about reading this in script form rather than in novel form. But it was easy and clear enough to get into it, and I mostlly just read it like a novel with a lot of dialouge.

There were a few parts of this play that really felt like I was reading fanfiction. However, Harry Potter has been out and finished forever, so pretty much everything has been head-canoned and fanfiction-ed by now. So this didn’t really come as a surprise to me.

The parts that weren’t fanficntion-y were really great (even the parts that were that way were still pretty good). Harry’s relationship with his son is relatable and totally real given the fact that his father figures included a handful of men who were unfit fathers and Hagrid. I wish we’d been able to see more of what his other kids were like, but I understand why it wasn’t in the play.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. As far as Harry Potter goes, I’ll take what I can get. I wish that I could see this on stage, but I’m glad that I at least got to read the script. It’s quite good.

I recommend going into this with your own opinion, instead of listening to what others think about the play. You may be as surprised as I was at just how good it actually is.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Cursed Child Website

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