Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

After reading “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” a few months back, I was ready for the “Chamber of Secrets”! I decided to watch the movie version again, so that I might be able to connect the two versions. Honestly, I no matter how many times I have watched this movie, I still loved it like when I was a teenager.

Summary

After spending the summer holidays back with his Muggle relatives, Harry was desperate to get back to Hogwarts. Suddenly, a house elf named Dobby warned him of imminent danger at Hogwarts and tried to stop Harry from going back. It even got Harry expelled! But, Harry’s best friends, Ron and Hermione had other plans…

Themes

This second book in the series had a few rather deep themes:

Racism:

The terms, Muggles and Pure-Breds were mentioned even more prominent in this book. Muggles had no magic powers. Purebred were part of a long line of warlocks and witches. Harry was a Half-bred because his mother, Lily was a Muggle-born witch and his father was a Pure-bred wizard.. The emphasis of how one family or group of people was superior than others was very real in the past and in the present in our real world.

Growing up Asian in a Western society, I encountered many times of name-calling and looking down upon from both sides. Some terms, many of us “Bananas” (“yellow” on the outside and “white” in the inside), we have accepted into our own vocabulary. However, there were more derogatory terms that were thrown as me as I was growing up.

Even more sad, was the fact that I had to prepare my own children for the future that they would have to face.

Your past doesn’t dictate your future:

( The following contains a spoiler, so be alert!)

Everyone was fascinated about how Harry shares characteristics of the “Dark Lord”. Harry, himself, became very worried and even felt guilty for surviving the attack that made him famous. He didn’t want to be evil, but was convinced that he will be the next evil warlock! Dumbledore, the headmaster, reminded him that our past never dictated our future, but served as a reminder to choose correctly.

As a child of immigrants, I saw the struggle my parents had to go through to start a family and new life in a scary and unfamiliar place. Financially, we were never wealthy, but my parents, especially my mom, worked hard to give me the basics. When I began high school, many of my friends were wealthier than me, but I did not feel embarrassed. I decided that I wanted a fancier lifestyle too! So I learned to read a lot of fashion and teen magazines to be “frugally fabulous”!

YM was the magazine I grew up with in the 90s!

I recalled how my mother gave up her previous fancier ways of dressing up, even though she loved pretty clothes. She used to sew her own clothes and when I was born, she even sewed my bedsheets! But as time passed, there was less and less time and fabric was expensive…. Makeup and nail polish were a luxury too… So she learned to do a lot of things herself to save money and I learned from her. I am forever grateful for that.

Yay or Nay

I finished this novel in one day… I couldn’t put it down at all. So, for me, it’s a Yay!!

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28 thoughts on “Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  1. I’m a certified Potterhead! I love the series and have re-read the books for around 15+ years (I’m on the Deathly Hallows now :().I also re-watch the movies in order right after the books, I can’t get enough of it!

    Is this the first time you’re reading it? If it is…enjoy! It’s a beautiful series. If this is a re-read, ENJOY too! I can never ever get sick of this series. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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