Friday, 26 June 2015

Guest Post: Why I Still Love Harry Potter by Lorna Holland

Man with bookToday's post is a guest post from the lovely Lorna who blogs over at The Writing Greyhound. If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, here is a little bit of background about Lorna.
Lorna Holland, writerI’m a 21 year old author, blogger, freelance writer/editor and Creative & Professional Writing graduate. I currently live in my hometown of Kettering, Northamptonshire, though you’re just as likely to find me in London or Kent. When I’m not busy writing, you’ll find me at a concert or with my nose in a book. And in case you hadn’t figured it out already, I’m a massive Harry Potter nerd!

Onto Lorna's post about Harry Potter which I love!

Why I still love Harry Potter by Lorna Holland
Like it or not, over the years Harry Potter has become a staple of today’s culture. The books have become modern classics, and the author, J.K. Rowling, is one of the world’s most recognised, most successful, and best loved authors. She’s also become a role model for aspiring writers around the globe, and the story of her path to success is an inspiration to thousands of people.
According to this list of all-time bestselling books compiled by The Guardian in 2012, all seven Harry Potter books are in the top 10. For a children’s series, that’s a phenomenal achievement. Without any doubt, the Harry Potter series has become one of the most popular and best loved in the history of children’s literature.
But it’s not just children that love Harry Potter. The bug of the so-called ‘Harry Potter phenomenon’ bites whole families, resulting in multiple generations of Harry Potter fans, and different aspects of the story seem to appeal to different people. All genders, races and ages are included in some way, giving the books universal appeal. They just have that rare truly magical spark that everyone loves.
So what is it that I love about Harry Potter?
Firstly, it’s an example of good, strong writing. The books are well-written, but I particularly like that Rowling doesn’t over-simplify or talk down to children. When I was reading the books for the first time as a child, I specifically remember liking that they used more complicated language and constructions than the majority of the other books I read at that time. Because of that, these were some of the first books I remember that inspired me to become a writer.
The Harry Potter books were a big part of my literary childhood. I, along with millions of other children, grew up with these books. So now each time I read them they help me recapture a little bit of my childhood. I also love that you could start up a conversation about Harry Potter virtually anywhere and you’re almost guaranteed to find a fellow Potterhead to talk to. We’ve got to be one of the biggest and most loyal fanbases around, which is amazing when you remember that the last book came out in July 2007. Eight years on and the Pottermania that grips the world shows no sign of slowing down!
Rowling is also a master of world-building – hardly anyone creates entire worlds better than her. Everything is planned out down to the tiniest detail so you become totally immersed in her creation. Wherever the characters are, you’re there too because her writing is so vivid you can easily picture the places you’re reading about, even before the films were released!
Speaking of the films, this is one of the rare cases where the films are as good as the books. Of course, in my opinion no film can ever be quite as good as the original book, but the Harry Potter films definitely come close (as long as you ignore the few annoying discrepancies like the colour of Harry’s eyes being wrong).
This is probably a controversial decision, but my favourite Harry Potter book is number five - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I know a lot of people don’t like it as much because it’s right in the middle of Harry’s angsty faze, but it’s always been my favourite. Why? I’m not quite sure. It’s just the one I remember loving the most the first time I read it, and it’s the one I’ve re-read the most (at least five times). Strangely, it’s also the one I feel the closest connection to as well.
So I’m not ashamed to say that I still love Harry Potter.
I love the characters, the places, everything about the books. There’s nothing I love more than completely immersing myself in Harry’s world (visiting the Harry Potter studio tour was like a dream come true for me!) and every time I pick up one of the books it feels like I’m in the company of an old friend. After writing this post, the only problem is that now I want to read them all again!

Lorna Holland on the Hogwarts Bridge on the Harry Potter studio tour
Lorna on the famous Hogwarts Bridge on the Harry Potter studio tour
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  1. Harry Potter didn't come out until I was an adult, so I can say that you can get attached to the books even if you didn't read them as a child. I bet your connection to book 5 might have something to do with how well you related to it at the time. Perhaps you and Harry were the same age at the same time?

    1. That's true Liz. I was in my late 20s when I finally got around to reading them and I still loved them :)

    2. That's an interesting theory Liz, I never thought of it that way. I suppose thinking about it we would have been around the same age, so maybe that does have something to do with it!

  2. I love Harry Potter and I was in my late teens when they came out. I had nephews and a niece, and also gained a step daughter so I always had an excuse to buy the books and watch them all at the flix. Now I have my own children too we still have all of the books and the DVD box sets. My son loves them but is still a little young to read them. #HarryPotteralltheway


    1. Totally agree with #HarryPotteralltheway This post makes me want to watch all the movies again lol :)