Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts One and Two) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Series: Harry Potter #8
Published by Little Brown UK on July 31, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Harry Potter
Pages: 328 : Hardcover edition
Source: Purchased at Target
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Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

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.

Warning: Plenty of Harry Potter gifs ahead. Proceed with wands out and at the ready.

I went into reading this with a lot of apprehension. I didn’t pre order the book, I wasn’t excited for its release, and it just felt kinda…weird. Like running into someone you used to be best friends with and now you don’t know what to say to them.

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We all (okay, most of us) love Harry Potter. He and the series are very special to us, especially if you’re someone like me who literally grew up with him and the stories. Every couple years there was a new story put out and I would wait at my door impatiently for the mailman to arrive with those beautiful Amazon packages.

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And now we have Cursed Child. Everyone is grown up and they have jobs and while they aren’t the stuffy adults we often encountered in the original series, there’s something…off. And I realized, the more I continued reading, that no one likes growing up. Growing up means losing some of your innocence, it means facing the real world, and growing up just kind of sucks.

And while the whole story doesn’t revolve around just Harry’s point of view (thank god. I’ll get back to this), there is something…different about him because he’s older now. Which, duh! People grow and change and after the horrible things he went through growing up it’s no wonder he may be a bit protective of his kids and want what’s best for them.

So, at the end of the day I really liked Harry’s character. He’s still flawed, but he’s trying his best.

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Now his son, Albus, I just loved. I loved reading from his point of view. I loved that he’s friends with Scorpius, his struggles and how they define him, and I thought he was interesting to read about. Especially considering how much he lives in his father’s shadow and it’s not easy on him.

Scorpius himself is awesome. I love that kid. He turned out surprisingly okay, considering who he has for a father. Oh god, that makes me sound like such a Weasley.

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Gred and Forge would be proud.

I did say, after I initially finished it that I think my nostalgia bumped it up an entire star, and I still think that’s true. Harry Potter is very near and dear to me and always will be. Going back to my friend analogy, once you get past that first awkward encounter (i.e. the first 30 or so pages of this) and really start talking (i.e. the rest of the book) you find yourself getting along just as you always did.

A lot of people have said that it reads like fanfiction. Sigh. Before reading it I thought it sounded like fanfiction (as far as the plot) but it doesn’t read that way to me. To be quite honest, I find it a bit offensive that someone would say that too.

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All three people who worked on this are experienced writers and talented professionals. Editors looked at this (I’m sure a slew of them) and the publisher had to approve the story.

So to sit back and say that it reads like fanfiction is low brow. I’ve read fanfiction that’s better than this and I’ve read a lot of fanfiction that’s worse than this, but Cursed Child stands apart because there was obviously time taken to perfect it. It’s it perfect? No, but hardly anything is. Sometimes the fandom puts the entire series on far too high of a pedestal. Should it be high? Yes. THAT high? No.

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So, did I like it? Yes. Did it sit uncomfortably with me? At first, and it still does to a certain extent. Let’s just hope that Jo will quite while she’s ahead though. We’ve had enough.

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What do you think? Agree, disagree? Have you read it? Are you going to read it? Leave me a comment as per usual!


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You can also check out my booktube review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child here!

8 Replies to “Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling”

  1. Great review! I think Scorpius was my favorite part.

  2. Lovely review. Maybe I should finish this, eh?

    1. For a hot sec I didn’t realize this was you. BUT HI dude yes. Please finish it so we can discuss

  3. Nice review! I have mixed feelings about this books because everybody was so excited about its release, but I know a few people that didn’t like it at all. I guess I should read it myself and find out!

  4. When people say it reads like fanfiction I didn’t take it as an insult, but that it read as purely fan-pleasing, you know? I mean, it’s clearly done for the fans, but maybe too many things and characters were added that didn’t bring anything to the script and was added just for pure sentimentalism. I can’t say if this is true or not because I haven’t read Cursed Child yet, but I have to say I do understand that point of view.

    1. Oh I totally agree with what you say about fan pleasing! I think fanfiction has a very specific connotation and caters to a specific audience that I just didn’t see apparent here because well…it’s canon now.

  5. People seem to either love this or hate it, so I am so glad you enjoyed it so much. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

  6. So, here’s my reflection on “it reads like fanfiction”. Yes, it is fan pleasing. But, it’s also a stage play. It was never intended to be a novel. I feel like most people who are screaming “fan fiction!” don’t understand the nuances of reading a stage play. I don’t blame them. They are just criticizing this media for what it isn’t intended to be.

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