Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #2
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999
Source: Library Audiobook
Read for: Harry Potter Challenge
Memories from the first time: I actually read this book third of the series. When I put all of these books on hold in middle school, Prisoner of Azkaban came in before Chamber of Secrets and I was worried that it would be forever before I could get it again, so I just went for it. I don't remember feeling like anything was spoiled -- just that things were a little out of order.
Impressions this time: I remember this book as being one of my least favorite of the series, but I still really enjoyed it this time around. I feel like with every book not only does Harry get a bit older, but J.K. Rowling's writing style grows with Harry, so it felt a bit more mature (not in an adult-themes way but in a growing-up way), which works for me because I am an adult.
I also loved the creepy factor in this book. It is no secret on this blog that I love scary stories and movies, and listening to the bodiless voice hissing through the castle and happening upon all the Petrified students gave me chills as I listened to the scenes in the car.
Best new spell: I think the best spell in this book is Expelliarmus. It is a simple spell, but so useful for every situation. I remember that it plays into important situations in multiple scenes in future books.
Also, this isn't a spell, but I think the Polyjuice Potion is very cool, and I think it is amazing that Hermione, Ron, and Harry think of a way to get their hands on the recipe and manage to make the potion with only one (furry) mishap. At times in the series I have felt that Harry has more luck in defeating the Dark Lord than anything, but scenes like that remind me that the trio of friends are all very talented wizards.
Best new character: While Ginny makes a brief appearance in the first book, we don't really get to know her until this book. If you follow this series at all you know that Ginny and Harry end up together, but the only time I read this book before I had no idea of that, so it was interesting to me to go back to it this time and look at the way things fall into place for them. Ginny has a raging crush on Harry, and while he is never mean to her, she definitely feels rejected, which leads her to make some poor decisions (although she really can't be blamed for them, in the end). I liked that she was already becoming a complex character this early in this series, which leads her to be the type of person Harry will be interested in later in the series.
My crush for this book: Usually Harry is my biggest crush, but for some reason I was really loving Fred and George in this book in particular. They are so funny, charming, and witty, that I know in real life they would have me blushing nonstop.
Most villainous moment: When Tom Riddle leaves Ginny crumpled in The Chamber of Secrets, near to death. It's no secret that he is not fazed by killing children, but the fact that Ginny has trusted him and poured her heart out to him all year just shows that he has no sense of human decency.
New secret discovered about Hogwarts: There is a Chamber of Secrets, and a basilisk lives in it! And Moaning Myrtle haunts the entrance, conveniently located in a faucet.
Coolest new fact learned about the wizarding world: I'm drawing a bit of a blank, but I do think it is interesting that it is illegal to enchant Muggle objects.
Favorite magical creature: Fawkes! I love the phoenix and the powers that he possesses. He definitely saves the day in The Chamber of Secrets.
Best argument between Ron and Hermione: I'm drawing a blank on this one as well. I know they were bickering throughout the book, but no specific argument is standing out to me.
Deathly Hallows that show up: The Invisibility Cloak.
Horcruxes that show up: Tom's diary.
Coolest magical object: The Sorting Hat. We already know that it has the cool ability to read minds and intentions, but I love that it was also the vehicle for bringing Harry the Sword of Godric Gryffindor (which is an awesome magical object in and of itself).