Girls*Heart* Books: Group Book to Movie Review & Giveaway: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Group Book to Movie Review & Giveaway: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

With the release of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first in a series of tales about a young wizard in training, an international craze was born. Not since C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia has a children's tale of magic and mystery so enthralled the reading public. And it's easy to see why. Eleven-year-old Harry Potter, the plucky yet nerdy hero of this series, is the embodiment of every uncool kid's fantasy. Unpopular in school, picked on by bullies, and persecuted by his adoptive family, the disheveled and bespectacled Harry manages to not only survive but thrive by discovering friends, magical powers, and a great destiny he never knew he had.

Harry hates living with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and their spoiled-rotten son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet beneath the stairs, and the entire family treats him with disdain. What's more, Harry keeps getting into trouble for making strange things happen - things he seems to have no control over. But then Harry discovers the truth about himself when a determined messenger delivers an enlightening message. It turns out that Harry's mother was a witch, his father a wizard. And not only is Harry also a wizard, he's a famous one! His survival of the attack by the evil wizard who killed his parents has marked him as a legendary hero - as has the lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.

Soon Harry finds himself attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he receives training in some magic basics, masters riding a broomstick, and discovers his incredible talent for a game called Quidditch, which is played in the air on flying brooms. And for the first time in his life, Harry has friends who care about him: his fellow students Hermione and Ron and a giant named Hagrid. But all is not rosy when Harry discovers his true destiny and finds he must once again face the evil one who killed his parents. His survival will depend upon the help of his newfound friends, as well as his own wit and powers.
(from Goodreads)

It took me a very long time to give in and read these books. My sister was reading them and she kept telling me I would like them but, merely because of all the hype surrounding them, I refused to even give them a chance. Then one day I was visiting my sister and niece and the first movie happened to be on tv and I had to admit that I enjoyed it.  The next weekend we went to see Chamber of Secrets and after that I was officially hooked. I went out and bought all the books that were out at that point, the first four, and I read them all in a week. I was already obsessed. So here without further ado, is our group review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling! 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the first book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  This book opened up a door to my imagination that had been closed up for way too long. It really made me love reading in a way I hadn't in a long time. J.K. Rowling created a fanciful universe that invites you in and dares you to want to leave. This book is the beginning of an enchanting journey for readers of all ages.

We meet Harry, who is a seemingly normal orphan living with his unhappy relatives on the verge of his 11th birthday. When Harry finds a letter on his doorstep it changes everything. Suddenly he's moved from the cupboard under the stairs to the smallest bedroom on the second floor of the house. This begins a whirlwind adventure where Harry finds his true heritage and begins his life where he's meant to be; Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

I loved Rowling's humor and wit and the depth of each and every character in the book, no matter how seemingly small they may be in the overall scheme of things. Perfectly written and brilliantly plotted, this book is one of my very favorites of all time. The characters really are what sets it apart from other stories, in my opinion. I really loved Hagrid & Hermione from the very first time they came on the scene; Hagrid is such a lovable character! Huge and slightly off-center sometimes, yes, BUT he's fiercely loyal & would do anything for Harry.  I could relate to Hermione in a very real way, I too, was a know-it-all at one point in my grammar school career.  And then we come to the Weasley twins. Oh, how I adore them. They are hilarious, and yet, not a joke. They are some of my very favorite characters in this series! 

However, it was Harry himself who really won me over from the beginning. I don't know how anyone can read this book, see him suffer and struggle and not root for him. Honestly, he is such a dynamic and interesting character; loyal, brave, smart, funny & compassionate despite his dreary life with the Dursleys. He made it easy for me to love this book. 
My Rating: 

And now for the movie! The first movie was directed  by Chris Columbus and oh, how I wish they would have kept him for the entire series. I loved this movie, every moment of it! It was brilliantly cast; especially Professors McGonagall, Snape and Dumbledore. Also, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid was pure genius! At first I was worried that Alan Rickman may have been too old to portray  Snivelly but he was absolutely perfect! I really don't think anyone else could have captured Snape as perfectly as he did. Maggie Smith was exactly as I pictured Minerva McGonagall and Richard Harris simply WAS Dumbledore. And the Weasleys were all perfect, in my opinion.

My major complaint is this; why could they not put some green contacts in Danielle Radcliffe's eyes? It's such an important detail, and it comes into play so much over the course of the series. Everyone says Harry resembles James except he has Lily's eyes. SO important!  Yet,I thought he was absolutely perfect for Harry other than that.  My second complaint is minor, I guess, to some, but where the hell is Peeves? Why wouldn't they include him? He had some hilarious scenes and I was sad he didn't make it to the film adaptation. My last complaint is about Neville. They removed him from a couple scenes and made him more of a secondary character than I think he is. And I just love Neville, so that was hard for me to deal with. (By the way, Matthew Lewis was perfect!)

I loved seeing Hogwarts come to life, the Halloween feast and the sorting scene were both favorites for me. I pretty much loved the whole movie. I thought it was just excellent! 
My Rating:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone was a book I had no intention to ever pick up. I’ve been watching the movies since I was little but I never felt the need to read the book and ruin something I was so attached to. But, we’re doing the reviews here, so I figured it couldn’t do too much harm—I could get over it, right?

So, I read the first book. And frankly, I don’t understand the hype of it. Sure, it was a good read and I was drawn in quite easily, but from what I’d been hearing, the books made the movies look terrible. Maybe it’s because I’ve already seen all the movies, or because I know how it ends, but when I flipped the last page I wasn’t panicking because I needed to find the second book right NOW.

What this did do, however, is make me remember WHY I do NOT like Ron Weasley. I was hoping the movies just made him rude and took away a filter and he wasn’t so awful in the books, but no. He’s almost worse. I’ve never liked Ron, honestly, but the books make it hard for me to tolerate him.. Don’t hit me, Weasley Lovers, I love the twins and Ginny, I assure you ;)

Hermione and Harry are wonderfully adorable, though, and I do love Neville! You hardly see him in the movies and it’s nice seeing why this character was even mentioned in the first place—what do ya know, he has a purpose! Those three are adorable and charming, and I love it! I also loved Hagrid even more in the books, and Dumbledore was very likeable to me, and didn’t seem so…well…uncomfortable. He was funny! Whoa.

All in all I think it’s an adorable little read and I’m very glad I picked it up :3

My Rating:

As for the movie: What is wrong with some of you people? Mel has told me the first two books are very close to the movie (which I see now) but honestly, everyone who has seen me reading it has told me what a massive difference it’ll make in how I watch the movies. Um… No. Really, I watched the movie after I finished just so I could have the book fresh in my memory as I watched, and it is the best book-to-movie I’ve ever seen!

The casting, I believe, fits just perfectly in this one and the script has actual lines from the book! I’ve never seen this before, how AWESOME is this?! The scenery was magical (no pun intended ;P) and kept me glued to the couch for the entire duration. And not once was I muttering, “That didn’t happen” or, “Where did THAT come from?”

I do have one complaint though; in the books, we get so much more Draco (Malfoy) and Neville (Longbottom), both of which I adore, and in the movie, they’re both kind of brushed aside. Mind you, I know they both get their climaxes later, but the rivalry between Harry and Draco is so much more… In-Your-Face! And Neville is mentioned so much more… I love these two and I just wish they were put a little more heavily into the movie adaption.

But, as just a movie, I adored it. Will forever by a favorite. <3

My Rating:

And as usual, I am backasswards! I watched movies 1-4; read books 5&6; watched movies 5&6; read book 7 THEN read books 1-4! I will tell you this.. it was Harry Potter that rekindled my love of reading. I couldn’t wait for the movies any longer, I had to know what was going to happen next!

We start our story under the stairs. I tell you the life this poor boy had to live and endure in the beginning had a completely different affect on me via the books than in the 1st movie.

Harry is dropped on his mother’s sister’s doorstep and thrust into a life where he is unwanted; they treat him cruelly and lie to him about his parents death, who were actually killed by a dark wizard named Voldemort. After getting an overwhelming invitation to Hogwarts via 500 Owls (!) he begins his journey and slowly unravels the truth about himself, his parents and Lord Voldemort.

Rowling uses Harry’s story to reel in readers of all ages, enticing them with this magical world, beginning with his parents death and his neglected childhood. His story is so sadly relatable that I’m certain many people began reading for this reason; our wonderful world of Hogwarts being an added bonus. Upon boarding the train for Hogwarts, Harry not only begins a new journey but a new life where he matters and he gets to actually live and be a boy and have friends. Harry’s growth from a shy, neglected boy into a fierce and loyal friend and protector is so fascinating and engrossing I couldn’t help but fall in love with him and his cohorts (Ron and Hermione).

Though slow in some parts of the novel, Rowling's use of imagery creates a suspenseful tale that had me anxiously awaiting what would be on the next page. Its simplicity makes sense in the end as it makes it an easy read, but it also allows the reader to relate with Harry's story as well as his friends and enemies alike.

Can you believe she started this novel on a train on a napkin?!

My Rating: 4/5 Quills

The movie starts right where the book did, with Dumbledore, Hagrid and Minerva leaving Harry with the horrible Dursley family.. ick! I had the pleasure of seeing this movie with my eldest son who is now 22 and hates everything Harry Potter aside from the books and the first 2 movies. Oh well, at least we got to share it at the time. Having not read the book yet myself (but he had) it was quite cute to hear him say “That’s just like the book” or “That wasn’t in the book”. Several years later I can relate! LOL

I absolutely loved the way they brought the characters and the scenery to life in the movie. Daniel Radcliff is the embodiment of Harry Potter; he took that role and he owned it, and at such a young age! Most of the actors they chose fit well with the role they played, even after going back and reading the book I didn’t really have any “he/she was NOT what I pictured” moments.

I was rolling in my seat when Dudley fell through the window at the zoo, and then one of my favorite scenes was when the letters drop on their heads, it was perfect. They kept the action flowing with the birthday cake delivered via 10 foot tall Hagrid! And then his birthday present, his owl ,and our introduction to Diagon Alley was so intriguing; I swear I’ve seen this movie hundreds of times and every time I watch it I find something else in Diagon Alley! The Sorting Hat was spot on for me and Harry begging it not to put him in Slytherin, the floating candles in the Great Hall. Hagrid again “I shouldn’t have said that, I should not have said that!”, the three-headed dog, Fluffy (LMAO) and Professor Quirrell, all well portrayed in the movie.

My favorite part of the 1st movie would have to be Wizards Chess! Loved, loved, loved this part. Ron gets to shine and you get to see the spark there with Hermione when she screams at him for wanting to sacrifice himself so Harry can get the stone. I have been a Ron/Hermione fan from day one and always knew they’d end up together; the first clue for me was when she ran off to the bathroom crying and got cornered by the troll. Girls don’t cry over boys unless they like them! And then we come to the end and sadly, Harry has to go back to the Dursley’s. BOO! Very good family friendly movie that stuck moderately close to the books for what it covered. I give it 4/5 quills, as well.

But that’s just my Two Cents!

My Rating:

And now for the Great Harry Potter Giveaway! Remember, you MUST complete ALL mandatory tasks or your entries DO NOT COUNT. The blog post comment must include answers to ALL questions asked! Good luck! When winners are contacted, they have 24 hours to respond before their prize is forfeit. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. hagrid is my fave character, and he was potrayed perfectly in the movie. my next fave would be professor dumbledore and it was so sad that the actor died before all the movies wereout, as the first two movies were perfect with him as dumbledore. i dont have any fave quotes simply because i love the whole series :)
    thanks for the giveaway

  2. Okay so I don't know how I was going to get away without telling you girls that I've never read a Harry Potter book when it was announced Harry Potter month & to top it off I've only seen the first movie and the last two! Aghhhh don't hurt me!!!!! But honestly I loved reading your reviews and it makes me wanna watch allllllll the movies! :) picking a favorite character solely from the 3 movies I've seen I would go with Hermione (?) she's such a smart girl and isn't scared to put a boy in his place when it's neeeded

    1. It's ok Jessy, we still love you!! :) You need to get reading, though girl, you don't know what you're missing! :)

    2. My friend lent me the first two of the series months ago maybe I just need to grab them and start reading?? He he

  3. I have never had the chance to read the books but I have seen every movie my fave character is Ron Weasley the quote that has made me laugh every time was Sunshine,daisies, butter mellow,
    Turn this stupid,fat rat yellow I loved it. Thanks for the giveaway

  4. I loved malfoy he was misunderstood

  5. I love Hermione. She was always my favorite and i think they did a great job with her in the movie

  6. I Love Ron And Hermione. They make me laugh and cry with their quirkyness. They made both look good in the movies.

  7. I loved Dobby and cried when he said "harry potter is my friend" they did great in the movie with him.

  8. I have yet to read the books. My sister's fiance will not let me borrow them. lol. My favorite character from the movies, however, is Hermoine because she is a bookworm like me!Um... I have no idea if they were portrayed well or not. I'm going to go with yes, however. lol. just to answer the question. ;) My favorite quote is not by hermoine though. i like when Malfoy says: Red hair and a hand me down robe? you must be a weasley. haha. I say that to my red headed nephew. I'm not weird.

  9. I really don’t have enough words to say how much I disagree with this Lana person! I mean really???????? Whatever!!!

    Now having got that off my chest! J.K. Rowling did something that I do not believe anyone else on the planet could have done! It was Divinely Destined I believe! I truly, madly, and deeply believe it is why she was born into this world! She got an entire planet of Video game addicted, lazy, unimaginative children to put down the video games, and read! They stepped into a whole new world and it changed the generation of an entire planet’s children!!!!!!! She reintroduced children to Imagination, Play, and Literature! I mean WOW; this alone was no small task! That is what all the hype was and is about for those that just can’t figure it out!
    Then she went further and made most adults love her work to! I know plenty of parents as well as childless adults like myself, that were every bit as excited to see the movies and read the books as any child! It made me re-connect with my inner child in a whole new way and gave me back my love of literature that I had begun to loose! It was asked who our favorite character is besides Harry and there are so many I want to say! Part of me wants to say Ron because I loved him and want to defend him from what was written in one section of this review which I feel was absolutely unfair and untrue! I would love to say Hermione or Dumbledore; or even Hagrid or Minerva! I would love to say almost every character in the book actually! But… in the end, I think I will shock everyone including myself! I will have to say Snape! He was a character we loved to hate! Then later on, we find out just how tragic his story really is and just how heartbreakingly cruel the circumstances were that shaped who he was! In the end, he was a Man of great courage, love, faith, compassion, and insight! If more people Loved like Snape, and like Harry the world would be a far better place! I do feel that he was portrayed perfectly in the films! It was asked what our favorite quote, from the character, out of the books, was our favorite! There are so many great remarks made by Snape in the films and the books; however I think there is one line in the movies that sums up the character, and total storyline for the character for the films and books! There is only one Quote that truly matters in the end when it comes to the character of Snape! It tells you everything you need to know and understand about him!
    “Always” Professor Severus Snape!

    1. Loush, you crack me up. Everyone has an opinion. Breathe with me while reading ones you don't agree with lol, I worry your head might explode one of these days. :)

  10. hahaha it might actually lol, i have been told that on more than one occasion! several times by tams lol! breathing now!!!!!!! lol

  11. Hermoine is my favorite character for sure! I've never read the books but I've watched every movie as soon as each one came out! My daughter has the trunk with all the books in it, but had lent a couple out so I never got a chance to read... I will though for sure!!

  12. I love Hermoine! Shes amazingly smart. Ive seen all the movies and i own all the books and its my most favorite series.

  13. Besides Harry, who is your favorite character from the series? Do you think they were portrayed well in the movies?
    Luna Lovejoy
    I think so , she is so much fun

  14. Hermoine is my favourite character.
    I haven't read the books (I know right?) but I've seen all the movies and they are pretty awesome!

    Quote I like is: “So light a fire!" Harry choked. "Yes...of course...but there's no wood!" ...
    "HAVE YOU GONE MAD!" Ron bellowed. "ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT!”
    ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  15. First of all, I've never read the books. I've seen up to the 5th movie, though I plan to watch them all again, including the last ones. My favorite character is and will always be PROFESSOR SEVERUS SNAPE. He is just so AWESOME. I don't know if he was portrayed well in comparison to the books, but I surely loved how Alan Rickman brought him to life. I LOVE ALAN! And, as I haven't read the books, I have no quotes to share. Sorry!

  16. to be honest i haven't read the first three books but i have read the others and i have seen all the movies...repeatedly...I could quotes evry line from the movies to you and also the books i have read. One of the story lines that is a major part in the books that they didnt focus on enough in the movies was the harry and ginny story...there is so much more to them than the movies tell. The books are so awesome...but books are always better than the movie. The movies were good also but there is so much that happened that the movies never portray...and i won't mention them all because i could write a book myself just on that subject. I also wish they had portrayed the hermione/dobby story line in the movies...and also i love the way she ended it with snape being a good guy...ticked me off that i couldn't hate him anymore but i did like the twist there. My favorite line in both the books and movies over all is of course from molly weasly "Not my daughter you bitch!" and i loved the way she killed bellatrix in the movies...always watch that part at least twice when i watch the movie. and of course love the line by Minerva saying " I've always wanted to do that spell" and the look molly gives her...priceless.

  17. I love Harry Potter and had no desire to read the books at all. They did not appeal to me (and the movies still were not out yet). A student finally convinced me to read them. I read the first one in a day, continued with the second and the third and had to wait until summer for the 4th. Luckily, I gave them to my friend Jess and she was just as obsessed as me. :) I completely agree that they should have given Harry green contacts- that fact has always bothered me. He is the boy with green eyes! I also think- maybe watching the movies first makes them seem better because you aren't comparing. I enjoy the movies- but the books are even better in my mind.

    Sorry- this is what happens when I start to talk about HP. My favorite character other than Harry- this is tough... there are so many... I would say Luna. She is just so much fun! My favorite quote: "Nobody's ever asked me to a party before, as a friend! Is that why you dyed your eyebrow, for the party? Should I do mine, too?"

    Awesome contest!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Steph, thanks so much for your comment, I love Luna as well!! Good luck in the giveaway!!

  18. Besides Harry, I love Luna Lovegood. I also thought she was portrayed very, very well in the movies. Evanna Lynch was a very good casting call. My favorite quote from her would have to be "You're just as sane as I am." Or "I enjoyed the meetings too. It was like having friends." I love her and the Harry Potter books with all of my heart. Great giveaway!

  19. Fred and George Weasley!!
    They were hilarious! I always loved them.. And I cried in the las book when.. you know ~sniffs~
    I think in the movie, they were perfect, just as I had imagined them. They had always a funny look on their faces!! I have several favorite quotes from them, like this ones:

    (When their mom gave them a sweater) "You haven't got a letter on yours," George observed. "I suppose she thinks you don't forget your name. But we're not stupid we know we're called Gred and Forge"

    "Where is Wood?" - Harry
    "Still in the showers, we think he's trying to drown himself" - Fred
    "Don't, Ginny, we'll send you loads of owls. We'll send you a Hogwarts toilet seat." - George

    And from the movie! I laughed a LOT when McGonagall's trying to teach them how to dance in the 4th movie. And she says:
    "The house of Godric Gryffindor has commanded the respect of the wizarding world for nearly ten centuries. I will not have you, in one night, besmirching that name by behaving like a babbling, bumbling band of baboons!" And the twins:
    "Try saying that five times fast" - Fred
    "Babbling, bumbling band of baboons" - Fred and George!
    This world is perfect. I think everyone would want to live at least a whole day in it. I won't forget it. I'm really sad that it ended, but I'm happy because I can read all of her books and not just waiting for one to came out, or waiting for the movies! I remember when I finally had HP and the order of the Phoenix book on my hands. We were on vacations in Argentina with my dad but I just couldn't put down the book. I read it in two days. I used to carry that book when we went out and my dad told me: "Enjoy your vacations" And I told him: "I'm doing it dad, now is perfect!" =) This is a great giveaway, thanks for it! We will never forget Harry Potter. One of the best books in the whole world (if not the best) And the movies, too!
    Liss Martz (rafflecopter)

  20. I think honestly one of my favorite characters is Luna - she's so odd, and so quirky but she's extremely loveable to me. Although there were a lot of characters that I loved, she was right up there with the main trio for me. I felt like some of the characters were not really exactly as they were in the books (or not even present in others' cases) but overall, I found them enjoyable. As for the quote, one of the ones that just stuck out in my mind was in the last book as Molly Weasley is fighting Bellatrix and says "Not my daughter, you b!tch!" When I was reading that the first time I read Deathly Hallows it gave me a huge thrill as she dealt with Bellatrix.

    1. haha sorry didn't realize that wasn't going to post my name - Rebecca McGowan. :)


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