Girls*Heart* Books: Group Book to Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Friday, July 6, 2012

Group Book to Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and WIzardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girl's bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone - or something - starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects... Harry Potter himself?
(from Goodreads)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  This was a fantastic follow up to a phenomenal debut, in my opinion. We find Harry back on Privet Drive and not enjoying his summer vacation. Life with the Dursleys is never fun, but Harry is missing Hogwarts and his friends almost painfully. The action starts at the beginning and carries on throughout the book.  Rowling broadens our horizons a bit by introducing some new characters and having Harry discover some new facts about the wizard world. For example, this is where we first hear about the wizard prison, Azkaban and we delve into Harry's ability to speak to snakes, as well. 

I really enjoyed learning more about Hagrid's time at Hogwarts and loved the use of memory to tell the story in Riddle's diary.  The diary was very interesting to me, but I had no idea how important it would become. But I'm getting ahead of myself, sorry guys.  One of the things I love most about Rowling's writing is once you've read the entire series you can look back and see how masterfully she laid the groundwork for everything that happens. Every character is important in some way, even if they are only mentioned in passing. 

We also get our first glimpse into a wizard house in this book, The Burrow definitely did not disappoint. I loved getting to see where the Weasleys lived and the richly detailed descriptions Rowling gave us to paint a picture of their everyday lives when the kids weren't at Hogwarts. I love the Weasleys, and we meet Mr. Weasley in this book, and I personally adore him and his Muggle obsession. The Weasleys treat Harry like family from his first visit and made him feel like one of them which endeared them to me even more. For once, he isn't ignored or taunted, but fussed over and overfed. It's a lovely change and I enjoyed reading it. 

Harry is struggling through a good portion of this book. Rumors abound and classmates are avoiding him but Harry takes it in stride. He is such a strong character. Of course, a lot of his strength comes from having Ron and Hermione by his side. This trio makes these books sensational, in my opinion. Not only the bond of their friendship, but the loyalty and humor they show when together really draws you in and gets you emotionally invested in their story. 

Overall this was a stellar second installment. It definitely left me wanting more.
My Rating: 

And now for the movie, I have to reiterate how much I loved the casting of these first two movies, both directed by Chris Columbus. The old players are back again and then we add the brilliant Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy; school governor and father of bratty Draco. Also they added Mark Williams as Arthur Weasley , Robert Hardy as Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic and last but not least, everyone's least favorite professor, Gilderoy Lockhart played expertly by Kenneth Brannagh. Brannagh, especially was perfect in the role. Lockhart may be an idiot, but he's very funny (even though he doesn't mean to be). 

I know there were many omissions in this movie but I still enjoyed it. I wonder a lot if that would be true if I'd read the book before seeing it. I guess we'll never know. I thought the scene in the chamber and, of course, Harry and Ron's trek into the forest following Hagrid's cryptic instructions were both very well executed. I did miss the twins banter, they definitely have a larger role in the books. Overall though, I love this movie. I have no complaints. 
My Rating:

Major *SIGH* going on here, guys. 

Which is kind of odd in and of itself because The Chamber of Secrets was (and still is) my favorite movie out of all 8, before I'd read the books themselves.

But... *huffs* Really. This book was slower than molasses in January. Watching paint dry or grass growing would've entertained me more. I am assuming this is because I know who-did-it and I know what's going on and blah-blah-blah but I could barely finish this one. I considered putting it down a lot and skipping to book three.

Sure, it picks up about half way through (action, obviously), but up until then I was just...not impressed. It read like a book in the 9-12 section for me. And Lockhart and Colin Creevey made it even HARDER. Seriously. I thought Gilderoy Lockhart was hilarious in the movies and Colin I often felt bad for, due to Harry avoiding him like the plague (he's 11 and you're an idol, stop hating life for three seconds and say hello -_-'), but once I started reading about them, Gilderoy seemed less "Funny" and more "I know this guy and I really don't want to read about them...", and Colin...well... Let's just not go there.

And the sad part? The part that actually captured me, I can't talk about! I am a firm believer in "Do NOT put a spoiler in the review!" and if some of y'all haven't seen the second movie or read the second book what ROCK are you hiding under, man!? I don't want to ruin it. *sigh!* How about I just say, "Hagrid", does that work for y'all who've read it? You must know what I'm saying, yeah?

What did I like... Oh! I love the Weasley's. Besides Ron...of course. But seriously. Mrs. Weasley is just awesome in this book. And the twins! God, I love the twins, oh em gee. LOL! I was literally laughing hysterically in the middle of work or Starbucks or the park while sitting alone and I know people had to think I was crazy, or something, but seriously. Fred and George are the best thing in literature...ever. American, European, Pluto-nian. Whatever.

So. Boring as waiting for a cake to cool, but I loved the backstory given and the drama at the very very VERY end.. So. Again.

My Rating:

(2.5 but there is no half, so I'll round up because 
I'm feeling generous)

As I said above, this was my FAVORITE movie out of them all when I was watching them when I was younger (didn't even know there were books...ha.). Moaning Myrtle was someone I really liked, surprisingly, and Lockhart and Creevey, again mentioned above, were both tolerable and even humorous at times. 

And the graphics, my GOD. When was this movie made? Because the basilisk and the spider (will never look at snakes or spiders again without thinking of this movie) were better than some things filmed today, and considering how AWESOME animation is getting, that's saying something. And the Howler? Eek! Exactly how I'd pictured it! God.

The casting, too! WONDERFUL! How dare the director be changed?! Christopher Columbus was doing a wonderful job, #$%^ it! Ugh. What was my point again? Oh, yeah. Casting. Could we have had a better Mr. Weasley? Seriously! 

"So, tell me, Harry. What, exactly, is the purpose of a rubber duck?"

I was crying. I loved this! It was absolutely magnificent! From the car ride in the sky, to Mr. Malfoy (shudder with a side of "please die" glares, anyone?), to Dobby who is probably the second best thing in the world (*twins)

"Dobby will have to punish himself most grievously for coming to see you, sir. Dobby with have to shut his ears in the oven door for this."

"Bad Dobby! Bad Dobby!" *bangs lamp repeatedly into skull*

I was laughing so hard in this movie. And at the near-end, I was chewing my nails to the bloody quick. Probably will always be my favorite! Even if I could barely stand the book..........

My Rating:

I am probably going to be quite brief with the first several books as they weren’t exactly my faves, that being said, I did not dislike any of the books in the series. As usual, I digress!

Back is Rowling's masterful storytelling and uniquely detailed plots that at times twist and turn! As well as her marvelous characters and witty dialogue, no tedious “getting to know” the character(s) as we already know who Harry is and his place in the story. We do, however, get our introduction to Dobby (I LOVE DOBBY!). All our favorite characters from Hogwarts return in this action packed sequel to The Sorcerer’s Stone.

In the first book, I was amazed at how well Rowling was able to conceal the true nature of the plot whist keeping the characters as well as us (the readers) right in the thick of it. In the end, everything fits together. In this installment we get more of Hagrid’s backstory along with introductions to some great new characters like Ginny Weasley, Lucius Malfoy and Moaning Myrtle! I really enjoyed the way Rowling played this one out with the memories showing the story. Especially the way she slipped Tom Riddle’s diary in there.

Many of the characters Rowling introduces throughout her books are only there to visit with us for a brief time, while others actually have important roles in the overall saga (as discovered in later books). Their existence helps to keep the books fresh and new. You discover SO much more with the Harry Potter books than they ever delve into in the movies, it is upsetting as some of my favorite parts and/or people were never included in the movies.

Again, I digress; my favorite part of this book was again, the memories that were woven into the here and now adding to the intrigue of the overall story. Giving us that needed glimpse into the past and answering some questions the reader may have had after visiting with Harry and his friends in book 1. Also I loved the introduction of Ginny Weasley, we didn’t quite yet grasp where this story would take us in this book but, I just loved her story. You got a bit more Ginny in the book than you did in the movie, atleast they left her in the movies at all (we will discuss this further in future reviews!). The phoenix was a welcome addition, adding a bit of mystique in there.

I give it 4/5 Quills!

And now for the movie! Another cute family friendly movie, just a teensy bit darker with the chamber and the diary but still family friendly overall. One of the things I love most about all of the books and movies is reading and watching these kids grow up.

There are so many scenes where I found myself laughing so hard I almost wet my pants. Most of them included Dobby and Mrs. Weasley. And of course, the banter between the twins is so hysterical in the movies, (even more so in the books, &%$#@#@$%, but, we won’t go there!)

When they first get to the school and Snape is so pleased with himself; then when they aren’t kicked out of school the look on his face, you’d have thought a litter of puppies had just been skinned! Snape is pompous in his determination to have them expelled you can’t help but laugh when he doesn’t get his way.

So we get a little spooky, and there is something lurking around Hogwarts and only Harry can hear it. Wooooooooooo… I do like that they took that dark twist that the book showed with this movie and kept it true to the book in that respect at least. (They were picking and choosing, weren’t they! Oh let’s just leave out every 3rd character and every other paragraph from the books! Sorry I’m babbling). Loved, loved, loved the entire chamber scene; that was almost exactly how I saw it when I read it. And one of my least favorite characters, Gilderoy Lockhart, why the hell couldn’t they leave HIM out of the movies!

All in all I enjoyed the movie for the parts of the book that they decided to include! 4/5 Quills simply because of all the stuff they left out!
 But that’s just my two cents!
My Rating:


  1. Awesome reviews ladies! I love the burrow and getting to know the Weasleys more (we just talked about them on our blog this week, too). I love HP- but The Chamber of Secrets was my least favorite book out of all of them. I still read it in a day and grabbed book 3- but it was not my favorite out of the bunch. I loved hearing what all you had to say about the book and the movie. You made some great points!


  2. Loved this review! It was actually one of my favorites even though I of course disagree with parts! seriously though I found this entertaining, enjoyable, and it made me laugh out loud! I probably woke some sleeping people in my house lol! Thanks again ladies for another great review!


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