After an awful summer with the Dursleys, who are basically starving Harry and locking him in his room for hours at a time, Harry just wants to go back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As it gets closer to the day Harry hops aboard the Hogwarts Express, a house-elf named Dobby shows up in his bedroom warning him to stay away from Hogwarts or disaster will strike. Once at Hogwarts, Harry has to put up with his new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor is a conceited unqualified caricature of a person, he is gaining attention from Ron's younger sister, Ginny, and the worst part, Hogwarts students are being turned into stone by a unknown creature. Harry intends to find out who is controlling the creature even if the students at Hogwarts are pointing their fingers at him.
Before I start: small warning. There will probably be spoilers in this review! These books have been out for so long, if you're still avoiding spoilers than know I loved it and I highly recommend reading this series.
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
This book is such an underrated one, and I think it deserves more praise. I am even guilty of overlooking this book, especially since the whole series is so amazing and I have my favorites. I think I discovered more new things in this book than I have in a while from re-reading this series. Beginning with how badass little twelve year old Harry is when he is put in stressful situations. Harry is mid Quidditch match when he is being attacked by the bludger and instead of doing what the majority of the team said to do, and report it before he got hurt, he told Fred and George to stop protecting him so he could catch the snitch. I love that scene so much, and it's a scene I don't really remember taking note of in the past. I also don't think I remember the fact that the reason why Fawkes came to save Harry was because of Harry's loyalty to Dumbledore. I think I assumed Fawkes just knew something was wrong and knew how to help. I really like the idea that Harry's bravery to stand up for Dumbledore is what helped define him as a Gryffindor.
The characters, as always, are the best. I love the trio, and I love that we are getting more of Ginny, who becomes one of the best side characters, now that she is at Hogwarts. There aren't as many highlighted quotes in this one, mostly because of the fact that Dumbledore doesn't have as many heart to hearts with Harry. My heart melts for Ron, especially when he tries to make jokes about his house "It's not much" and his house is "a bit small" because he is constantly bullied about how poor his family is, so if he says it first then no one else can. I love Ron so much as a character. I think one thing I am more appreciative as I re-read the books as an adult is how sassy Harry is throughout the entire series. I always forget how sarcastic he can be. First with Dudley, which is understandable, but I don't know how many times he says "shut up" in this book. It's both hilarious and realistic for a twelve year old boy. Of course, Hermione has the best line of the whole book (and movie) in my opinion: "At least no one on the Gryffindor team had to buy their way in. They got in on pure talent." I. Love. These. Sassy. Children.
"Because that's what Hermione does. When in doubt, go to the library."
The mystery behind the who is petrifying the students is a mystery I remember being absolutely blown away by when I read it for the first time. I was (and am) so impressed by Hermione's intelligence! I mean, I obviously saw it coming, since I've read this book so many times. But I am still so impressed! I am so happy that Hagrid's name is cleared, and that he isn't being blamed for the chamber of secrets being open fifty years ago. I wish Hagrid could have gotten a new wand, maybe even took some lessons with Flitwick. I know he's the groundskeeper, but I bet it would have been easier to do his job with a wand. I love Hagrid so much, and I am a bit protective of him.
Overall, I love this story, like I knew I would. There is not a book series in the world that means this much to me, and I am always up for another re-read. I cannot wait to pick up Prisoner of Azkaban.