The Harry Potter books. I have recommended them (sometimes rather insistently and incessantly) to anyone who has not read them for reasons that words can never fully explain.
To say we “grew up” with Harry, Ron and Hermione might be cliched, but you’d be hard pressed to find a Harry Potter fan who does not have a sense of connection with a character from the book. At the age of 15, it was comforting to know that my untameable curly hair, and teeth that needed a good spell of orthodontic magic didn’t make me a freak; it made me a Hermione.
I knew that the Potter films were never going to live up to the books, simply because it would be impossible to please an audience for whom the series is so deeply personal. It is unnerving to see the visual proof in how the now mature HP cast have, sadly, grown up. It’s funny, we will probably watch the final Deathly Hallows movie with our uni friends, not our middle school friends, and follow it up with a trip to the bar, not Pizza Hut. There is a definite “goodbye, childhood” feel to this last film.
Eleven-year-olds picking up the first Harry Potter book now will never understand the anticipation and yearning we felt as we waited years for the release of the next installment. They will read the books and picture Daniel, Emma and Rupert in their minds’ eyes, while we shake our heads, knowing full well that Hermione isn’t meant to be entirely good-looking (at least not until the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire) and there is much more to Ronald Weasley than arachnophobia and a comically British way of shouting “bloody hell!”
I’m sure there will be plenty of excited children, accompanied by irritable parents, but plenty of people my age too. We’re the ones determinedly not talking about the film, except to make a comment about Emma Watson’s new haircut or Daniel Radcliffe’s new shoulders (which we decide are too large and muscled to belong to the wiry “Chosen One”.) We will roll our eyes at the chattering kids and make vague plans to go out for drinks afterwards because we are now young adults and, as a matter of principle, really should spend a Friday night at some pub and then Saturday morning feeling sick.
Lol. I make it all sound so bleak don’t I?
I would have really liked my default HP buds to have been with me for the final segment. This would have been us, haha: