Ok, fine, I’m total geek. I’ve just finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in one sitting. But, if you’ve known me long enough, you’d know it was normal for me to do that. I was lucky that my parents decided that I took up speed reading classes back in grade school, and that my semi-obsession over the books kept me from putting the book down (yeah, not even to take a bath haha).

To be honest, I wasn’t as excited about the last book as I was when the Half-Blood Prince came out last year. Well, I was able to sleep soundly for one, unlike last year—I couldn’t sleep a wink the entire night before the release. I guess I thought I didn’t have much to look forward to when JK Rowling made Dumbledore snuff it—he had always been my favorite. So instead of keeping vigil, I slept and woke my husband up “early” (early, as in, one in the afternoon) to claim the reserved book.

The book was worth every penny, and one year of waiting and wondering if Snape really was an asswipe who finished off my favorite character.

** If you haven’t read the book, but planning to read it or haven’t finished it yet, I highly recommend you don’t continue reading this post until you do. Sorry, but there could be spoilers! 😀

The general plot of the story revolves around the quest of the Trio (Harry, Ron and Hermione) for the Horcruxes and destroying them to finish off Voldemort for good. It also continued how the war came to an end. Frankly, the ending is a bit expected. It is, after all, still a children’s book. But the journey to that end, I must say, was not something that you’d expect a four-year-old would fully comprehend.

Rowling dabbled a bit on issues such as abuse, and family secrets. And of course, death. Although I couldn’t help but see remnants of CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, Rowling’s magical world hit closer to home. Ever since I’ve gotten hook on the book series, this is the very first time I can actually say that I could empathize—not just in a metaphorical sense—but really, sincerely empathize.

There are many people who can proudly talk about family “secrets” without feeling ashamed. I know I myself have talked about my sister’s condition, but there are some things that I feel should be left unsaid (well, at least not in detail).

In my day-long Harry Potter stupor, I found myself wanting to lash out on Harry for feeling revolted at a certain character’s family secret. I myself have made the very same mistake of wishing to be free from the burden of living with an unstable younger sister. I was lucky that my experience turned out for the better, and reading something so similar but ended up differently made me realize just how lucky I was.

It’s odd that I loved this book best for the simple reason that a subplot is so close to home, I usually look at the bigger picture. But such uncanny similarity for something that my family has also gone through just makes the book seem more real to me. The world Rowling created became more than just “that happy place where I can relax and relinquish creativity blocks” for me. The magic spells and creatures came to life in my imagination, but the experiences she gave the wizards and witches gave the book a link to reality—a reality that helped me appreciate what I have (and have been through) even more.

But as much as I love the book, there are still aspects of it that I believe that a child would find difficult to fully understand. I mean, how would you explain the concept of the spiritual plane to a young kid? I remember that I once asked my grandma where did people go to after they die, and she told me that their souls went to heaven. I imagined heaven as an actual place where souls congregated, so different from the theological concept of heaven that I was taught in college. A spiritual plane can easily be explained like that, but (possible spoiler, highlight if you want to read) how would you explain to a child that there exists a place between heaven and earth where a soul can choose to stay or move on? The Trio riding a dragon sounds like the best bed-time story, but would bringing the dead back to life or experiencing something so horrible that it drives you to insanity be a good read before going to bed for a kid?

There are also some parts of the book that I can honestly say I’ve read in Harry Potter fan fiction. They were just way too cheesy for me. But then again… Unless you’re a total fan (like me! Hehe) who reads fan fiction to pass waiting-for-the-next-book time, I don’t think fan fic moments would matter that much to you. Besides, I’m totally unromantic, so don’t mind me 😛

I probably won’t recommend my married friends to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to their very young kids, but I’d definitely recommend them to read the series for themselves, particularly this one. Bottom line, I love the book. There some things I don’t like about it, but I still honestly think that JK Rowling outdid herself for this one.

How about you? How’d you find Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?