Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Harry, A History" by Melissa Anelli

Summary:  "Harry, A History" is a retelling of the Harry Potter phenomenon of the late 90's/early 2000's as told by one of the most well known super fans of the time:  Melissa from The Leaky Cauldron.  The book is broken into chapters centered around a Harry Potter trend:  Wizard Rock, Potter Conventions, Fan Fiction, Book Bans, Release Parties and everything in between.  Each trend is outlined and interwoven with the author's own experiences with the trend.

What I Liked:  I enjoyed "Harry, A History" because it reminded me of my own love of Harry and the gang.  I got caught up in the author's excitement and was reminded of my own joy at each new release and my subsequent sorry when the series ended.

I also really enjoyed the inside look at the lengths true super fans went to in order to express their love of all things Harry.  Wizard rock?  "Shipping"?  I had no idea that people took fandom so far and it was fascinating to get a glimpse at the mania.  I'm actually glad I didn't know of all the HP outlets at the time, because I would have been one of the 20 somethings wearing a "Save Ginny" t-shirt.

What Drove Me Nuts:  Each chapter was written with what felt like its own beginning, middle and end.  Since the book was marketed as a history, I expected the chapters to follow a stronger chronological order.  The historian in me cringed at the timeline skipping.

I also wish the author had spent a little more time on her experiences running The Leaky Cauldron.  While she provided excellent insight into the various avenues of superfandom, the adult in me was also curious about the business aspect of the time, too.

Rating:  If you loved the Harry Potter series, check this book out.  I guarantee it will rekindle great memories and your appreciation for the boy who lived.

Also Read by This Author:  N/A

Reviewed By:  Tami

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