30 day challenge: day 18


Given the fact that I went to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour for the third time last Sunday and am feeling the Potter love (and the fact that I have actually read it a minimum of ten times), I have to go with the third Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban (hereon out referred to as just POA, for brevity).

I’m not quite sure what it is about POA, specifically, that keeps me coming back to Harry Potter. Of course, I love the entire series – the world J. K. Rowling built is one that is genuinely magical, and a huge comfort to me. Her characters are vivid and complex, and the overall narrative is, for all its flaws, one that will stay with me forever.

But, without fail, POA is the one I find myself picking up when I fancy re-immersing myself in that world. Even out of the films, it’s my favourite. I don’t know if I could pinpoint exactly why: whether it’s the way the story just starts to edge towards something larger going on without being overwhelming, the overall darker tone, the reveal of Sirius Black, the introduction of Animaguses (Animagi?) to the world – all of those things, and something else that I just can’t quite put my finger on, put POA head and shoulders above the rest of the series.

Like I said, I’m all kinds of in love with Harry Potter in general – it’s informed my life a ton by inspiring my writing, by being the thing that always makes me think, “I want to make readers feel like this”, by weaving it with magic from the time I was 5 or 6. There’s a picture in my mum’s room in Bristol of me wearing Gryffindor robes and Harry’s taped-up glasses from the first film.

But POA is just the one I’ve always loved best. Maybe one day I’ll be able to work out why, but for now, that’s the one I always come back to and the strongest candidate for ‘the book I could read over and over again’.


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