Here is my review for the first book:
It is Harry Potter's 12th birthday, and no one is there to celebrate with him. The Dursley's don't remember a thing, and why should they care? But what's bothering Harry most is that Ron and Hermione haven't written him all summer - and now he's stuck in his cupboard room, trying to keep quiet.
That night, however, he is visited by a strange little elf named Dobby, who has a secret. He tells Harry not to go back to Hogwarts - if he does, his life will be in great danger. When Ron, Fred, and George Weasley break Harry out of his locked room, they lose Dobby and Harry forgets all thoughts of what the elf was trying to warn him about....until even stranger things happen. The entrance to the train stop to go to Hogwarts won't allow them through, there's a voice that only Harry hears, and there's writing on the wall about the Chamber of Secrets being open.
But when someone - or something - starts Petrifying students, and Harry's reputation is on the line, he, Ron, and Hermione must investigate the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets and discover who is behind these dreadful attacks...before the monster can strike again - and this time kill.
My thoughts -
I love this book! I'm so happy to be further into the series now and I can't wait to read book #3! There is so much to love about this book... The fun characters, the original atmosphere, and the well-built story. This is quality literature and I'm definitely a fan.
Character notes -
These characters are just so wonderful. From Harry Potter himself to his best friends to Colin Creevy to Draco Malfoy - they all have something to offer. My personal favorites include Fred and George, the mischievous Weasley twins who never fail to make me laugh. But then, why not mention the whole family? I like Percy and how brooding he is but part of me says I shouldn't trust him; Mr. Weasley's curiosity of Muggle's and their lives is hilarious; Mrs. Weasley has a loud voice and a temper, but a kind heart and you can't help loving her; Ron is just adorable with his fiery red hair; and Ginny made quite a debut in this story!
While Harry isn't my favorite character ever, I do like him, and he made more of an impact on me in the second book than the first. I love how, when the story came to an end, he and all the rest of the characters had grown a little more - showing off Rowling's smooth development skills and making me smile with delight.
Story notes -
If I had to pick between this book and the first, I'd say this one. It immersed me more into the whole Voldemort/Harry war, was better written, and had a bit older feel (after all, Harry is a second year)...but all the while it kept to the same lightheartedness that I loved about the first one. The atmosphere is any author's dream for his or her story. I laughed at all the street names, shop names, and even the names of people (Gilderoy Lockhart, for one). I cringed when I thought of what could happen to the students if the monster of the Chamber of Secrets was let loose on Hogwarts. I rooted for Harry and Ron and felt bad for the bullied kids. I despised a few certain Malfoy characters (who doesn't?), and, when the climax came around and the twists were revealed, my jaw dropped and I gasped. I hadn't been expecting anything near what I got - and I was so pleased with the results. Good, satisfying storytelling.
One word to sum up this book (final thoughts) -
Can I be cheesy here? My one word description for this lovely book would have to be charming. Quite literally. I was charmed into their world and didn't want to be let go! It's a good thing there are five books left for me to read, and that they're quite long, too. I'm pleased. I had the notion, when The Chamber of Secrets was just beginning, that J. K. Rowling could write a bunch of nonsense about wizards and witches and potions and funny shops and malfunctioning wands and ghosts and I'd still be fascinated... Can't wait for the next book, The Prisoner of Azkaban!