Addie's Reviews > Harry, a History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon

Harry, a History by Melissa Anelli
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's review
Dec 27, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: memoirs
Read in December, 2009

** spoiler alert **
"Oh, I envy you."

How many times have I thought that? How many times have I wished that I could go back to a point in my life before I had read Harry Potter, just so I could start again afresh? The number is astronomical.

This book is a blessing. Melissa Anelli, the webmistress for The Leaky Cauldron, has given us her experience inside the HP Phenomenon. While the timeline tended to jump around and I wasn't always sure what "year" of her story I was in, I could overlook it because I was feeling such a familiar and previously dormant Harry Potter High from Anelli's words.

This book was able to transport me temporarily back to the time in my life before Deathly Hallows was published, when theorizing was my lifeblood, and as much as I wanted that countdown clock to tick by faster, I also was afraid of what lay beyond it. Reading through her experience in the fandom was a way for me to vicariously live that part of my life again. No, I haven't been to any wizard rock shows, I haven't cosplayed at a premiere (yet!), and I didn't take part in any "shipping" wars, but her words plucked me right out of 2009 and transported me back to the years between Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, and I didn't just remember fondly but I actually felt the excitement again.

The heartbreak that I used to anticipate whenever I thought heavily about the high probability of J. K. Rowling killing off one or more of my favorite characters... Snape, Lupin, Moody, Neville... the fear at wondering how in the hell these three kids were going to find five more horcruxes and destroy them when just destroying one rendered Dumbledore's hand dead and blackened... the tingling that would envelop my limbs whenever I fervently discussed if Snape was good or evil... it all came rushing back.

I am so grateful for having read this. It was like finding a portkey to the past.
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12/23/2009 page 177
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