Rediscovering Harry: The Chamber of Secrets

This month's book, of course, was Chamber of Secrets. It's not my favourite one, but it does a good job of introducing key plot points for the rest of the series. 

Again, BEWARE SPOILERS.  

The Book

Best Character: Ginny! She's not at her strongest in this book, but her relationship with the trio is set up here, and her character arc/development is one of my favourite parts of the series. 

Worst Character: Dobby. I'm sorry, people who love Dobby, but he's always annoyed me. I never saw the appeal of him, though I appreciate the sacrifices he makes for Harry over the course of the books. Lockhart is also quite frustrating in the books, but it helps if you imagine Kenneth Branagh. 

Best Moment: I think this moment is an excellent summary of the trio's personalities for the remainder of the series:

'Harry — I think I've just understood something! I've got to go to the library!'
And she sprinted away, up the stairs.
'What does she understand?' said Harry distractedly, still looking around, trying to tell where the voice had come from.
'Loads more than I do,' said Ron, shaking his head.
'But why’s she got to go to the library?'
'Because that’s what Hermione does,' said Ron, shrugging. 'When in doubt, go to the library.'

Worst Moment: The giant spiders were gross when I read it the first time and, yep, they're still gross now. 

Funniest Moment: The Polyjuice Potion scene is good for a LOL, but sometimes the throwaway lines are the funniest. For example:

'Oh, that,' said Ginny, giggling. 'Well - Percy's got a girlfriend.'
Fred dropped a stack of books on George's head.
'What?'
'It's that Ravenclaw prefect, Penelope Clearwater,' said Ginny. 'That's who he was writing to all last summer. He's been meeting her all over the school in secret. I walked in on them kissing in an empty classroom one day. He was so upset when she was - you know - attacked. You won't tease him, will you?' she added anxiously.
'Wouldn't dream of it,' said Fred, who was looking like his birthday had come early.

I just love the twins so much. 

Best Quotation: Dumbledore again.

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

But also Mr. Weasley giving us some sound advice.

Haven’t I taught you anything? What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain?

Most Shocking Plot Twist: TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE = I AM LORD VOLDEMORT (the translations of his name so that this anagram works in all languages are amazing). 

Pay Attention To This Bit, It Will Come Back Later: The Borgin and Burkes scenes for the opal necklace (later given to Katie Bell) and the vanishing cabinet Harry hides in (not to mention the one that Sir Nick persuades Peeves to break to get Harry out of trouble which I believe is the same one in Half-Blood Prince, though I could be mistaken). Also - obviously - RIDDLE'S DIARY.

The Movie

Best Casting Decision: How can you not love Jason Isaacs, even when he's playing a villain? I also really enjoy Kenneth Branagh as Lockhart (see above).

Worst Casting Decision: Well, I'm not too fond of Dobby, as I mentioned, and also who decided that the spiders had to be HAIRY?!

Best Moment: The Burrow Scene. I love how cozy it looks, and, even though the rest of the Weasleys don't get many lines, it's still sweet to see how they accept Harry as one of their own.

Worst Moment: The spider scene. Confession: I've never watched it in full (not even in the theatre). I can (just barely) make it through their discussion with Aragog but after that...I can't. My sister made me sit through it this time (normally I just skip it), and even with my eyes closed, the skittering of their many legs freaked me out. 

Funniest Moment: A cross between pretty much anything Mr. Weasley says and the disdainful look on Harry's face when he realizes Lockhart is abandoning the school in their time of need. 

I can't find a gif or a clip of that scene, so I'll leave you with this photo because it's hilarious. 

I can't find a gif or a clip of that scene, so I'll leave you with this photo because it's hilarious. 

Biggest Upset: Rather than one scene in particular, my issue with the movie is that it's hella long, but it leaves out so many details! They plumped up the action-y bits (driving the car to Hogwarts, that darn spider scene, the basilisk), but they lost so many tiny details (like setting up the Malfoys' tie with Borgin & Burkes or Ginny's relationship with the trio) or made continuity errors (how could Hermione fix Harry's glasses if they weren't allowed to use magic outside of school?). For a movie that's so long (at 161 minutes, it's THE LONGEST HP film, if you don't combine Deathly Hallows parts 1 and 2), they didn't seem to use that time wisely.