Most of the time when I try to criticize a piece of art, I usually look for others who agree, or even disagree, with me. I never really wanted to join the popular opinion on a debate unless the majority of facts supported that side. Angelina Lee’s review on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child gave the best look at the book that I thought was possible. I myself attempted to review this book, in where I found that I despised it. While it doesn’t appear that the review totally bashes the book, it still helped me reassure my view.
Lee starts the review by giving general information about the book, like any other review. Not only that, but she outright admits that “I have to say that it feels wrong to critique Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, since it is, first and foremost, the published script of a London theater production.” While I agree with this point of view, I don’t believe that just saying “The book is not the final product” excuses how that book version of the final product came out. While I do appreciate admitting that there was more to the novel than it seems, I would have liked it if Lee was more clear on which version was better or worse, making a slightly more direct review.
While the start may have confused me, Lee gave great critiques about the flaws of the book. From bad character writing that opposes the development that they had in the original series to the seemingly lazy plot. My favorite line has to be “The script reads like a thoughtfully written yet unimaginative work of fan fiction,” since that was word to word my thoughts on the story. While some fans might have taken this as a positive, long time followers like me would point out otherwise, as they wanted a real story to be told.
Near the end, Lee tries to state some good things that were in the book. This was probably where I actually started to think more on how I thought about this novel. Even after all of my complaints, I had to admit that this was probably for younger readers who could enjoy a simple and inspiring father-and-son story. If it really was for kids, then most of my requests probably weren’t in mind while creating the story. The cover of the book itself states “A new play by Jack Thorne,” so Lee was actually right when she thought that J.K. Rowling didn’t exactly write the book. But at the end of the day, perhaps it isn’t right to blame the writers for the end product. Maybe some things are better left to be on their own rather than point out everything wrong with it, and Lee let me understand this idea very well.