Turn The Page: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review

Well, this review is beyond late! I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child over a month ago, but kind of kept putting off reviewing it because it gave me a lot of feelings, both good and bad. Obviously, lots and lots of spoilers await.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review

enjoyable rating

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.” – via Goodreads

First, let’s address the issues I’ve heard. The first being that somehow people weren’t aware this was a script. The book seller at the shop I bought this from specifically asked me, “You know this is a script, right?” To which I basically said, “DUH” but apparently she’d had so many calls and upset customers over this fact. I don’t get how people didn’t know this. I expected a script, so that was not a problem for me. (Sort of. We’ll get to that.)

The second thing I’ve heard all over the internet is that this ‘reads like fan fiction’. To which I also want to say “DUH” to. This was not written by J.K. Rowling. It was based on a story she penned, yes, but she did not write this script. So really, in a sense, this IS fan fiction. Sanctioned and published, yes, but still, to some degree, in the realm of fan fiction right? I guess knowing that J.K. didn’t write this lowered my expectations. I expected it to feel a bit fan fiction-esque, and it did. There were a few character choices that felt a bit fan servicey, but I was okay with that.

As for the plot, I thought it was wonderful! I loved how focused it was on time travel, and the incredible ramifications messing with the past can have. I loved that Albus Potter was a bit of a black sheep for his family both in ending up in Slytherin and befriending Scorpius Malfoy.  I loved seeing Harry try and navigate being a parent, and the struggles he went through. I hadn’t previously considered the fact that he never had really any form of father figure role model, and I can only imagine the difficulty of raising a child without much personal experience to look back on. I loved the interactions between Harry and Draco both as concerned fathers and old rivals, and trying to make things work for the greater good of both their families. Overall, there was a ton that I loved.

Unfortunately, there is a but.

This book, this script, left me wanting. Incredibly so. I enjoyed this book enough. I really did. But I really, really just wanted this to be a fully fleshed out novel. I knew it was a script going into it, so I fully expected it to read the way it did. But I didn’t expect it to leave me feeling unsatisfied and wanting more out of it. Reading this felt incomplete; it didn’t feel full and rich and wonderful like I wanted it to. The story itself was quite compelling, and had so many elements I really enjoyed. But it felt like reading a skimmed down version, and I really wanted the full richness that a novel brings.

What are your thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

  • Ugh, I would KILL for this to be a more fleshed out book. It read WAY too fast for me (which is a good and bad thing all in one lol) but I didn’t want it to be over!! And I honestly can’t believe people didn’t know if was a script. They shoved that in everyone’s face SO much (and rightfully so), along with having it linked right up to the play. Why would they put out and play and then release a novel based on the play? People these days, I tell ya.

    • Kay

      Seriously. I don’t know how people didn’t get that. Though I do have to say, I don’t like all the marketing saying it’s ‘The 8th Book’. It really isn’t. It’s just a story in the HP world. But man, I SO want it to be a full book!!!

  • Since it was fan fiction, it certainly did read like it, I don’t know why I expected it not too, but I still wanted it to seem like fan fiction-y. I don’t know, it seems a bit like it fell heavily on cliches and it seemed like (but maybe I read into subtext too much) that Albus and Scorpius would have totally been a couple if I read this on fanfiction.net or something, but again, that could have just been me reading too much into scenes. I also was kind of off put by the relationships, Harry was kind of a horrible dad. I think my expectations, being a fan of the series, make me judge this a little too harshly though…

    • Kay

      Understandable! Even though I am a huge fan of the HP series, I guess I just didn’t expect a lot from this which really helped haha. I actually kind of liked Harry struggling as a father, and I think it made a lot of sense. It’s not as though he really ever had much guidance in the way of fatherhood, so I feel like when any kind of trouble or disagreement came up with his child, he had no idea how to deal with it. I also completely agree on there being a lot of cliches. I definitely think that the fact that I didn’t expect too much from this helped me enjoy it a LOT more than if I’d built it up in my head at all.

  • I think it is really bizarre that so many people that claim to be sooo obsessed with Harry Potter did not realize that 1) It’s a script (like, did they not hear about the play? the news was hard to miss) and 2) she didn’t write it. While I do enjoy Harry Potter, I’m not a superfan. There’s other fandoms I’m way more interested in, and I still managed to know these things? I hate to be the fandom police but COME ON GUYS. So weird hahah.


      • Kay

        DUDE. Don’t even get me started. Seriously. Like HOW, people, HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW THIS. People are so strange! And while HP is definitely one of my fave fandoms, I was happy when it ended. But which I mean, I don’t like things dragging on forever while quality goes down just to earn $$$. So when this came out, I was like, oh, I’ll read it, but didn’t expect much since it was both a play and not penned by her. So I was really surprised when I definitely felt like I wanted this to be MORE than it was, and more finished. Personally, I don’t really want JK to write more HP. I like it being finished. BUT, if she did, sadly enough I think I’d probably love the new books haha!

  • Mariah Kaercher

    My thoughts exactly. I was feeling a little disappointed after finishing it. I mean the plot was well written, but I just was wanting more out of it.

    • Kay

      Exactly! I enjoyed the plot a lot more than I thought I would…but I still wanted it to be a full book.

  • Desiree

    I have yet to read my copy even though I picked it up the night it released. I think it’s because of the reviews, and the fact that I know it’s not a novel; so I know I’m going to be somewhat let down.

    • Kay

      Honestly, I found the plot and story great. But it definitely does leave you wanting. I hope you enjoy it some if you give it a read!

  • I’m glad you didn’t hate the book, this gives me some hope for when I’m going to read it myself! *sighs*

    • Kay

      It really was a good read! I just wanted it to be more. :/

  • I am so with you!! I’m almost done reading it myself and I’m really loving the time travel plot because it’s so fun, but it is definitely leaving me wanting more. I don’t feel as connected to the characters as I would like because we’re just reading their dialogue and not getting inside their heads like in a real novel. I would’ve loved for JK Rowling to adapt it into a novel and then release it.

    • Kay

      Exactly! There is definitely not that feeling of intimacy with the characters.

  • Danielle Knapp

    Completely agree! I loved seeing Harry as a parent, but I wanted more!

    • Kay

      Yes, exactly! I want all the richness of a full novel.


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