Nineteen Years Later: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child (Spoiler Free Review)

This time a week ago I was dressed as Dobby the House Elf ready to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday. Who would have thought when author J.K.Rowling put pen to paper and started to explore the concept of a wizarding world that she would have created a cultural phenomenon that would touch men, women and children across the globe and have me (aged 33) dressed up as an elf? I remember my first encounter with the Harry Potter series vividly; my younger sister was reading Goblet Of Fire during our family holiday and spent most of the time trying to get me to embrace the world of this children’s character like she had. A few months later, on my way to University for the first time, she gave me her collection of books and told me to ‘just read’; suffice to say I spent the first few months of my higher education with my nose in a book – but not the type of book that was on the curriculum. From practically the first page of The Philosopher’s Stone, I was hooked; the story was such a refreshing escape from my usual literature, providing me with an excuse to let my imagination flow like it hadn’t done since childhood. I read and I read and I read; when the new books were released I was first in line and when the corresponding films hit cinemas I was there as close to release day as I was physically able to manage. Like millions of others across the globe, Harry Potter and his wizarding world captured my imagination and enabled a sense of happiness that has yet to be overtaken by any other form of the written word. It really was magic.

Over the last fifteen years Harry’s stories have played such an important part in my life and the relationships with my loved ones that they’re so much more than books. When I read the last line on the last page of the last book, I found it hard to come to terms with the fact that this was the end. But didn’t we all know it wasn’t really? No matter what Jo told us, we all knew that she couldn’t let go of Harry and Hogwarts any more than we could; it was only a matter of time before she put pen to paper again and explored what would have happened Nineteen Years Later. And I’m so glad she did. A week ago the long anticipated script of Harry Potter & The Cursed Child was released into bookshops globally, causing the excitement we last saw with the launch of Deathly Hallows to explode once again. I have to admit I was a little nervous when I opened the first page of my freshly printed book: Would it be as good as I anticipated? Would it live up to our expectations and successfully build upon the much loved franchise, or (like Sex & The City 2) would it ruin the original by being one step too far? Well I needn’t have worried, because it was everything I dreamed of and more.

Told through the eyes of Harry and his young son Albus, The Cursed Child revisits Hogwarts and some of our favourite characters in a way that stays true to the original seven part story. What I loved most about this incarnation is the fact it touches on the elements I loved so much along the way – and by the beauty of magic, anything is possible. Rather refreshingly, J.K.Rowling illustrates that even The Boy Who Lived can find parenting problematic – and that no matter who your father is, you can still hate him. Some of our favourite moments are revisited through the eyes of a younger generation (boarding the Hogwarts Express for the first time, the sorting ceremony, Quidditch and being told off by Professor McGonagall among many others,) while my favourite two storylines come clashing together with double the excitement than they had the first time round. (I’m talking the TimeTurner and Triwizard Tournament.) There are unexpected friendships (namely between the Potter-Draco offspring,) visits from characters we thought lost (no names, no spoilers!) and even high drama escapes from trains that wouldn’t be out of place in a Bond movie. The Cursed Child has it all.

At so many points through the book I found myself gasping out loud and wanting to tell those around me what was going on, but I refrained as I know the beauty is in not knowing. The eighth story is a complete page turner, so much so that I turned all 200+ pages within 24 hours, so I can only imagine the magic the live stage show creates every single night. If you’ve been wondering whether to jump into Hogwarts again, or leave your memories in tact, then I can thoroughly recommend The Cursed Child as a way to extend and build upon our collective love for Harry rather than damaging it. If you’ve yet to finish the book, I can only request you speed up so as to avoid any spoilers – because the beauty is in the surprise and shock you feel at certain moments throughout the tale. Even if you’ve only ever watched the movies and have never dived into the words of J.K.Rowling, take this as an opportunity to snuggle up with a cup of tea and a book that will leave you smiling from ear to ear. Let the Wizarding World welcome you home once again.

“The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
J. K. Rowling 

Book tickets to the play here. Buy the book here.

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  



  1. Manon
    August 7, 2016 / 10:51 am

    I'm a huge Harry Potter fan myself. The play was amazing, and even my boyfriend – who 'just likes' the stories, nothing more – loved the script. Truly magical 🙂

    • Hayley Carr
      August 8, 2016 / 9:38 pm

      I'm so jealous! I can't wait to see the play.

  2. Ami Patel
    August 7, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    Yay! I love that you reviewed the book. I read it in a 3 hour sit. I loved it too and still wondering whether I can one day go to Hogwarts (as a mature student you know).

  3. Jennifer Frank
    August 7, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    I'm so excited to read it! I really wanted tickets but it's seeming impossible as almost every date is sold out now!Jen / Velvet Spring x

  4. Philippa
    August 7, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    I can't wait to read this! I read all the HP books growing up and still love them!Philippa x

  5. Heather Nixon
    August 7, 2016 / 6:58 pm

    I think I'm one of the very few people who doesn't actually want to read this play – I don't want to move on from the original Harry Potter books xHeather | Of Beauty & Nothingness x

    • Hayley Carr
      August 8, 2016 / 9:40 pm

      If it helps, it's a continuation of the same story and the characters are still very much the same. I think you'll enjoy it!

  6. Samantha Brooks
    August 7, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    I'm currently reading this & like you I was a little apprehensive at first, however now I'm completely hooked. So great to take a new visit to the world of Harry Potter. xSmall&Blonde♥

  7. Anonymous
    August 8, 2016 / 7:52 am

    It read like weak fan fiction to me

    • Hayley Carr
      August 8, 2016 / 9:39 pm

      That's a shame you didn't enjoy it.

  8. Pam Scalfi
    August 8, 2016 / 9:10 am

    my cousin is obsessed with Harry Potter so I got this for her as a gift when came to visit last week :DPam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  9. Jenny Cole
    August 8, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    I'm really excited to read this after reading all the original ones as a teenager. I was a little bit worried about whether it would be a let-down, so it's good to read your review and hear how good you found it :)Jenny

    • Hayley Carr
      August 8, 2016 / 9:39 pm

      It's strange revisiting things and having new characters – it takes a while to get into it – but by the end you'll love it!

  10. Secret Style File
    August 10, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    I love Harry Potter! I'm so glad it isn't all over yet!!

  11. Blogger
    August 18, 2016 / 11:05 am

    I got my Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book today.I brought it from Amazon and they delivered it in just 2 days!Check it out:Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  12. Yasmin Qureshi
    September 27, 2016 / 5:09 pm

    I know that many people on my #bookstagram feed have been so divided with this book. While some have felt let down, I absolutely loved re-visiting Hogwarts again! I read it in 2 days, but I could have read in it one sitting if I had the time to! I cannot wait to one day be able to go and watch the play. Thanks to JKR I've once again found my love for reading since the 7th HP book, and since the release of Cursed Child I've been reading more or less continuously, and my collection of books is growing!Yasmin Qureshi Photography

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