Title: Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard
Author: Tom Felton
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Biographies, Celebrity, Memoirs
Format: eBook, Novel
I, like I’m sure many others, just bought this because I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. And, as we are all bombarded with the cast’s growth over the years, I’m actually pretty impressed with how they’ve all grown up in the spotlight. Plus, Tom Felton is one of those rare actors who managed to make a truly detestable character really sympathetic. And quotable, but that’s a whole other story. All in all, it meant that when I realised that this was a novel that existed, I was over the moon and very quickly added it to my bookshelf.
This novel starts with a truly beautiful forward by Emma Watson. It highlights the bond that they’ve built as they’ve grown and the truly meaningful friendship that they share. Straight up, you realise that there is an honesty and sweetness to their bond, and whilst Emma doesn’t feature heavily in Tom’s memoir, when he talks about her, you can see that that respect goes both ways. The kind of friendship that people dream of.
Felton is irrevocably honest, grateful and after reading this, I kind of want to be his friend. He doesn’t flinch from his mistakes and the challenges he’s faced in his past. There is no shying away from some of his dumber mistakes, and a kind of silent pride in his finer moments. Felton is able to look at the past through a lens of humour and acceptance that is seriously hard to come by as an adult.
Rather than being written in chronological order, Beyond the Wand jumps around the timeline, with each chapter having an underlying theme. Or a central story that then feeds into other, smaller tales. I love that I had no idea of what to expect with each chapter. I mean, the witty titles give you a bit of a hint, but then I mostly just got distracted by how witty the titles are. And then I’d get distracted by the wit in Felton’s retellings.
Although I couldn’t stop thinking about this, I also took quite a while to read this. Mostly because I really didn’t want this experience to be over. It’s an amazing journey that gave me a whole lot more insight into the filming of Harry Potter and what it was like growing up on screen. But, it was also about family and friends and the people you need to get through the most difficult moments of your life.
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