Okay so, funny story. I started to read these books back in third grade, when they were first becoming like "THE BIG THING". I read the first two and a half, and then gave up for one reason or another. I got bored I guess? Eh, don't remember. And then I just never got around to reading them, and everyone was constantly talking about them and bugging me to read them like "*POKE POKE* BRIGID READ HARRY POTTER!" So I was like, "Yeah … I'm not going to because I'm a nonconformist!" And basically the whole thing just became really annoying ... because the more people told me to read them, the more I didn't want to. If that makes sense.Well, finally my sisters gave into the whole craze and became obsessed just like everyone else. And so, with all my friends and two little sisters constantly nagging me, I caved. Plus, my sisters bought them all so they were already sitting there on my bookshelf.I guess it's a bit hard to judge, since now I'm 18 and––ya know––not really a little kid anymore. Although yeah, I know the books get more mature, which is why I'll keep reading.Over all, it was enjoyable. But I guess I see why, at age 9, I didn't feel compelled to keep reading. There were a few things that irked me ...a) First of all, the whole story seemed to go by much too fast. I guess, you know, it's for kids and all. But still, quite a lot of things happened with no down-time in between. Events would just happen in two or three pages and then it'd be on to the next thing straightaway! Even the climax was only ... like ... ten pages long. And after that, it ended quite abruptly.However, in Rowling's defense ... I understand that this was her first book, and so agents/publishers probably pressured her to cut out as much as possible. I'm trying to get my first book published at the moment, and so far quite a few agents have suggested that I cut about 70,000 words out of my manuscript ... So I know how it is. O_ob) The writing. Well, for the most part it was all right. But ... so many dialogue tags with adverbs! One of my greatest pet peeves! ("she exclaimed indignantly!") Although, once again, it's a kids' book. So I guess I shouldn't expect the writing style to be mind-blowingly awesome. Also, I've been told five billion times that Rowling's writing style improves as the books progress, so … YAY!c) The characters are all very likable ... except Harry Potter himself. I don't know what it is, but I didn't feel much of an attachment to him. Maybe it was because everyone is always fawning over him? Like, wherever he goes everyone's like "OOOH IT'S THE AWESOMETASTICAL HARRY POTTER!" (Maybe I'm just jealous? Haha.) And he didn't have much of like an "attitude", at least not in this book. Eh ... I assume he'll develop more later on.As for what I liked ... As I mentioned already, good characters. Also, it's a very creative story. Rowling's world-building is very detailed, which adds more to the suspension of disbelief and whatnot. So that's pretty cool. :) I can tell that she was setting up for a lot of future character relationships, plot-lines, etc. And it's good to see a series that has actually been planned out in advance––that's what a series is supposed to be like. (So many authors seem to just pull sequels out of their butts these days.)So yeah, I guess that is all my thoughts on book número uno. On to the next!