It's so weird. I first read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when I was 19 years old. Now reading it when I am 38 I am just seeing all kinds of issues. Maybe some of it is colored by the fact that I am older. And maybe some of it is by the fact that I am realizing that I don't particularly care for J.K. Rowling that much. It could also be because I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and loathed that play. Either way, this book didn't sing for me the way it did when I was 19.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets finds Harry 12 years old and back at the Durlseys. He is a little hurt his school friends haven't written him anything in the way of happy birthdays. A house elf named Dobby pops up though and warns Harry that he can't return to Hogwarts this year. Dobby kinds of sucks and uses magic in order to get Harry in trouble at Hogwarts, it doesn't work, and Harry is able to return. That is not the only weirdness though, Harry and Ron try to go through the magical platform and are stopped. The twosome decide to fly to Hogwarts (the justifications for this mess still makes me shake my head) so these two are in a lot of trouble when the school year starts.
This book kind of sparks more of the beginning of why Slytherin didn't get along with the other founders though. We hear more about those who come from Muggle backgrounds (like Hermoine) should not have been allowed entrance to Hogwarts. And we see a warning about the chamber of secrets being opened with leads Harry, Hermoine, and Ron off to investigate. Weirdly though most of the book is set up to try to show that Harry should not be in Gryffindor, but Slytherin. We also get Ron's sister Ginny in this one that made me sigh along with the whole introduction to someone we will get to know more of, Tom Riddle.
The writing is okay, I just found myself bored throughout. Maybe because I read this before and knew what was coming. Or maybe because it just didn't grab me since I saw too many plot holes, don't get me started on the whole Ginny thing. It just makes zero sense. The world building in this one was weak (the whole house elf thing just made me sigh) and I don't know. I think that it could have been stronger. Dumbledore read as clueless to me in this one.
The flow was not good. I just started to feel like this book was endless.