The highly anticipated new book from J.K. Rowling, The Casual Vacancy, defiantly helped Rowling take a step away from the boy wonder that made her well known.

The story follows a number of different characters in a small town in Britain, dealing with the untimely death of a Council member on the local City Council.  The events that follow the death are a roller coaster for the town’s members, ranging from fellow Council members to people who want the new position to children at the local high school.

Rowling bounces from character to character, letting the reader take a look into the going ons of their mind. She gives readers a raw look of the characters, with no buffers when it comes to their opinions, hopes and fears. The way Rowling chose to describe people was revolting, forcing the reader to picture what people don’t always like to think about.

The characters that stand out when reading are the children, or pre teens. Rowling presents them as people that you could run into everyday, which you could have grown up with them. The insecure guy in love with a girl he’s never spoken to, the bullied girl who hurts herself to feel something, the boy who thinks he’s above everything and everyone, and the ones in between just trying to make it through the day.

When looking into the minds of the adults in the story, it made me wonder if any adults in my life have similar thoughts. The Mother who thinks the world of her grown son, but cannot stand the woman he married. The widow that lost her husband, and is trying to get through every day.The woman who uprooted her life and daughter to move closer to a man that had little interest in her outside of the bedroom, and the junkie who is barely holding on.

When reading Casual Vacancy, I went in it with an open mind. I grew up on Harry Potter, and it introduced me to reading. I was hoping that I would enjoy Casual Vacancy, made myself remember that it didn’t have anything to do with her other books. It was an interesting story to write, and I enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more of the stories Rowling decides to write, and hope Rowling will keep writing what she wants to and continues to enjoy what she does.

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