Title: Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard
Author: Tom Felton
Publication: October 18, 2022
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Biographies, Memoirs
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
From Borrower to wizard, Tom Felton’s adolescence was anything but ordinary. His early rise to fame saw him catapulted into the limelight aged just twelve when he landed the iconic role of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.
Speaking with candour and his own trademark humour, Tom shares his experience of growing up on screen and as part of the wizarding world for the very first time. He tells all about his big break, what filming was really like and the lasting friendships he made during ten years as part of the franchise, as well as the highs and lows of fame and the reality of navigating adult life after filming finished.
Prepare to meet a real-life wizard.
As a huge Potterhead, but also a fan of Tom Felton in general, I absolutely had to read his new novel, Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard. The name alone had me interested. What I got from this biography was so much more.
When we think about our favorite actors and celebrities, you cannot help but think about the big houses they likely live in and the glamorous life perks they enjoy. What you don’t realize immediately is that they are human and they have incredibly high pressure on them to be what we all expect of them. After listening to Felton’s book, I have come to realize that is incredibly unfair to them.
Felton’s book is raw and honest, something we don’t always get from celebrities. I learned so much about him and his relationships and actually quite enjoyed hearing that during his years filming, he was able to get a bit of a normal childhood mixed in there. It’s something I always think about now that I am adult and watching child actors. They miss out on a lot and it was nice to learn how his family played in to him having that normality. Felton did a great job of explaining in a humorous way how his relationship began and ended with a lot of familiar names. One I enjoyed hearing was his relationship with his ex-girlfriend Jade. She was very popular among the fans and probably took a lot of flack for different things that fans simply didn’t understand. It was nice to see him talk so highly of her and how wonderful she always was for him. I hope she knew that as well.
What I was NOT expecting was that ending. I did not know he had issues with any substances and that he had done rehab and recovery multiple times. I felt a bit of proud mom vibes to learn he has overcome many of those demons and found his own ways of coping. I really like knowing people have flaws and that they were able to overcome. Hats off to Felton for sharing his struggles so others can learn from his experiences and being so open about mental health.
Overall this book was a great read. Probably one of my favorite non-fiction books I’ve ever read. His stories are funny and catchy. His real talk about depression and struggles was refreshing and loved the message about how simply talking really helped him. I love how he made people realize they are not alone and that is a message people should understand. Even if you don’t love Tom Felton or the potter films, this book has such a fantastic message and delivery. Read it. You will learn something either way.