I am book hungover which pretty much tells you all you need to know. It’s been 2 weeks since I finished and I’ve been unable to get into anything since then.
The first books are good, they are satisfying like a puzzle. I did not start becoming really excited until book four. Then it was just me, not doing anything else for 3 days. I went out to lunch with a friend and all I could think about was getting back to find out whether Ginny and Harry kiss. They totally do. I cancelled a dinner as well. No ragrets.
So these are just my general, stray observations about the books, if you want good reviews see faintingviolet’s brilliantly moving, thoughtful reviews.
Straight away we are introduced to a lot of interesting characters and tons of intrigue. Magic stuff! References to war! He-who-must-not-be named! And those terrible, terrible Dursleys.
I really love how much time Rowling spends just building up her world, everything is incredibly precise and entertaing. Not only is the world she introduces enjoyable, everything we learn will be relevant later on.
When I first read the books I was a wee lassie and so I read them in Danish. And I must say the delight of reading them in the original language was exquisite. So. Many. Puns.
I have never been a fan of the whole car-stealing scene. It is far too dramatic. But, as per Rowling’s style, most of those bits will be relevant later on.
I was also never really a fan of Lockhart and I just get so impatient during the scenes with Dobby.
Despite that I still really love this book. A lot of the things in it are just written for children.
Also, does Rowling not know how to count? The numbers are all over the place, how many people are at Hogwarts? There’s only 5 Gryffindor boys in Harry’s dorm, assuming there are 5 girls it’s like 10 a year. But sometimes 10x 7 = 70, but sometimes 200 Gryffindors attend stuff? WTF?
Lots of quidditch in this one. Which is fine, but it’s hard to keep the tension up when you know the outcome of the match. I’m not a sports person.
Still this is Harry Potter, so it’s good. Harry saves the day, albeit a bit more complicatedly so than the other times. For the first time not everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow.
Also Harry and Ron are dicks to Hermione throughout this book and I sure as hell hopes she has some awesome friends on the side. Girl, don’t put up with them! Actually Harry and Ron are totally dicks throughout this book, constantly disobeying rules even if the rules are expressly put in place to save Harry’s life. I mean I know we’re supposed to read this from a child’s perspective, but come on Harry, listen to the adults WHO’VE FOUGHT VOLDEMORT BEFORE AND KNOW A LOT MORE ABOUT WIZARDING AND MAGIC THAN YOU DO.
10/10 would read again.
“The death eaters seem to be a bit more active than usual lately. They showed themselves at the Quidditch World Cup, didn’t they? Someone set off the Dark Mark…” (Sirius)
The goblet of fire has always been my favorite harry potter book. The stakes are high, but the plot is still based on figuring out clues and solving puzzles. But I gotta say, some of the Nazi metaphors are a bit hard to swallow with the way the world looks today.
This book is my favorite. It is the perfect mix of fun wizard antics, Harry is out solving puzzles, but there’s still focus on the relationships (Ron and Hermione is otp), and tons dark wizard-y magic stuff.
However you totally have to ignore the fact that submitting Harry to the tri-wizard tournament and making him win to grab the portation key is pretty weird, when Barty Crouch Jr. could just literally have handed Harry an object at any time, under way fewer eyes, and just transported him out of there.
But that would of course kill any sort of narrative so…
It is not a happy ending we get here, but fortunately you can quickly read on to…
Harry’s back with the Dursley’s for the summer. He’s scavenging for news papers to see if something happens. Every day he receives the wizard’s news paper, the daily prophet, but he only scans the front page to see the news: is Voldemort back? There’s nothing, no news all summer and he discards them.
Cut to the order of the phoenix “didn’t you read the paper?” Turns out war and civil unrest doesn’t arrive neatly on the front page, it’s tucked away in other articles, in angles that discredit important people. SO MANY PARALLELS TO CURRENT EVENTS.
Also, could somebody give harry potter a hug? Like, seriously, that kid’s been through some shit and he’s starting to fall apart a bit…
The one where Snape kills Dumbledore. I did feel a slight twinge of satisfaction to read the words again after they’d been so thouroughly meme-ified.
Other than that, everything in this book is dreadful. Bleak and sad. From Malfoy being forced to do Vodlemorts bidding, to Dumbledor’s death, to Harry leaving Ginny in the end…I can’t even.
I am not lying when I say at this point I basically ceased all contact with the outside world, did the basic amount of work required and then got back to reading.
Number seven gets a bad rap for being boring with all the long stretches in the wood and I gotta say that it is a little bit bad, but not as bad as I remember. There’s just not really any reason to delay going back to Godric’s hollow for as long as they do. And we all know Ron is the glue of the group. Without him everything just falls a bit flat.
The ending was also FINE, if a bit overly rosy. Also, can we all agree that Snape may have done some valuable work for the order of the Phoenix, but he was not a good guy. He was a sniveling, egotistic bully, who only flipped sides when it was personally convenient for him (so very slytherin). And also the whole “after all this time,” “always.” Nu-uh. Grow the fuck up. That’s creepy. And treat your students with some damn respect. Like seriously Harry. Give your kids some proper names.