Oh Harry Potter! I got on the bandwagon a couple of books in, I believe because my brother and mother were reading them. From Book 4 or 5 through the end I was reading them as they came out. It was such a big deal when the last book came out! We were buying a single set for the home, naturally, which meant the four people in the house hooked on the series by then had to schedule different reading times to share it. I remember frantically reading through the end one afternoon, sniffling over some death scenes, and everybody around me yelling, “OH GOD, DON’T TELL US WHO DIES!”
I received a lovely box set of the series for Christmas, since I tragically never owned my own copies. Since then I’ve been rereading the series, basically for the first time since they were released.
The first four books were pretty much as expected, their general contents having been reinforced in my mind by the movies (don’t worry, I won’t be doing a book vs. movie blow-by-blow here). I lost interest in the later movies, though, so those books have been more of a trip.
Order of the Phoenix:
This was my least favorite of the series when I was in high school, and that impression still stands. The entire plot revolves around Harry acting like a shit to everyone and not doing what he’s told. Now, I fully acknowledge that this is valid character development for a teenager who has been through the traumas he had been through. That doesn’t make it a fun read, though.
My shift in focus: the death of Sirius was still sad, and I felt for Harry, but the character of Sirius wasn’t quite as sympathetic as when I was younger. This time around, the scene that actually made me cry was much earlier on: when Molly Weasley tries to get rid of a boggart at headquarters, and they find her hysterical because it’s taking on the form of her children all murdered? Ooh I wept.
My main memory from my first time reading this book was, “The one with all the snogging?” This time around it didn’t seem so prevalent or overbearing. Harry wasn’t such a dick to all his friends, so kudos there. I still don’t buy Ron and Hermione’s relationship. And of course: Dumbledore nooooo. Dumbledore you had all year to give Harry a rundown about this stuff, why did you pace it ouuuuut.
I’m only partway in, so I probably jumped the gun a bit writing this post. For now I’ll just say: Hedwig noooooo.
Ahhh I finished Deathly Hallows and it was a great re-read. I’m glad I went through the series again. I definitely spot some of the plot crutches now (Harry conveniently overhears a LOT of crucial information in increasingly unlikely circumstances, culminating in him accidentally stumbling across Griphook in the middle of freakin nowhere in the woods). But it’s still a wild ride, and I got emotional at the end anyway.
I love that everyone gets their moment. It’s such a big cast, the ending is a 200-page rollercoaster that has a lot to wrap up. But you still get Neville v. Nagini, and Molly Weasley kicking Bellatrix’s ass with one of the badass mom lines of all literature: “Not my daughter, you bitch!” Ungh yes. That right there makes me want to write a blog about Ellen Ripley, my favorite movie character of all time, which I’m sure I will do at one point. I just have to gear up to it and really do her justice.