Sunday, September 1, 2013

Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)
Goodreads Summary: Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected...
Suspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 870
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Purchased physical copy

First Line: "The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close, and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive."

Favorite Quote: "'You're a prefect? Oh, Ronnie! That's everyone in the family!' 'What are Fred and I? Next door neighbors?'"


Warning: Spoilers are present here

I was very excited to pick this up after finishing The Goblet of Fire, but sadly I had already spoiled myself ahead of time by accident, so I was aware of the character death at the end beforehand. I was very sad when Sirius died, but I suppose it did make the battle seem a bit more realistic - I mean, in wars, people from both sides will die. As this is only the beginning, I imagine I will have to endure more character losses later on. This makes me very wary going into the next book, HP and the Half Blood Prince. However, I'm pretty sure curiosity will override any other feelings I may have, because I am eager to finish these books.

I have to admit, I had a harder time getting into this one than any other HP before. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it had to do with the fact that Harry is extremely moody and just a little hard to like. Obviously, he had good reason to be frustrated, but it was still hard to deal with him being happy one moment to angry or sad the next with no good reason in between. The fact that he gets jealous over Ron and Hermione being made prefects was annoying - I'm glad he seemed to get over that pretty quickly. I was also a little irked whenever he was around Cho Chang, simply because I never grew to like her. I wouldn't go so far as to call her bland (Rowling's characters are all bursting with personality), but I found myself rolling my eyes quite often when she was around. I did feel bad for her - after all, her boyfriend died recently - but I felt like since she was such an emotional mess she should have realized that she was in no condition to pursue a romance with Harry. She should have tried to talk to him about Cedric as a friend and nothing more. I'm kind of hoping she's not around much anymore. Harry seemed to be over his crush on her by the end of this book, so I may just get my wish.

So far I've developed a passionate hatred towards the villains of the book including Voldemort, Wormtail, Bellatrix, Lucius, Draco and quite a few others. However, with the introduction of yet another person for me to despise, I found that I wanted her dead or t least gone more than any other. I am, of course, referring to Dolores Umbridge. I was warned of her evilness before starting HP number five, but I still couldn't believe how absolutely horrid she was. Surprisingly, I felt really bad for Snape after Harry went into that memory of him and James. I have no idea if Snape will prove to be a good person or a bad one in the last two books - he's been suspected so many times by Harry, Ron and Hermione. But so far none of their accusations have been true. I really enjoyed the plot of this one. Finding out about this prophecy was cool, and I finally got an answer about why Voldemort tried to kill Harry when he was baby, something I have been wondering about since the first HP. Under no circumstances could I possibly have torn myself away from the book when Dumbledore and Voldemort where battling. I was completely glued to the page. My love of Dumbledore has increased by a lot in this installment - he's such a wise, awesome and meticulous character. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the longest book in this series, but since lots of information is revealed along with a bunch of interesting subplots, I didn't really mind.

5 stars 

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