Blast from the Past–Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

2Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
7/7/2007-7/14/2007–870 pages–fiction (fantasy, wizards, witchcraft)
Bought June 14, 2007
★★★★★

It is definitely a good thing I decided to reread this before reading the final installment because I definitely needed refreshing in this year. Many things happen in this book.

  • Voldemort is back and Harry’s called crazy
  • Umbridge wants to brainwash the students at Hogwarts
  • Fudge feels Dumbledore is raising an army
  • HR&H form the Dumbledore’s Army for those really wanting to use the Defense Against the Dark Arts
  • Ron makes Keeper, Fred & George leave school, Ginny is Seeker when Harry’s banned from Quidditch, Percy has “disowned” his family
  • Harry sees Snape’s memory of James torturing him and feels ashamed
  • Sirius dies in Department of Mysteries
  • Harry hears his prophecy and learns Neville could’ve been the one attacked by V in first place
  • All the wizarding community is told V or Harry must die at the other’s hands

Blast from the Past–Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

6Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
6/22/2007-6/26/2007–734 pages–fiction (fantasy, wizards, witchcraft)
Bought June 22, 2007
★★★★★

Okay, well this is the climatic book of the series because Voldemort finally returns for goo. I really like this book much more than the movie. And I like how Rowling puts in the row between Ron and Harry. I mean, a friendship of one amazingly famous and rich and one overlooked and poor person will definitely have this row in real life, and so Rowling makes the story more “real.” No one likes to be the side-kick all the time, and Ron’s character behaved as any person.

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” ~Sirius (p525)

“Curiosity is not a sin. But we should exercise caution with our curiosity.” ~Dumbledore (p598)

**Halloween=Goblet of Fire releases each school’s champion and Harry

Blast from the Past–Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

5Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
6/18/2007-6/21/2007–435 pages–fiction (fantasy, wizards, witchcraft)
Purchased sometime in 2002
★★★★★

Definitely still my favorite Harry Potter. It’s the only book in the whole series that Harry doesn’t fave Voldemort in. And I love learning about Harry’s father and all that went down before he was born. And he gets his godfather! How happy this book makes Harry 🙂

*Halloween=Sirius tries to get in Gryffindor common room and slashes Fat Lady portrait
Percy vs. Tom Riddle–> both head boys; both from poorer families (although Percy is pureblood); both want their names to be known

Blast from the Past–Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

15881Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
6/16/2007-6/17/2007–341 pages–fiction (fantasy, wizards, witchcraft)
Purchased sometime in 2002
★★★★★

Well, Harry Potter books can still make me want to read them straight through, even this one, which is my least favorite. Started this last night a 8pm and read pretty continuously till 11:30pm. Woke up this morning around 9am and have been reading it on and off again until now, about 3:30pm. So about 7-8 hours…not bad. Very excited to read PoA next because it’s my favorite, even if I can’t remember much other than what’s in the movie.

A couple questions:

  1. Was Dobby ordered to keep Harry from school as to not mess up Malfoy’s plan of ridding the school of Muggle-borns? Or did Dobby uncover the scheme and sincerely want to keep Harry safe?
  2. Harry can hear Riddle ordering the basilisk and understand what he’s saying? Should all the rest of the people hear the hissing from the snake language?

Halloween=Nearly Headless Nick’s 500th deathday party; Mrs. Norris 1st petrified in school

Blast from the Past–Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

3Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
6/13/2007-6/16/2007–309 pages–fiction (fantasy, wizards, witchcraft)
Purchased sometime in 2002
link to my review of the same in 2011
★★★★★

Well, the book is just as good as I remember it. As you can see, I took some notes* on the differences from the movie so I can remember it is not the same. I heard from someone Halloween might be an important date, so I took note of that. I was wondering if maybe the green flash of light Harry keeps remember has anything to do with his and Lily’s green eyes.

So what about the names Lily and Petunia. Lily means perfection, so what does Petunia mean? Evil, bitterness, what? {2016 EDIT: Petunia means resentment, anger.}

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ~Dumbledore (p214)

“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” ~Dumbledore (p298)

 

*Halloween=night V killed Lily & James; night troll let in by Quirrell
July 31=Harry’s bday (9 months before is Halloween)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows {re-read}

TitleHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: JK Rowling
Genre: YA fantasy
ISBN: 9780545010221
Length: 749 pages (I didn’t read the epilogue, this time around)
Published: 2007
Source: personal collection
Rating: 5/5
Challenges/Resolutions: Harry Potter Reading Marathon

Reason for Reading: I’m participating in Shannon’s Harry Potter Reading Marathon, and the book for December is Deathly Hallows.

Summary (from Goodreads):

As the novel begins, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on the run from Lord Voldemort, whose minions of Death Eaters have not only taken control of the Minister of Magic but have begun to systematically – and forcibly – change the entire culture of the magic community: Muggle-born wizards, for example, are being rounded up and questioned, and all “blood traitors” are being imprisoned. But as Voldemort and his followers ruthlessly pursue the fugitive with the lightning bolt scar on his forehead, Potter finally uncovers the jaw-dropping truth of his existence.

My Thoughts: How weird is it that the last time I read this book, I listened to it on audiobook and finished it just a couple weeks earlier in December of 2010.

I don’t believe I have ever noticed how serious this book feels from the very beginning. The story (concerning Harry) starts, as usual, in the Dursley household. But the mood is immediately depressing and ominous. That being said, there isn’t really all that much in the book to be happy about. I guess it’s good that Bill and Fleur get married, even if the wedding turns into a nightmare. And it’s good that Lupin and Tonks have a baby, but then they die. The happy parts seem much happier the first time around–as a reread, the fact that practically every good thing has an equally bad thing that follows.

But rereading does shed light on other parts. For instance:

“I shall attend to the boy in person. There have been too many mistakes where Harry Potter is concerned. Some of them have been my own. That Potter lives is due more to my errors than to his triumphs.” (Voldemort, p6)

I did not realize how important Voldemort admitting he is fallible is in the story. Clearly he does not think Harry is better than himself–he admits that all three times he directly tried to kill him, he “accidentally” managed to live. I must not have really realized Voldemort said this the first two times I read/listened to the story. That is a big deal, for Voldemort to say he is not perfect. It must be hard to be the most powerful wizard in the world and not be perfect.

Oh, and then there’s Draco. It becomes pretty apparent in this final installment that he’s pretty much all talk and no action. Being associated with very powerful people, he boasted a big game when Voldemort returned. But then he told the Death Eaters that a-disguised-Harry wasn’t really Harry–why? And he couldn’t kill Dumbledore–why? Part of it is, I’m sure, that he can be very cowardly. But when he and his own family suffered at the hands of Voldemort and the Death Eaters, I guess he came to realize that dark power is good in theory, but dark magic in reality is not good.

Here are a few other things I found interesting:

  • Hermione explains the enchantment she placed upon her parents (p96-7), but she says she has never performed a Memory Charm later (p167). So what did she do to her parents? I guess they never really explained how many different kinds of Memory Charms there are, but Obliviate is the only one mentioned previously. Also, I find the scene in the movie when she wipes herself from her parents’ memories much more heartbreaking than her explanation of it in the book.
  • Ginny’s name is Ginevra (p141). Never caught that before. This was particularly interesting because I had been thinking, “What is Ginny short for?” the day before I got to that part of the book.
  • Hermione was getting on my nerves a little this time around. But she was seriously a broken record about Harry’s occlumency.
  • Harry, at some point in the woods, said that (essentially) he missed being fed, bedded, and having others in charge and telling him what to do. And, my first thought was, “Welcome to the real/adult world!”
  • The Muggle-born Register screams Jewish rosters in Nazi Europe. You know, all that “dirty blood” (totally being sarcastic there!)

As I mentioned, I didn’t read the epilogue this time around. Not just because I don’t like it–which is true, but it doesn’t ruin the book for me anymore (like the first time). But I just didn’t feel like reading it. I already know what it says and it’s not important to the story. The book ends just as well without the epilogue–a good, solid closure.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

TitleHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author: JK Rowling
Genre: fiction
ISBN: 9780439785969
Length: 652 pages
Published: 2005
Source: personal collection
Rating: 5/5

Reason for Reading: The ongoing Harry Potter Reading Marathon hosted by Shannon at Giraffe Days.

Summary (from Goodreads):

After months of frenzied anticipation and wild speculation about the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, the numerous bombshells and incredible plot twists in the sixth, ever-darkening installment of J. K. Rowling’s bestselling Harry Potter saga will leave readers as shocked and stunned as they are utterly satisfied..

As the novel begins, a “grim mood” has fallen over the country. The minions of Lord Voldemort (a.k.a. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) continue to grow as his evil spreads. The Ministry of Magic has stepped up security everywhere, and as Harry enters his sixth year at Hogwarts, he begins to see himself — and everyone around him — in a different, more discerning, light. With rumors swirling about Harry being the prophesied “Chosen One,” he begins taking private lessons from Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

As Dumbledore prepares Harry for his destined clash with Voldemort by revealing jaw-dropping insights into the Dark Lord’s past — who his parents were, what happened after he left Hogwarts, and more — Harry also struggles to uncover the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, the past owner of a potions textbook he now possesses that is filled with ingenious, potentially deadly, spells. But Harry’s life is suddenly changed forever when someone close to him is heinously murdered right before his eyes….

My Thoughts: Oddly enough, most of my thoughts are focused on the Ginny-Harry relationship. Before this reread (my 3rd of this particular book), I was 100% convinced that it was merely the films that didn’t do that relationship justice as far as the books did. But I have come to the realization that the films NOR the books did that relationship “justice”. I have never liked the fact that Harry and Ginny got together. I think that is because deep down I always felt that JK Rowling hadn’t written the first five books with that intention–she seriously did just add it in randomly to mix things up, I’m convinced. There were no feelings on Harry’s part until the sixth book, and it was only the first couple books where Ginny’s awkardness around Harry hinted at any feelings towards him.

Maybe it’s merely that I like the Harry-Hermione-Ron trio and don’t like ANYTHING to mess that up.

It bugs me that at the very end, Harry says to Ginny, “Sorry, I love you too much to let Voldemort use you against me,” in so many words. But then he turns right around to Hermione and Ron and says, “Well, okay. I guess I don’t love you that much and I’ll let you endanger yourselves for me yet again.” It’s just such a contradiction.

Discussion Questions:

1. What one big theme or scene or character really stuck out for you in this book? What was the most powerful?

2. Harry and Ginny: thoughts? Rowling said she wrote the epilogue of book 7 at the beginning, and it was always in her head that Harry and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione, would become couples. What did you think about how this played out in book 6?

3. The film: pass or fail? Favourite bits?

I’m not sure if you’d consider it a theme, but I really like Dumbledore’s training of Harry. Dumbledore somehow knows that he won’t be around much longer, so his passing on his knowledge to help Harry fight Voldemort was very imperative to this story. I don’t think Dumbledore was naive about his time being short. Voldemort would have to go through Dumbledore to get to Harry and both knew it, while Harry might not have realized it. Harry thought he would fight alongside Dumbledore, whereas Dumbledore knew Harry would have to go it alone.

I’ve already given my thoughts on the Harry-Ginny relationship. Knowing that Rowling had intended Harry and Ginny to be together in the end really upset me. (I hadn’t known this before.) I thought she was a better writer than that–her development of their relationship was awful. I think there should have been more about their feelings towards each other in the previous books–even just the intermittent mention of Ginny feeling awkward around Harry and something that makes it seem like Harry paid a bit of attention to Ginny.

It’s been a long time since I saw the sixth film. But from what I remember of the film and having just read the book, I think they are pretty similarly matched. Although I don’t remember Harry being so obsessed with catching Draco at something bad in the film as he was in he book. But, honestly his obsession in the book was a little overdrawn, so the lack of its full extent in the film fit right in with the faster pace of the story, for film’s sake.