Author: J. K. Rowling
Published: 2003, Scholastic
Category: Fantasty/Young Adult
Why, yes, I'm still re-reading Harry Potter. Because look at the countdown! Less than two days till HP7! Wheeeeee! Every once in a while I have to stop whatever I'm doing and run around the house waving my arms and squealing a little to let out some of the excitement. By tomorrow I should be in quite a state. (Okay, I'm exaggerating a little---I'm not a crazy person. Really. But I am excited.)
So what to say about Order of the Phoenix? It is the angsty book. Though there is little that is ordinary about Harry's life, he still acts like a typical teenager. He is angry and confused, tired of being treated like a kid but not really mature enough to act like an adult. He feels cut off from everyone, shutting out his friends because he feels like they just can't understand. He's sort of annoying, but then aren't most teenagers?
While this might be my least favorite Harry Potter (though really that doesn't mean much as I love them all obsessively), there's still lots to appreciate. The book is really a sort of political thriller. The ministry turns a blind eye to the signs of Voldemort's return and sends despotic Umbridge to take over Hogwarts. My favorite thing about this book is probably the D.A. Civil disobedience, woo hoo! Rock on, kiddies. They band together to do all they can to deny the tyrant. I love it.
The scenes in the Department of Mysteries are not, imo, the best Rowling ever wrote. Everything happens so quickly and so many odd things happen that it's actually sort of hard to grasp sometimes. The dark humor didn't really work for me (e.g. Neville's broken nose and the Tarantallegra curse). I just found it odd next to such important events. Yes, I'm being vague. I don't want to ruin anything for anyone. ;)
But despite all the darkness, there's still the whimsy that all the books have to counteract the gloom. My favorite example in this book is when Harry is rushing into the Ministry and he's greeted with the voice that asks him to state his business. Harry says,
"We're here to save someone, unless your Ministry can do it first!"Harry's badge says: HARRY POTTER, RESCUE MISSION. Hee hee.
"Thank you," said the cool female voice. "Visitors, please take the badges and attach them to the front of your robes."
I was going to do a separate post about the OotP movie that just came out, but I haven't had time. So, I'll just say here that I LOVED IT. I think it's the best Harry Potter movie yet. The kids' acting, which in the past has been the cause of occasional cringing, is fantastic---they've really come into their own. The screenwriters did a really good job of condensing the plot; the action and the pacing were great. Umbridge was deliciously evil and so easy to hate. I've already been to see it twice. (Hey, I'm on vacation! Sort of.) Twin and I were thinking about going again on Friday evening to help wile away the time until midnight.