Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Author: J. K. Rowling
Published: 2003, Scholastic
Category: Fantasty/Young Adult
Rating: 9/10

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!"
"Thank you," said the cool female voice. "Visitors, please take the badges and attach them to the front of your robes."
Harry's badge says: HARRY POTTER, RESCUE MISSION. Hee hee.

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.


Rosario said...

very 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.

Phew, I was feeling like I'm the only crazy person who did that. Wheeeeeee!!

Okay, I'm exaggerating a little---I'm not a crazy person. Really.

Er... *blushes*. You didn't really believe I run around my house squealing, did you? Because I don't. Seriously. Stop laughing at me!

jmc said...

I volunteered to man a booth at a festival on Saturday a long time ago, way back before HP7's release date was known. And I forgot all about it until I received a reminder email. Gah! Now I'm not going to be able to spend all day read and hugging the book and calling it Precioussss.

I'm not doing the running around and flailing, but every so often I send a twittery email to my sister (who's also in a very excited state).

Loved the movie, am going to see it a second time next week. Helena Bonham-Carter was so creepily accurate as Bellatrix Lestrange. And #12 was as dark and forbidding as I imagined it. The only thing I didn't really care for was Dumbledore-related: the abbreviated ending (a general complaint of mine for all the movies) and Michael Gambon's interpretation of Dumbledore, who comes across as much grumpier and much, much more afraid than I read the character as being.

Jennie said...

Rosario--LOL! I imagine I will actually be running around like a lunatic tomorrow. And then when I actually have it in my hands I'll probably be doing the pee-pee dance. OMG, OMG, OMG! EEEEE!

JMC--Sounds like you need a Weasley Wizarding Wheezes Skiving Snackbox. Hee! I think I'd have to flake out on any commitment I had this weekend.

Agree with you completely on Michael Gambon--he's waaay too angry a Dumbledore. Maybe they cut out some of the Harry/Dumbledore conversation at the end because Gambon was so terrifying, when he's not supposed to be at all.

Mailyn said...

I'm very squeeeee when it come to Potter and we always go to the midnight parties so this will be no different. I am also doing my usual all-night-long readin. I'm even thinking of timing myself since I always forget to do this. Should be fun. LOL.

C2 said...

*running and squealing with Jennie and Rosario*
So excited!! :-D

I admit I had to back up and re-read some parts of this one because it was hard to figure out what had just's still one of my faves, though.

Are you going to re-read 6 before you start on 7?!? Oh the willpower you have, if so. LOL

Rosario said...

So it's out only at midnight in the US? That is, midnight in each of the US time zones? Here they're starting to sell it at midnight London time, so I'll have it in my greedy little hands at 8:01 PM.

Jennie said...

Mailyn--Twin and I have agreed to not read any Friday night, but go to sleep and wake up early on Saturday to start. It'll be hard, but I'll be too sleepy to appreciate it on Friday night!

C2--SQUEEEEE!!! Yay! It's so much fun to be excited with other fans. ;)
I've actually already finished my re-read of #6 too. I'm just behind on my posting! I'm completely ready for #7 though.

Rosario--OMG!! You're so lucky! We have to wait until midnight our time. And you're in the same time zone as me, aren't you? So you'll have it four hours earlier! *sniff* LOL.

Mailyn said...

It's Harry day!!!!! Squeeeee time is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!