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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

*WARNING - SPOILERS...IF YOU HAVEN'T READ OR SEEN HP 5 OR 6 OR WELL 7...THEN MOVE ALONG...ALTHOUGH I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU HAVEN'T.*

August 10, 2016

"We're coming with you, Harry." - (Neville Longbottom) J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Oh, dear.

That is my reaction to what I have just finished. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" by J.K. Rowling is slowly becoming my new favourite Potter book. Oh, I know! Have I, the person who is obsessed with year 3, abandoned my love of "...Prisoner of Azkaban"? NO. Well, maybe. Sorry. I started this book five days ago and I couldn't put it down. I thought going into this I would pick up on things I missed, although in truth, I have actually found that I had forgotten a lot of the scenes in the books rather than discovered new ones. For example, all of the scenes in which Cho is a crying mess and their Valentine's day date, oh my, so funny. 


I never really liked Cho and Harry together, yet I can see how some people might when they read year 5. Yet, in this book Ginny is started to prove that she is an extraordinary witch and I love that! It sort of shows Harry that she can handle herself which is very important in book 7. I also love that Ginny becomes the Seeker for the Gryffindor team when Harry can't play. Oh, SPEAKING OF.

DEAR WARNER BROTHERS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Why in the world was all of the Quidditch stuff with Ron, IN THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE MOVIE RATHER THAN ORDER. Like, was it that hard to add it in there. I get that the D.A. stuff was WAY more important and all the Occlumency as well, but it would have made a lot more things clear in the following movie. For example, Ginny starts to catch Harry's eye because she is this amazing Quidditch player. It also explains how she got on the team. In the sixth film she just happens to be co-captain and it's rather confusing to non book readers, just saying. 

Another thing! As I said in my "...Goblet of Fire" review. Where was all the Sirius stuff? I mean there was way more than movie 4, but there were some moments in which would have been lovely to see. Now when it comes to the death of Sirius. I won't lie to you and say that I was strong and read through it, because I didn't. I blubbered like a child when he died, oh spoiler, whoops. I think the part that made me really choke up was when Lupin's voice kept breaking as he struggled to keep Harry from chasing after Bellatrix. Remus had already lost James and now his second best friend was gone. Like, it just destroyed me. I get, literary wise, why Sirius had to die. I know that it was because of inflicting emotion and symbolism and all that juicy stuff writers feed off of, but WHY? On a personal and HUMAN level, why? WHY JO, WHY? He was such a beloved character and I really hope you struggled killing him as I know you did with Lupin. DEEP BREATH, alright, I'm done.

Speaking of Lupin, I love the part in which they are at St. Mungos and he goes to see the man that was bitten by the werewolf. Very compassionate Remus. Let us talk about the Order for a second. I really liked this addition to the story. After "...Prisoner of Azkaban", it was a bit of a disappointment to a lot of readers that Lupin was no longer in the story, so I was very happy to have him and Mad-Eye back. Along with a bunch of new characters including: Tonks, Kingsley, and even Kreacher who believe it or not proves to be rather useful in book 7, that old git. Book 4 really set up for the war and even though it is official at the end of book 5, the fight in the Department of Mysteries is really the first battle of Dark and Light and the immediate lead up for the climax of Voldemort and Harry and whether evil will prevail or not. 

Now that we have mentioned evil, shall we talk about the elephant in the room. Or, rather, the toad. I'm talking of Dolores Umbridge of course. Now if you have only seen the film and you think she is bad in that, well you need to read this book! The way J.K. Rowling wrote her character was BRILLIANT. Why? Well, let me ask you something, did you feel a surge of anger towards her, perhaps hate? Yes? Well then Rowling did her job. As authors it is their job to provoke their readers into these emotional reactions. I have read many of her books, not just HP, and she has managed to do this in all of them. I was so angry when it came to Umbridge that, at times, you would think the Dark Lord was possessing me. Even though I hated her character I thought it was very important to the story as was Fudge because it showed that even in the Magical community the government may not always be exactly sane. The issues with the Ministry added a realness to the story in which portrayed societies at times of dire stress. Well done. 

On a lighter note, let us discuss my favourite twins. Now it is Fred and George's last year at Hogwarts. Their joke shop is up and running, they are seventeen, and can now apparate. Well, as you can guess they don't particularly like Umbridge. Not only do they continue to disobey her, but also managed to shove a Slytherin prefect into a random Vanishing Cabinet and don't even care where he went. God, I love them. My favourite part however is what I like to call their "graduation day". This is an evening in which the boys have flooded the upstairs corridor with a very well produced swamps and proudly took ownership of their disruption. Yet, it doesn't stop there. The boys managed to retrieve their broomsticks and fly off into the sunset after a few choice words. Let me tell you, I have never felt prouder. They made the Weasley family proud that day, unlike SOMEBODY! That's right, Percy, I am speaking to you. What a git. I never liked Percy much, but I figured he would be a bit more understanding, screw you WEATHERBY!

There is so much packed into this book that it would take about six pages to review, so let me finish off a few points. Dumbledore's Army. I LOVED this idea. I was so happy when they decided to do this because honestly it is what they should have been doing since first year. Obviously as it is Harry who the Dark Lord is after, Voldemort will not hesitate to attack his friends and they need to be trained. Also, I love the introduction of Luna Lovegood who is very important in book 7 as is her father. The "outing" of Neville's parents' past was also very important as it sort of sparks something in Neville in which he uses a lot in the next books. Finally, the ending scene in, well one of them, in which Harry learns of the prophecy and how this must end was some of the best writing I had ever seen. It portrayed emotion and it set up the next books flawlessly. I felt as if the end of the fifth was the entirety of the rising action in the series. It really starts to set what is to come and puts it out there that either Voldemort or Harry MUST DIE and that is a real wake-up call for the following books. 

I give this book a complete 5/5 and I am so excited to get reading book 6 "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" as it is a very pivotal book and has the largest death in my opinion. Not the most heartbreaking to me, that would be a certain red head later on, whoops, spoiler, my bad, ha. My opinion on Dumbledore aside (again, sorry, spoiler), I think that it is a remarkable read and if you are in the mood for a magnificent story about triumph, lost, and friendship, then read book 5. You won't regret it!

I leave you with my favourite Sirius Black quote:

“We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

RIP

Happy Reading

- Haley.

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