So I had heard a couple of people mention this isn’t exactly their favorite of the series, one stating there was something that actually made her upset enough that she didn’t read the last two books until years later. On the flip side, I knew someone else say this book was their favorite of the series. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect exactly, but I was a little nervous.
Most of the book felt pretty typical of Harry Potter, but not in quite the same blase way The Chamber of Secrets did. Harry has a terrible time at the Dursley’s and has no clue what’s going on in the wizard world. Harry nearly gets in trouble but Dumbledore saves him. We meet a new professor, Umbridge, who is awful and I hate her. We meet Luna Lovegood (finally, I’ve been oddly fascinated about meeting her), and we get some more of Cho and Ginny and Neville and Fred and George and others.
Then there’s the point before the climax where things aren’t looking good, our characters take a journey, are thrust into the climax which is pretty dramatic, but for some reason I didn’t quite feel it as much as I would have expected. I think I can blame this at least partially on the time I was reading these scenes, particularly that I didn’t get to read this part all at once, so that probably hurt more than any of the actual writing. And then, that thing that made me nervous even though I didn’t know what it would be until it happened HAPPENED and that kind of shocked me and then once it sunk in for me the way it did for Harry I was just so incredibly sad. Especially when Harry opens that package at the end and you realize so much could have been avoided and it sort of bothers me he doesn’t even acknowledge that himself, but then again maybe it’s for the better he doesn’t think of it? But it bothered me.
And then what is up with Dumbledore? I can’t decide if it’s a character flaw or an author flaw that he didn’t tell Harry ALL THE THINGS at the end of book 3. That really would have been the time. How much of this did Rowling have planned out in advance? I have no idea. I almost felt like Dumbledore was like, “Please excuse my dumbness, but two books ago I honestly had no idea the story was going to turn out this way.” But I don’t know, maybe she really wanted Dumbledore to mess up that badly. I mean, people do that. It just stinks, especially when you think they’re so wise.
Anyhow, I did enjoy it overall, but so far it is my second least favorite. Based on what I hear, that’s probably where it will stay. I’ve been trying to decide between a 4 and a 4.5… and I think I’ve finally settled on 4 stars.
I didn’t enjoy this movie as much as The Goblet of Fire, but I did enjoy it more than the first three. The changes are still there, but I think I’ve become a bit more forgiving of them. And again, the direction in this one was mostly pretty good, though I didn’t love the beginning scene with Dudley and Harry. This one was also shorter than the others, so it almost felt too short, even though I don’t think it actually was.
The only specific thing I really wanted to mention about the movie was that I think the actress who played Luna did a great job. And I love that added scene of her and Harry in the forest.