July 22nd, 2007
Well, I had to work until two on Saturday, so I didn't get to the book until then. Coupled with the fact that I was sharing the book with my sister (passing it off every other chapter), we didn't finish it until about five in the morning. :p It was exhausting, but it was worth it.
Plot: this was a different sort of book than the others because it broke the general formula (Harry has a nasty summer. He goes to school. Weird things happen) of the previous six books and I feel that it did it well. It was odd; it was so dark and dreary, but yet still magical and all that cliched crap. :p
The ugly: Do the words "Die, Umbridge, die" mean anything to you? She deserved so much more than a Stunner to the chest.
The bad: All right, Mrs. Rowling, kindly fire your editors... they clearly suck. That bit in the cafe where Hermione said that she had never practiced a memory charm before? Would have been fine if she had not explained what she had done to her parents earlier in the book. No. Also, the Secret Keeper explanation made no sense. Why? 'Cause you yourself had previously explained the concept of what happens when a secret-keeper dies. That explanation and what is in this book do not mesh at all. Also, you suck at math.
-I didn't like Harry suddenly firing off Unforvivables. Okay, I could understand the Imperios in the bank; that wasn't really harming anyone and their mission was important. But the Crucio in Ravenclaw Tower just cause the guy insulted Minerva? Just punch the jerk and don't get into the habit, baby. Not that I think it isn't in his character (not like he hasn't tried it before), and he wasn't actually trying to torture the guy, but it bothered me a bit.
-Ron being gone for three whole chapters. Yes, we got that he needed to work some crap out, and that he had trouble getting back because of Hermione's protection spells. But did it have to be for that long? Harry and Hermione didn't need to suffer for that long... Hermione crying at night was heart-breaking. :(
-Ginny was wasted in this book, I think. Everyone else got their moment, but she was just kinda... there. The truly cool thing she was doing happened pretty far off screen.
-I want Fred back! :( And what was with not even knowing how Lupin and Tonks died? They were just suddenly and jarringly dead.
And, finally, the good: I absolutely loved the throwbacks to the previous books that were everywhere. Fred and George teasing Mad-eye about telling them apart (almost exactly what they said to Molly when they were first introduced); Hermione shouting at Ron "Are you a wizard or aren't you?!"; The Trio following Snape to the SS under the cloak; the dragon guarding Gringotts; the basilisk fangs and the CoS. It was very much a fond farewell and I loved it dearly.
-The Trio. They were perfect in this book.
-The Battle of Hogwarts. Oh, it was great. With McGonagall leading an army of desks (Charge!) and the ghosts and Peeves pitching in... Oh, and I adored Trewlanney (I knew that old bat was good for something! :p )and her crystal balls... I was so sorry to find out that Greyback survived getting cracked in the head (poor Lavender! I really hope she wasn't dead, but it didn't look good).
-Ron's "resurgence". Yes, I hated the fact that he was gone for that long (the horcux was messing with his mind and playing on his fears. He left in a fit of rage and, though he regretted it the moment he left, he ran into a bunch of junior DE's and couldn't come back until after Harry and Hermione had moved on... and then couldn't find them again due to Hermione's oh-so-brilliant spells). But I loved the bit where he came back and rescued Harry from the evil locket. :p It really gave Ron his moment. He killed Ron-bashing with a huge sword... *bursts into fresh laughter* And then Hermione, quite fittingly, beat him up. :p I really liked it, I did. If only it had come a bit sooner. /grumble Also, the putter-outer being put to that use was amazing. :D
-Neville the Barbarian. He has progressed so much in past few books and I love him to death. He killed Nagini! With the aforementioned huge sword that Ron killed the locket with! He stood up to Voldemort! *snuggles him* He had hordes of admirers at the end... I got my wish for him. :D
-Luna. Okay, she wasn't in the book nearly enough. But her contributions were most welcome. When the Trio is thrown (minus Hermione) into the Malfoy's cellar and she's there? That scene was so gut-wrenching that I don't think that it would have been bearable without her presence. She was all "Hi! I've been in here for weeks, locked up by nasty people who are threatening to kill me... would you like some tea? A rusty nail?" And am I the only one who caught Luna/Dean hints? :p
-Ron and Hermione's interaction throughout the entire book. It was so sweet and subtle (holding hands, Ron asking her to dance)... and the kiss was perfect. Especially since the House Elves lead up to it. Seriously, how cool is that? :p They are fairly close to being my all-time favorite couple and this book only reinforced that.
-Percy! Finally, you silly boy.
-General Kreacher! Kreacher with a saucepan. I can't believe Rowling made me like him, but she did. :D
-Dumbledore and Snape's respective backstory. It dragged a bit in places, but it was still quite interesting. It tied a lot of things together. And I never would have guessed that Grinewald would end up being important. Rowling really likes mentioning characters in passing then bam! Important.
-Molly verses Bellatrix. Is Molly the most awesome thing ever or what? I guess now we know why her boys are so afraid of her!
-"All was well". *bursts into tears*
RIP: Mad-Eye Moody, Hedwig, Fred, Snape (all right, Snivellus, you get a RIP. But I won't forgive you for being horrid to Neville. Ever), Colin Creevey, Remus Lupin, Ted and Nymphadora Tonks. *sob*
*pant* That'll be it for now. I likely missed something or other. :p