Thursday, February 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Author: JK Rowling
First published in 2003 by Scholastic

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected...

Suspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down.

If you ask my daughter this is her favorite book of the series.   So far, I can't make that claim.  This is the fifth book in the series.  It has a definitely different tone than the previous books.  It's a bit more harsh and serious. It's also really long.  I'm not sure half of what was on this book really needed to be in it.  Frankly, I'm surprised it kept my kid's attention long enough to finish it.  Really...there were so many scenes that were filler and useless.  How many times do we need to hear about the kids writing essays and doing homework?  The pacing was inconsistent and slow. It takes half the book to get to December.  

I'm not saying it's a bad story.  I did enjoy parts of it.  The Order of the Phoenix was interesting and it was nice to see more adults rallying around Harry.  There was also a lot more of the other students in this one. I like seeing how they are all growing and even how some of them are changing. With the exception of Harry.  He seemed to get a bit more whiny and defiant.  I do have to admit though, the decisions to keep information from Harry and his friends "for their own good" is getting a bit old.  It's the 5th year and these students have proven themselves over and over that they can handle it.  Why keep stuff from them?

One of the things that I really didn't enjoy about the story is the amount of bullying that is allowed to happen. I'm not sure if I'm more aware reading this as an adult, but it is a little disturbing.  The abuse of Harry during his detention with Umbridge (don't get me started on this character) was appalling as was Harry's refusal to tell anyone that it was happening to him. Let's not forget his friends keeping quiet about it.  There is no stop to teasing and hazing from Draco and his cronies.  I know this is the magical world, but really there why are all of the adults in this school allowing this to continue?

In the end, I didn't love it, but didn't hate it.  I'm really hoping the last two books are a bit more exciting than this one.

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