Friday, November 26, 2021

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" by J. K. Rowling

Whew.  I blazed through this book at about four times the speed of Order of the Phoenix.  Even though I also cry during this one, it didn't have the same sort of dread for me, so I didn't keep putting off reading it.

These books continue to feel extremely timely, with social and political upheaval disrupting ordinary life, dangers encroaching on wary and unwary alike, and so on.  I particularly loved the themes of standing by your friends and offering grace to your enemies.

I feel like this book might have benefited from a little tighter editing -- there were a few places where discussions of feelings seemed repetitive, or when things got reexplained that readers should be trusted to remember.  But not to the point where I got annoyed.  There really is a LOT going on in this book, both tying together threads from previous books and setting stuff up for the next one, and most of it simply is needed!

This is the first Harry Potter book I bought my own copy of.  It was the first one to get released after I was in the fandom, and I planned to get it from the library to read, not buy a copy.  But I was working overnights at Walmart at that time, and it released at midnight one Tuesday when I was at work.  Our store was offering some kind of excellent deal on it, like 25% off the cover price for release day or something, and I ended up buying it on my way out that morning.  And was not sad that I did :-)

Only one book left in my quest to read all of Harry Potter this year!

Particularly Good Bits:

"...I make mistakes like the next man.  In fact, being -- forgive me -- rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger" (p. 197).

"Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth" (p. 564-65).

"I am not worried, Harry," said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water.  "I am with you" (p. 578).  (This time through, that line is where I cried the most in the whole book.)

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13 for magical violence, a more liberal sprinkling of bad words than I'd remembered (but still not continuous or severe), and quite a bit of time spent kissing or daydreaming about kissing.

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