Harry Potter and the Re/Read of The Order of the Phoenix
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Welcome to our group re/read of the Harry Potter series for 2014! There aren't any hard guidelines as to when you should read or what format you should use, we're just happily revisiting (or enjoying for the first time) this wonderful series of books together!
I'm hoping that we'll not only share that we ARE reading, but will celebrate the moments that we love and have a lively discussion of what makes these books mean so much to us!
That said, I would like to see some information when everyone posts, so please use this form when starting your posts:
Format: (book, ebook, audio/ US version, UK version)
Chapter: (mentioning the chapter you are currently discussing will help us keep up with each other and let new readers avoid spoilers!)
Chapter: 2, The Vanishing Glass
Threads for all the books:
The Sorcerer's Stone
The Chamber of Secrets
The Prisoner of Azkaban
The Goblet of Fire
The Order of the Phoenix
The Half-Blood Prince
The Deathly Hallows
The Supplemental Reading List
Otherwise, LET THE FUN BEGIN! Invite your friends!Otherwise, LET THE FUN BEGIN! Invite your friends!
I like to refer to this book as Harry Potter and the Teenage Angst -- in this book, Harry and company are made miserable by certain changes at Hogwarts, compounded by their own adolescent hormones.
You're probably thinking I don't like this book, but I do -- I think it's pretty true to the experience of being about 15, taking everything that happens to you personally, and knowing that you and your emotions are just so. important. and nobody understands. Hey, we've all been there to some extent. (Or was it just me? Because, you know, maybe my experience of teenagerhood was unique and significant . . .) This book also introduces Dolores Umbridge, the character that everyone loves to hate -- as a villain, she ranks second only to Voldemort in my opinion, and I know some people who would rank her first. She's a terrifying example of bureaucracy gone as wrong as it's possible to go. To offset that, you have Dumbledore's Army, a group of students working together to improve their skills, with the ultimate goal of fighting Voldemort and the Death Eaters. They help Harry take another step towards realizing his own potential, developing leadership skills and forging bonds with students in other Houses. This book also introduces Tonks, one of my favorite minor characters. While the high level of misery means this is never going to be one of my favorites of the series, this book lands solidly in the middle of the pack, and it's still a Harry Potter, so miles ahead of many books!
There are a few things that drive me really batty every time I read, though. Harry's refusal to report Umbridge to Dumbledore when she is using the torture pen, for instance. Because something should have been done about that, back when her powers weren't absolute. Harry's reluctance to speak out is a classic reaction to abuse, so I'm not faulting the writing, I just have the same sense of almost incoherent outrage at it every time. I also get so very irritated with Harry about not using (or even unwrapping!) the mirror from Sirius. It would have made things so much simpler! I know
I know, I know . . . if everyone had done what they should have done, we wouldn't have a story. But it's just one thing after another in this particular book, more than anywhere else in the series.
I don't love moody, irritable, snappy Harry. I understand moody, irritable, snappy Harry, especially in the context of everything he's been through AND he's 15. But I do love most of the other things about this book.
I mean, two words: Dolores Umbridge. That woman is EVIL. And so fascinating to read. I love every little disgusting detail, right down to the kitten plates. I love how the students come together and learn anyway right under her nose. I love how she's finally dealt with (although I wish it had stuck).
I love Neville. I love his story and his relationship with his mother. I love the confidence he finds in himself and how, totally out magicked, he stands with his friends against evil.
I love Luna. I just do.
There is so much to like about this book and so often it's overlooked because of the teenage angst. But they are teenagers! With things to be angsty about!
The only thing I hate it the obvious. The loss. I HATE it. I'm pretty sure I threw my book across the room the first time I read this. I still don't agree with it's necessity here. I just needed more time!!!