My favorite was PoA and the 5th and 6th probably tied for least favorite. I didn't dislike any of them but I thought in OOTP there was too much angst and in HBP not enough happened. I did think they were both pretty good on the whole.
Can we start a new HP thread for those of us late to the game? - Page 2
We just finished rereading Goblet, and, yeah, it is my next least favorite in the series. Yes, I liked it better than Phoenix, because I thought the ending of Goblet was emotional and powerful--one of the best endings of the series I thought-- and I loved the Moody character. It did need editing, just like Phoenix. Bagman's character was useful, and in the movie the villain was a bit too obvious because Bagman was edited out (I watched it having already read the book though). The ending of Phoenix left me disappointed, actually really irritated. The story had promise, and I liked Harry's new turn of character--we are rereading it at this moment-- and I thought it set up the remainder of the series nicely. Dolores Umbridge was delightfully frustrating and Belatrix Lestrange is such a cool villainess. But in the end I thought, "That was it? Did I miss something? All of this--and the death of a once fabulous but ultimately wasted character?" And, again, I thought the book still needed some more editing.
So, yeah, I personally thought that Phoenix was the weakest of the two weakest books. The other thing that I did love about Goblet was that it was so much better as a movie. As fun as the movies were--especially once the magic became faster and way more dangerous looking-- they always disappointed me. #1 is almost painful to watch now for me (and with 2 kids I get to watch it over and over and over again!) #2 is better, only occasionally annoying (oh, but, Richard Harris. Loved him as an actor, but watching him was like visiting my grandpa--scared he was going to to drop dead in front of me every time he held his breath one second too long) #3 I really liked in general and it remains my favorite book and movie as well. Goblet, like I said, not too disappointing. But the rest? Some wonderful moments, wonderful casting and acting for the most part, but all left me feeling like it could somehow could have been so much better.
Of course, everyone will have their own opinions, and I just won't argue. I loved something about every book, and enjoyed reading every one, and now rereading them (outloud--even better!) to my daughters. I am having so much fun with all of it. My hat is off to Rowling, who I felt pulled off a coup by finishing the series so nicely, with all the world peering over her shoulder expecting her to turn out a masterpiece. Talk about pressure! I am deeply impressed that she pulled it off.
Edited by SweetSilver - 3/8/12 at 7:37am
Wondering what you all think is a good age to start reading harry to a kid? I keep arguing with myself over whether dd (5) is ready. She hasn't shown signs of being particularly sensitive to scary stuff in general. The biggest phase she went through being scared of something was raccoons/wolves due to a dream. To this day I think she still believes an actual raccoon was in her closet when she woke. She mentions it occassionally. But raccoons are real, and have sharp teeth and claws and theres probably one in our yard *right now*. voldemort is clearly not real. Then I think about how some stuff is pretty dark.. and might cross a line for a 5yo. But then maybe that isn't in the 1st book, and by the time we';re on book 2 she'd be 6, a little more mature, a little more ready for book 2.. and so on. but then i consider intellectual readiness. Is the story line too complex? Can she appreciate it yet? Probably not.. but maybe she can get "enough" to enjoy it and its okay? But then I think if she's having her initiation into potter at 5, maybe finishing the series around 12 if its a book a year, then I convince her to reread a few years later so she can totally fully appreciate it, she already sorta knows how it ends! so then by the time she's reading it and can appreciate it, a little magic is gone. And I feel guilt for "stealing" it too young! Ahh, help! What would you do, start some lovely mom daughter bonding in the evenings, or wait?
Personally, I'd wait until she shows interest. No need to push it on her. There are many wonderful books out there appropriate for 5 yr olds and unless she's really wanting to read about Harry I'd wait. I think she will be more excited by it when she's wanting to read it. My girls were too sensitive at 5. Dd1 has always been exceptionally sensitive to suspense. Dd1 didn't start reading it until about 4th grade (9) and dd2 followed suit at 7. Dd1 heard about it from school friends and it was super exciting to her and she was really "into" it. It was the first book she really read for pleasure. We then did a read aloud of it after dd1 finished it because it seemed a little hard for dd2 to read on her own. Then we watched the first movie. Dd2 then read it on her own not long after that. I'm glad we waited.
LiLStar, if you read it and she enjoys it, there is no waiting until she is 6 to read the second, nor the third and onward. Of course, I'm such a pushover. As far a complexity, well, I read The Hobbit to my oldest at 5, very slowly with good voices--so much fun. Then she talked her way into me reading LOTR to her. Not as scary as I remembered. She nearly dropped the ball near the end of the Two Towers in a boring chapter. I occasionally wold ask her something like "Do you know what just happened?" in a mysterious "did you catch that little tidbit back there" tone of voice. Most of the time she could tell me what was happening, and sometimes I would explain, always in a "this is so cool" voice, not in a teacher's "summarize last night's chapter" voice.
Now she is 7yo. We did indeed finish LOTR, then we started back into HP. She had always refused to read the second, even though I told her about the monster. Then she wanted to skip straight to the third when I told her about the dementors (can you tell she loves monsters?). Anyhow, my 5yo has been listening this whole time, and she mostly understands what's going on, though I don't think she would have been interested in the series if she had been oldest. They use my crochet hooks to give their paper dolls broomsticks to fly on. :)
There is a lot of explaining to do when you read this kind of book to a little kid. In the case of the LOTR, it lead to me borrowing stacks of books from the library on medieval knights and warfare so we could see a hauberk and a siege tower. In HP the explanations are simpler, but still you'll need to provide context here and there. (My girls, BTW, are "writing" with all the bird feathers lying around. I found instructions on how to cut a quill for writing, but ours are all wrecked. One day!)
Oh, man, this ex-thespian is in Seventh Heaven. I won't even let dh read them the books to them . The fifth book is presenting something of a challenge. Moody has to sound different from Sirius who has to sound different from Lupin, Mr. Weasley, etc etc. Hermione, Ginny, and Cho have to sound different. I try to channel the actors in the movies, that helps. Loads and loads of fun. Especially when Mrs. Weasley yells, that is even better if it is possible.
That would be loads of fun! But my kids have no idea what an English accent is supposed to sound like, apart from the movies, so I don't feel self-conscious reading them. And my husband already knows I'm a bit weird to begin with, so no problem there.........
We are now nearing the middle of Phoenix, and at this point I am questioning why I put it below Goblet on my list. We'll see as I remember that my main issue was with the ending. Maybe, though I'll have to revise my favorites this time around.
Lisoula-- how is Order of the Phoenix going?
We just finished the excellent chapter "Career Advice" and (sigh.....) moving onto "Grawp". For a while I was second guessing myself as to why I placed this book last of them all. The first 3/4 of the book is among the best of the series, but the ending..... I'm starting to dread going on. It's been a while since I've read it, but it's starting to come back to me. We'll see if my previous opinion holds.
It's funny, Goblet of Fire is so sloppy by comparison (SPEW? I can only take Dobby in tiny doses, and was more than pleased to see him edited out of the screenplay) yet the ending made up for the rest of the story (for me, anyway).
Like I said, we'll see if my reaction is the same.
Ah, well, everyone else has gone, but I thought I'd put one final word in since we finished Phoenix. OK, it is the better book compared to Goblet of Fire, but it still annoys me in a way #4 never did. Yeah, Goblet had a plot hole (or 5) a mile wide. Really! You'd think just stealing Harry away quietly would arouse less suspicion than putting him in a tournament. All that effort seems a bit silly, but for some reason I can live with it.
But in the end my feelings for #5 remain the same. I would have told Voldemort, hey, this doesn't have what you think it has. It is not a weapon, so give up already. Take it, it's yours. I can understand that if he didn't know what was in the prophecy that he might want it, but I don't understand why the Order needed to keep it away from him. And Sirius. Such a waste.
Anyway, I've hogged this thread enough.
This is cool, you're bringing up those questions and stumbling blocks that I noticed the first time I read the books. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who thought the trail of logic wasn't very firm. I always figured it was just me, that I'd missed something.
We haven't heard from the OP in a while, but just in case,
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The prophecy tells us that the only person that can kill Voldemort is Harry (right?). What's the problem with Voldemort learning this? So much of a problem that Dumbledore would deploy an army of supporters to keep Voldemort away from the Prophecy? It's never explicitly stated. But maybe it's because if Voldemort knew this he would have doubled his efforts to kill Harry. And of course Dumbledore didn't want that to happen until all the horcruxes were destroyed.
My problem is that the rules of the prophecy and Lily's protection and Dumbledore's Plan were all revealed little by little over all seven of the books, making it especially difficult to connect the dots.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
It's cool that Dumbledore didn't try to kill Voldemort when they battled it out at the Ministry.
But the significance of it isn't revealed until Deathly Hallows, and by that time I've forgotten useless information like that. I mean, it's not clear that it's a Clue, so usually I'd conclude "I guess I missed the importance while I was reading" or, "Why in the world does JKR keep bringing up stuff that seems important but then not explaining it by the end of the book?" I'm not going to remember everything from Philosopher's Stone when I'm plodding through Half Blood Prince. Why should I bother trying to juggle all those questions throughout each book?
Sorry if I've got chronology wrong, and I'm not the least bit surprised if everyone else was easily following all the hints and clues, as well as Dumbledore's summaries at the end of each book.
Well, perhaps technically. I would have killed JKR if Harry was killed by a falling piano in the final chapters though. Too bad for Voldemort that he didn't. But then there is that issue with the Horcruxes........