When I updated my Goodreads status to say I was reading this book, there were a lot of reviews saying that this book was their least favourite of the HP series, but I disagree whole-heartedly. There’s A LOT that goes on in this book (and not just because it’s 766 pages long).
The Ministry doesn’t believe that Voldemort has returned, and the most popular wizarding newspaper (The Daily Prophet), is doing everything it can to discredit Harry and Dumbledore. The book starts off with Harry fighting off a dementor attack in the Dursley’s muggle neighbourhood, and the pace doesn’t really stop from there.
For me, this book is the one with the most character development so far, everyone seems to grow up a lot in this book. For a start, there’s the forming of Dumbledore’s Army, the secret Defence Against the Dark Arts club formed in the wake of the draconian measures imposed by Professor Umbridge, sent to the school by the ministry and taking over bit by bit. Even though Harry tries to convince everyone that he’s no good at fighting off the dark arts, he still manages to teach his fellow classmates some pretty advanced magic, even Neville, who everyone thinks is useless.
The tension between Ron and Hermione continues to build throughout this book, with Hermione accusing Ron of having ‘the emotional range of a teaspoon’, and Ron exceedingly jealous when he finds out that Hermione is still in contact with Viktor Krum.
I have to say my favourite part of this book is Fred and George leaving the school in a blaze of glory. At first, they’re just causing a distraction so that Harry can use the fire in Umbridge’s office to speak to Sirius, but they kick it up a notch, giving it everything they’ve got before flying away from the school on their broomstick to wild applause.
We also find out why Harry is forced to spend summer after miserable summer stuck with the Dursley’s. The bond of love that protected Harry when Voldemort tried to kill him as a baby is also what keeps him safe, as long as he still lives with his Mother’s blood (i.e. her sister, his aunt Petunia). And although Harry hates to return to the Dursley’s now that the whole wizarding world finally believes that Voldemort has returned, at least he can now understand the reason why.
Although the book was so long and took much longer than the others to read, I enjoyed every single minute of it, and can’t wait to start the Half Blood Prince now. I’ve seen the film very recently, so I can’t wait to remember how it matches up to the book.