I've been making my way through the harry potter series in audio format as time goes on. The next book I listened to was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling!
I gave this book a four out of five stars. The Order of the Phoenix is my least favorite book in the series in general because I find a lot of the characters just downright obnoxious in this book.
Of course, I still love this book and some very important things happen in this installment of the series, but I just want to scream every time I get to this book, which is honestly why I haven't read the last three Harry Potter books that many times. I'm not one to pick up any of them and just read them out of order, so if I don't pick up this one I don't go through the rest.
Let me talk about some things that bothered me about this story, at least this time around.
Harry. We all know it. He jumps down everyone's throats in this book, and won't stop getting angry with his friends, the ones who are at his side even when the rest of the wizarding community thinks he's a liar. It drives me insane.
Umbridge. I don't need to say more do I? I want to strangle her every scene she's in. It's just not a fun time for me.
Sirius. I love Sirius, and there is of course heartbreak when I read this book, but I also am frustrated with Sirius throughout this entire novel. It frustrates me how much he doesn't separate James and Harry from each other in this novel. And the older I get, the more I feel myself being on Molly's side when her and Sirius fight. Although I do think Sirius was right to tell Harry more information than Molly wanted him to hear, I think it's unfair how much of her love for for Harry and acceptance into her family she has provided for him is swept under the rug. I think Molly and Arthur don't get enough credit for the way the treated Harry like their own son, and that shines brightest in this novel for me.
Dumbledore. This is when I really start to get annoyed. I know we get an explanation at the end for why he held Harry away from him at the end of this novel but that doesn't make me any less frustrated.
Basically JK Rowling makes me feel like an angsty fifteen year old when I read this book because I want to punch everyone in the face when I read it. Maybe that means this is the best book, since it does such a great job at pulling on my emotions.
One last gripe I had with this audiobook in particular was the French accent that Jim Dale gave Bellatrix LeStrange. Most of the time in the books, JK Rowling put the accent on the characters - Seamus' dialogue is very distinctly written with an Irish accent, you can hear "yer a wizard, Harry" when Hagrid speaks, and Fleur's dialogue has a French accent written into it. I don't remember that from reading the books on Bellatrix' dialogue so it took me by surprise when she shows up at the end of the book and has a French accent.
There are many things to love about this book too, of course. It's the beginning of the darkest books in the series, which begins to make this books feel even more real. JK Rowling doesn't shy away from hurting people (although fun fact: Arthur Weasley was supposed to die in this novel, and JK loved him so much, she changed it to just harmed because she couldn't part with him), we see St. Mungo's and Neville's parents, and of course Voldemort does finally show himself in his true power to the ministry and greater wizarding community.
I can't wait for my reread of the last two novels of this book! The audiobooks are definitely a whole new experience for me as I continue with this series for the umpteenth time.
What book in the series is your favorite?
Until next time,