Whoa. There is a LOT going on in this book. And I kept falling asleep (nothing to do with how I felt about the book, I swear :P ) while listening to i...moreWhoa. There is a LOT going on in this book. And I kept falling asleep (nothing to do with how I felt about the book, I swear :P ) while listening to it and I'd wake up and couldn't stop thinking about Dobby or Rita Skeeter or Cedric or Krum. It was like their names were ingrained in my subconscious or something, especially Dobby (I think I fell asleep at the beginning of a disk that included a whole lot of him or something). There was so much going on I had a hard time getting all the people straight for a while: Crouch, Krum, Bagman, Moody, Cornelious (though he was easier to remember from previous books), Karkaroff and all the new(ish) people introduced at the Quidditch World Cup and Triwizard Tournament. I even started confusing old characters with new characters.
I think it was a lot harder for me to keep track of all the characters because I'm listening to the books instead of reading them, so I'm not actually seeing their names in my head. I think this is the first book that I feel like it would have been better to read it than listen to it. Interestingly, this is the first movie that I remembered almost nothing. Maybe a slight memory of a kid with a shark head, and a vague memory of the first appearance of a fully realized Valdemort. But that's it. I remember Harry's crush on Cho, but I can't recall if I remember it from the fourth or fifth movie.
Anyway, with the size of this book and everything JKR fit in, and with falling asleep while it was still playing... many times, and with reading all four books pretty close together, I felt/feel completely immersed in the HP world. There were quite a few times that I gasped at what was happening, and a few times I did the "No, no, no!" with my hand to my mouth (though, other than the thing that happened at the end, I can't specifically remember at what points I did that).
All of the characters I loved in the previous books I found even more reasons to love in this one. And Hermione grew on me even more too. I thought the part about Ron and Harry stressing out over finding partners to the ball was funny and endearing and infuriating all at the same time. A little bit like how I feel about most of what they do! Ron is still my favorite even though he's back to being a little more angry than he was in the second book (where I thought he really shined). And I absolutely loved his unconscious jealousy regarding Hermione and his total unawareness of it!
There were a lot of convenient writing choices made for the sake of the story, but since I'm not really trying to criticize the book (what would be the point, so many people have already read the book and probably already know about the story's problems) I'll leave that stuff to other people's reviews. None of it bothered me to the point of truly affecting the story for me. Not that it couldn't have been better, but... oh, well. It's still good as is.
I don't feel like this is a children's series anymore. With this book, the line has been crossed into at the very least middle-grade. The book is too dark and too many dark themes overshadowed the entire book for it to be any good for younger children. I mean, basically the overall theme from the very beginning was death. Introduced through Harry's very vivid dream and playing a prominent sub story throughout the book 'til it came to the forefront with a very dark turn of events towards the end. Great for older kids/young adults, not so much for the little ones anymore. (less)
Oh wow, First Reads and Eliot, thanks so much for picking me as a winner for this book! I'm psyched about reading what seems like a quirky christmas b...moreOh wow, First Reads and Eliot, thanks so much for picking me as a winner for this book! I'm psyched about reading what seems like a quirky christmas book around the holidays. I've also got The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, Version 2.0 coming up in my holds queue at the library. For some reason this year I feel the need to laugh, or at least take stuff less seriously, this holiday season. Thanks again, Eliot, I'm looking forward to it and I really appreciate it! :D(less)
I have finally decided to get rid of this book. For the last month I've been using it to hold down the lid of my dog's dry food container so she won't...moreI have finally decided to get rid of this book. For the last month I've been using it to hold down the lid of my dog's dry food container so she won't get into it because the latch is broken. I kept wanting this to be a good, useful go-to book like our old Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook that we've had all my life (and that got used so much it's completely falling apart), but everytime I try to use this book I'm disappointed. It's got good ideas, but the recipes are NOT good imo. So finally, I'm tossing it, or more likely donating it to the Friend's of the Library. (less)