Spoiler-heavy Review from Dec 22, 2008: This is definitely my favorite in the series by far (well, at...more**spoiler alert** Last re-read December 15, 2013
Spoiler-heavy Review from Dec 22, 2008: This is definitely my favorite in the series by far (well, at least as far as previous readings go since I haven't finished the entire series this time around yet....)
Anyway, I love this book. It reads smoothly (even compared to the other two.) And although the other books have plot twists...this one is absolutely HUUUUUUGE! I can remember reading the book the first time and hating Sirius Black, too. ....and then kind of loving him immensely by the end....even before we realized he's cool because he's so badass but I'm going to stop squeeing now because this is a book review. Anyway, yeah. The whole unregistered animagus thing, Peter is Scabbers thing, and Remus being a werewolf? I didn't see that coming the first time around and I can still feel the suspense when reading it this time. It's also fun to revisit some of my favorite characters (mostly Sirius and Remus) and refresh my mind with all of the details. I've read this book around 12 times, of course (no exaggeration), so it's a feat in itself to feel like it's all new for a moment... ANNNNND you still love Harry. So much. You *want* him to be happy and live with Sirius....even though the Dursleys make for good story telling.(less)
Reread December 2013. The following is an old review from 2008:
I was so surprised to realize how much I really do love the first book. It's the one th...moreReread December 2013. The following is an old review from 2008:
I was so surprised to realize how much I really do love the first book. It's the one that got me into the series, obviously, and it's still just as amazing as it ever was. I realized, reading it, that I really do adore Harry. I'd forgotten that after years of not reading the first couple of books....how much you really identify (at least in some ways) to the scared little boy with balls of steel in the first book (how 'bout that for mixing analogies? hm?) I love Dumbledore in the first one, too. All of the adults, really, seem more interesting when you're not eight years old.
Another thing I'd forgotten was how FUNNY the first book is. There were so many times reading it that I just wanted to laugh out loud....hysterically....alone....it was bad.
ANNNND I started reading this one outloud to myself to help me fall asleep and it worked like a charm. You should hear my Hagrid voice. ;)(less)
Review from previous reading (November 29th, 2008 or possibly Feb 2nd, 2009): This one didn't start out...more**spoiler alert** Last read December 25th, 2013
Review from previous reading (November 29th, 2008 or possibly Feb 2nd, 2009): This one didn't start out as slow as 4 and (Oh, GOD) 6 for me...which was surprising because I remembered it as being boring. In fact, I actually like the whole Harry-listens-in-to-Muggle-news thing. And Harry's so sarcastic and bitchy with Dudley at the beginning.
See, when I was 12 I read this book for the first time. Harry got on my nerves. He was a royal pain in the ass. But now I'm seventeen and I remember being 15. I remember getting on my own damn nerves with being so teenager-y and annoying. Now I can actually look at the book and realize that Harry's not half as annoying as I actually was at that age. (Although it still annoys me when he's a killjoy for Sirius...but that's a different thing all together.)
Feeling like I was on Harry's side (and everyone else's) made this book so more enjoyable than previous readings. I loved Sirius (as per usual - although, this reading, I felt very sad about how bitter he is throughout most of it. My poor dear.) I also love Lupin. The little that he's in here he's at his best. I love how he comforts Molly (not once, but twice!) and is generally awesome - especially reminiscing with James.
I LOATHE Umbridge just as much as I ever have and love Fred and George...*sigh*
The *characters* are the main focus of this one even more so than any of the others and I love it.
I even felt a little proud of Snape when Dumbledore was going over all he'd done for Harry.
I got a little sniffly (although I didn't cry, or even tear up) at the normal spots (not when Sirius dies but when Dumbledore and Harry discuss it...several times I get sniffly every time during that. It just destroys my soul.)
Review from Dec 19, 2008: This has always been my least favorite in the Harry Potter series. But, reading it again, I just adore it...moreReread Dec 14, 2013.
Review from Dec 19, 2008: This has always been my least favorite in the Harry Potter series. But, reading it again, I just adore it. Seriously. It's still probably my least favorite....but I don't dislike the book anymore. In fact, there are so many fun things in it. I'd forgotten how funny and pitifully stupid Lockhart was. I'd forgotten how nasty Snape could be. Just refreshing your memory with all of the knowledge you have of the next few books is so interesting. I enjoyed this book so much more this time around than any of my previous readings. And if you felt close to Harry in the first one it's nothing to how you feel about him in this one. The poor dear.(less)
I absolutely, blatantly refused to read The Outsiders in 5th grade when my teacher asked me to. In 8th grade I was pretty much forced to read it....an...moreI absolutely, blatantly refused to read The Outsiders in 5th grade when my teacher asked me to. In 8th grade I was pretty much forced to read it....and I adored it. It introduced me to one of my favorite writers, S.E. Hinton. I don't think that The Outsiders is her best book, but it's definitely her best known.
She wrote the book when she was fifteen or sixteen years old, and even though that was thirty years ago or more, it really has a familiar teenager-ish feel to it.
The language is informal yet descriptive, the characters are real and almost tangible, and the plot is engrossing.
It's really a great book, especially for reluctant readers. I've read it so many times I've lost count. (less)
**spoiler alert** I just want to go ahead and say that I wrote a *very* long review of this book and the internet Gods decided it wanted something sho...more**spoiler alert** I just want to go ahead and say that I wrote a *very* long review of this book and the internet Gods decided it wanted something shorter...so my internet imploded and I've had to start all over again. But I'm going to try and replicate (and probably lengthen) the original. Now that *that's* out of the way, however.
It took me far too long to read the last two hundred pages of this book. The first million pages I read almost in one sitting (on a road trip, actually) and the action in this one just keeps you flipping pages. It may not be my favorite of the series but it's probably the one that kept my eyes glued to the page the most. I didn't know whether my eyes would fall out or my fingers would bleed at one point from reading so fast.
I love the emotion in this one. It's so easy to relate to Harry here, especially with his fight with Ron. I think we've all been in an argument with our best friend that made us think we'd never talk to them again. And that kind of thing turns your life upside down. You don't have the person you most want to talk to. The rest of your friends choose sides and sometimes they don't choose you. It happens. I was happy to see (although not at the time, I was too busy feeling sorry for the boys) that Jo put this type of thing into her book. The characters definitely feel like real people. Then there's also the first death that hits home in the series....(Oh how I hope you've read the books if you're reading my reviews.)
I also really love the new characters: Viktor, Cedric (in a way), Winky... (yes, even Barty Crouch Jr.) They're all so interesting. I love seeing Dobby again, too.
And it didn't hurt my feelings that Sirius popped up quite a few times. In fact, I even wibbled a little when (at the end) Harry is telling Sirius and Dumbledore about how James came out of Voldemort's wand and Harry looks at Sirius and he's got his face in his hands. <333333(less)
This was my favorite book as a child. I read it a thousand times and I was ridiculously in love with Justin. I always loved it because of the little t...moreThis was my favorite book as a child. I read it a thousand times and I was ridiculously in love with Justin. I always loved it because of the little twists and turns and the simple but smart way it was written.
I haven’t read it in five years or more, however, so it was interesting going back to it for the first time in so long. First of all, it used to take me days to read the entire book. This time it took me two hours.
I think the pace I read it at indicates how entertaining the book can be for adults, or little girls who loved the book and only grew up a bit, anyway.
It’s still a smart little book. All of the little pieces of the puzzle are laid out so well and nothing is too easy or too sugar-coated. The rats in the book do a good job to put an end to their bad reputation in the human world, without being completely ridiculous.
The characters in this book are genuinely charming and lovable.
But, now, I have a few problems with it. Because it’s meant for children, perhaps, the book is too shallow and short. I wanted so much more depth in it. I wanted to know so much more about all of these characters and I wanted them to grow and develop. However, the only character who seems to change at all is Mrs. Frisby herself.
The plot is well done, but it lacks some little intricacies and details I would’ve liked. It was fascinating and I found myself wanting to know more about things.
And although I appreciate books with open endings, that let you mull over things and figure out and draw conclusions, the way this book ends really hurts me a little bit. And I can remember being devastated over it as a child.
I’m very interested in re-reading the two sequels that I know exist (that I don’t remember the plots to at all) and seeing what I think about them.(less)
One of my all time favorite books. Gets better the more you read it. It's a story that's stripped down to the bare bones, which allows the reader to f...moreOne of my all time favorite books. Gets better the more you read it. It's a story that's stripped down to the bare bones, which allows the reader to fill it in.(less)
This book gets sticky for me at a few places. When Harry's kind of too busy stalking Draco to think about an...moreReview from previous reading, Dec 31 2008:
This book gets sticky for me at a few places. When Harry's kind of too busy stalking Draco to think about anything else he really got on my nerves. Bleh.
But other than that it's actually one of the most engaging of the series...which is saying something. I love the parts with Dumbledore in them. Even moreso than in any of the other books - Dumbledore is hilarious. He's truly at his best when faced with death. I also like how he get short with Harry in this one, finally acts more like you'd expect him to and less...patient all the time.
Seriously, anyone who reads this and immediately goes into The Deathly Hallows? I don't see how you can dislike Dumbledore. After a long break....maybe.
But I just love the characterization. It brought a lump to my throat every time someone mentioned Sirius, too, so it wasn't just Harry. ;)(less)
I read this book in two hours this time around. I've read it a thousand times and it's one of those books that you love to pieces, no matter what. Ahh...moreI read this book in two hours this time around. I've read it a thousand times and it's one of those books that you love to pieces, no matter what. Ahhh <3333 I caught so many new things this time around. I loved the characters even more. I noticed more little details that you get. Squid up in the middle of the night with "allergies"? Awwwww. Why did I never even notice that when I was younger? But, anyway, if you've read it before and haven't picked it up in years....do it. It gets better with age. I'm not reading it with the same delight that comes from reading it for the first time or the same feelings of being in the midst of obsession, but it's still good.(less)
I read this on my own in 3rd grade and then in 4th grade we read it as a class. 80% of the students hated the book because they just didn't understand...moreI read this on my own in 3rd grade and then in 4th grade we read it as a class. 80% of the students hated the book because they just didn't understand it. I was flabbergasted. I'm not typically into "science fiction" but this book is so much more than creepy creatures and cool technology. The emotions, the characters, the plots of all of Madeleine L'Engel's "Time Quartet" (I haven't read many of her others, so I couldn't tell you) are so powerful that it's hard to put the book down until you've finished it.
You become so close with the Murray family through the course of the book and you genuinely care what happens to all of the characters.
It's such a good story, even almost ten years after I read it for the first time. (less)
One of the best books I’ve ever read. The narrator of the story is Death. And Death has, as you can imagine, a lot of interesting views on humans and...moreOne of the best books I’ve ever read. The narrator of the story is Death. And Death has, as you can imagine, a lot of interesting views on humans and life. He is narrating the story of a girl called Liesel, growing up in the midst of World War II and the Holocaust in Germany.
Liesel’s parents, Communists, send her to live with a foster family on Himmel (Heaven) Street in Munich, Germany. On the way there, Death gets his first glimpse of Liesel when her little brother dies on the train. At his funeral she steals her first book.
As the story grows Liesel meets new people: Papa and Mama Hubermann (her foster parents – a lovely, loving man who plays accordion and teaches her to read; and a loud, insulting woman who nurses a tender heart), Rudy Steiner (a boy on her street who promptly falls in love with her, begs for her kisses and becomes her best friend), and Max (a Jew whose father Papa owed a favor).
The characters are rich and beautiful. None of the characters are clear cut (good or bad) and all have vices that are enough to make you doubt the goodness or even the kindest of them. It’s hard not to fall in love with each and every person in the books through Death’s interpretations of Liesel’s words about them.
Even with my own stone heart and my extensive experience with reading books about the Holocaust, this book moved me. The characters became real, the plot became important to me, and I fell in love with the story.
This book says so much about humanity. It covers the beauty and the horror. It covers guilt and love and everything in between. And it covers language. It covers how important words are and how powerful they can become. The novel believes that words can mean redemption.
And then there’s the language. Zusak has written a novel that is surprisingly poetic. He captures all of the poignancy of the characters and their setting and lifestyle. His narrator has a beautiful outlooks on humans and picks the most alarmingly interesting metaphors. The language is fresh and new and not like anything I’ve ever read before.
This book is as close to perfection as anything I’ve ever read. (less)