Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)'s Reviews > Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
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Jun 20, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: things-i-can-read-a-million-times, audience-young-adult, 2013, 5-star, 2014, own-it-hard-copy, 2015, setting-uk, 2016
Read from December 19 to 21, 2016 , read count: 12

God, I hate Snape. He really is the worst teacher on the planet. "I want you to perform a non-verbal spell, which you've never done before and I'm going to give you no instructions about how to do that. Go. (Points will be deducted from every house that isn't Slytherin just because I'm a vindictive asshat)"

Alternate title: "Harry Potter and the Year Shit Got Real". We get so much backstory on Voldemort here, but it's also a year of Harry dealing with incredibly adult concepts and events. He's not only freaking out about school and fighting Voldemort, he's dealing with disappointing his teachers, and having feelings for Ginny, and his best friends CLEARLY having feelings for each other but not being prepared to act on them yet.

So he's trapped in a series of incredibly awkward situations while also learning about magic that's way above his current level of understanding. And basically, I just want to hug all of the characters. Except Snape. He can go die in a fire.

Like I said last time around, this is the book where Ginny comes into her own. It's also a book that's a lot more about Malfoy than it is about Harry. I mean, obviously it's told from Harry's perspective so it's still his story. But on rereads, it becomes apparent that Draco is on Struggle Street for the duration of this book. He's shoved into a situation he doesn't want to be in, he's pale and not sleeping, he's ignored by his teachers and constantly reprimanded by his head of house, and he has to resort to Moaning Myrtle for sympathy. In comparison, Harry's year is a walk in the park.

ANYWAY. As is always the case, I found new things this time around, but this time the new thing was rather profound: "Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realise that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back! Voldemort is no different!" (Dumbledore to Harry, p. 477) Excuse me while I go and think serious thoughts.

I love this book. Like, so much. The ending kills me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. There's so much backstory, so much explanation of WHY Voldemort is the way he is.

I must confess, I DO love Deathly Hallows just that little bit more, but I think that's because of the sense of closure we get. This, however, is the book that makes me wish Ginny had been more prevalent in Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, and Order of the Phoenix. Because Ginny is freaking AWESOME. She's a total badass, and it sucks that her character spends so much of the series languishing in the background because Harry's too much of a dipshit to notice that she's there.

I can understand why some people don't like it - there's a lot of detail, and all the action is crammed into the last fifty or so pages. But at the end of the day, this book serves as a set up to the big finale in Deathly Hallows. And it does so admirably.
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Reading Progress

06/28/2011 page 205
06/18/2014 marked as: currently-reading
06/22/2014 marked as: read
12/26/2015 marked as: currently-reading
12/28/2015 marked as: read
12/19/2016 marked as: currently-reading
12/21/2016 marked as: read
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