Thursday, April 2, 2009

A blast from my blogging past or something

So I was randomly checking out my older book blog - which was over on livejournals and thought I might post up an old entry every now and then, you know, for fun. I think I tend to be seriously snarky and a little less formal over there on livejournal, but that's starting to bleed into this blog too. You people can deal with it though, you're cool.

So here is one that pretty much sums up a lot about myself. Its about Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. There are some serious spoilers, but if you haven't heard how this books ends by now I'm guessing you are not going to read this anyway! I like this review - so I hope you do to.

BTW this is from December 10th of last year. And the link to my old livejournal is here in case you were wondering.

I was talking Harry Potter to one of the girls I work with at Barnes and we both agreed that this is our favorite book. I love so much about it, especially the flash backs to Voldemort’s past. I am kind of in love with J. K.’s writing.

The first chapter starts off with the regular British Prime Minister getting the low down on the mishaps of the wizarding world. This ends with perhaps the best exchange between a wizard and muggle throughout the whole series:

“But for heaven’s sake - you’re wizards! You can do magic! Surely you can sort out – well – anything!”

….”The trouble is, the other side can do magic too, Prime Minister.” (page 24).

Harry gets more time with Dumbledore in this book than in any other book (I’m pretty sure) which is a good thing considering the ending…dun dun dunnnnnnnn. Harry is also super obsessed with Malfoy which gets his face smashed in right away. And we learn OMG Snape finally gets the Defense Against the Dark Arts post! In the potions class we see Felix Felicis, or liquid luck. I could use some right about now! Although it is lucky that I got a snow day and thus have time to post. Anyway, Harry has a mysterious used potions book that helps him win the potion and teaches us that used books are super sweet.

We see the first memory about Voldemort’s origins, the Gaunts. Merope, a squib, or at least a witch who isn’t very good at magic, is Tom Riddle’s mother and is horribly treated. In fact, her father and brother treat her much like the Dursleys treat Harry. And (as we learn in book 7) Dumbledore also had a squib(ish) relative that was put down upon as well. So we have a connection between the three of them again. Throughout the series we see the comparison between Harry and Voldemort, but only after reading book seven are we (or at least am I) able to make big connections between the two of them and Dumbledore. Or at least the similarities are more pronounced to me. But I’ll get into that next time.

Back to Hogwarts, we get more of the kids actually growing up and girls noticing them! More specifically, Lavender trying to get Ron’s attention. And let’s face it, if you had to live in the shadow of Harry Potter, the fact that any girl had eyes for only you would be super exciting (even if it isn’t Hermione). I feel bad for Lavender throughout this book only because this kind of stupid relationship happens to a lot of young people. You get in a relationship with someone you don’t even really like, but neither of them really know how to end the damn thing.

One cool thing about this book is that Aragog is back – not that I like giant spiders – but this does bring the whole theory of parallels in the series. This being that book 1 and 7 parallel each other, books 2 and 6, books 3 and 5, and finally book 4 the center. Aragog is a central part of book two, both in the now and in Hagrid and Tom Riddle’s past, and his death is a very important part of book six. Well done J.K.

We get more of Tom Riddle, now as a child at the orphanage. And I have to wonder, if Harry had not been sent to his Aunt Petunia and had been dropped at an orphanage, would he have turned out the same? Tom wants power over the other children (the quest and obsession for power is a big theme) and Harry has no power growing up. I just would think that if you are all alone in the world and find you have magical abilities as a child, it would be hard not to become a bully like Tom, since he has no one to set him straight.

Ginny gets some action in the hall until Ron and Harry interrupt and Ron flips. Now, I have younger siblings and yeah that would be gross to walk into them making out but I don’t know that I would be so pissed. But Harry realizes that he’s into Ginny now. Again, in this book and in the second, she is an extremely dominant character. Only now she gets a great make out scene with Harry.

Even with Fudge gone, the ministry still sucks. The minister is too focused on getting Harry to play ball instead of oh let’s say – hunting down Voldemort. But then again, that would be a lot of work. Got to leave something for your second term. AND – isn’t it a little bit like our fearless leader not looking for Osama and just diverting everyone’s attention to something else.

Ron gets poisoned and my heart breaks for a moment. Thankfully it gets Hermione to talk to him again and he realizes that maybe he should break up with Lav Lav. Harry uses a bit of the Felix Felicis, and gets the memory from the new potions professor. We get a lot more mention of Lily, Harry’s momma which is a shift from the first few books I think. We get so much of how Harry is like James in his recklessness and ability at Quidditch, but now it seems more and more that Lily’s connection to Harry is becoming more prominent.

This is getting super long and I haven’t even mentioned Horcruxes. Tom Riddle broke his soul into seven pieces in order to keep himself as immortal as possible. The soul being such a mysterious intangible thing already, the thought of breaking it into pieces (though murder) is a little sickening. We also learn that Snape was the one to overhear Trelawney give the prophecy to Dumbledore. Harry (rightfully so) flips his shit and goes nuts. But (once we read book seven) you have to feel so, so awful for Snape since he did not know that in doing so he was handing over the life of the woman he loved more than anything. Angst!

The book ends with Dumbledore and Harry going after a Horcrux in the cave – which will be freaking amazing on film. This also has one of the best and saddest lines ever:

“I am not worried, Harry,” Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water, “I am with you.” (540)

Dumbledore is weak and they return to the Dark Mark over Hogwarts. Malfoy threatens to kill Dumbledore but can’t follow through, and I feel a little bad for the kid. Life can’t be too great when your dad is in jail and an evil whack-a-doo is threatening you mom. But Snape pulls the trigger and kills Dumbledore. And my heart breaks again.

At the big battle at the end the only one who is really hurt is Bill Weasley who now loves raw meat and having his ears scratched. Molly assumes Fluer isn’t going to marry him but haughty French girl takes control and the two finally accept each other. Nothing brings a girl and her future mother-in-law together than the boy being attacked by a werewolf.

At the end, Harry sticks it to the man at Dumbledore’s funeral, breaks up with Ginny so she doesn’t get killed and he, Ron and Hermione decide to drop out of school to hunt down those Horcruxes.

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