Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling

 

GWB - 3 Stars (2)
3/5 stars

 

I’m just going to admit right up front that I am not totally in love with this book. I didn’t hate it…I actually did enjoy a lot of it…but it had a lot of elements to it that I found rather irritating that detracted from my complete enjoyment. Also…this review is not entirely spoiler-free…I’m not sure how to write my feelings down without sharing some elements that could give away details for anyone who still hasn’t read this book.

The biggest thing for me that I didn’t really enjoy was how kind of snotty both Ron and Harry were in this book. They were snotty to Hermione and Lavender and Ginny (at least Ron was). And Harry CONTINUALLY ignored helpful suggestions from Hermione and others, which got old really quickly. It was largely, I think, a case of “I know best”, except that he just blundered around a lot doing a lot of thinking about what he ought to be doing and ignoring the advice.

My favorite aspect of this book was that it was acknowledged that probably (and I’m speaking in general here, though in the book it speaks only about the situation at hand) villains in stories would be able to just live long, evil lives if they left well enough alone and didn’t go after the person who it is prophesied will take them down. But, instead, they ALWAYS seek out that person and without meaning to, bring about their own demise in the process. I’ve wondered about this for awhile, even though I recognize that there would be no story if they DIDN’T see out their “adversary.” It’s just nice that the book voiced basically the same opinion on the matter. Validation is kind of satisfying.

I also appreciate that compared to the movie this book had a TON more details that provide a lot of back story and whatnot that I feel sad had to be left out of the movie. There were a couple of times where I read something (because this is my first time reading this book) and I just sat for a minute going “Ohhhh…” because now I understand so much better what the motivations behind something are. I think I may speak for a lot of fans when I say that they could have made each book into a couple of movies and put WAY more detail in, and we’d have been happy with it.

So, anyway, overall, I feel like this book was not all that I hoped it to be, but I am still glad that I read it, and I would happily reread it in the future if/when I go to reread the whole series.

 

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