Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #5
Genre: YA, fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2003
Source: Audiobook from the library
Read for: Harry Potter Challenge

Memories from the first time: So I was at music camp when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came out. I was fifteen and it was the longest I'd ever gone without seeing my family, and I was loving the freedom. The book came out the night before the last day of camp, and the counselors let us go to the university bookstore to check out the party even though we were technically supposed to be in bed. I remember going with this boy I liked from the camp and watching the movies in the bookstore. They were going to unveil the books at midnight and the boy and I found them hidden under this table. (We didn't crack them open, though -- too afraid of the repercussions). I also remember the next day there were all these music performances and some people were just reading straight through the recitals. 

As for the book itself, I remember not liking it very much in comparison to the other books. I mean, it's Harry Potter, and I enjoyed the series, but I was annoyed for much of the book. It is the only book I had ever read once. I think that has to do with the fact that Harry was so grumpy and that Umbridge was annoying not to the point of being a delightful villain but instead to the point of just being awful and my wanting to be far, far away from her, not reading about her. 

Impressions this time: Even though I had less annoyance with this book than I did the first time, I definitely have been less eager to listen to it than I have been to the other books. As I've driven home listening to it from the hospital, I've felt that same irritation at Umbridge that I felt the first time. With that said, though, there is a lot of interesting information about the wizarding world that is revealed, and a lot of new action develops with Voldemort's return. I think it is definitely an important book to the series and enjoyable for many reasons (like the DA and Harry's first experiences with romance). 

Best new spell: Ginny's Bat-Bogey hex is pretty awesome. 

Best new character: LUNA LOVEGOOD. Hands down. Although the voice that Jim Dale used for her was somewhat obnoxious. He uses this super gravelly voice, and I picture her as the actor from the movie, who speaks in this more high and dreamy type of voice. At any rate, she is absolutely awesome. 

My crush for this book: You know, ordinarily I would probably say Harry at this point, but he was kind of being a punk in this book. Despite the fact that this book is the first book where any romance actually gets started, my book crushes were in abeyance.

Most villainous moment: Umbridge is a pretty nasty villain. In particular I hate her method of detention and her sickly sweet way of delivering awful verdicts. However, I think the most villainous moment is when Kreacher is laughing about Sirius' death. 

New secret discovered about Hogwarts: Learning more about the Room of Requirement was definitely exciting. Especially the fact that it so perfectly equipped the person in need with exactly what they could use, whether that was dummies at which to fire defensive spells or mistletoe for a bit of snogging. 

Coolest new fact learned about the wizarding world: I loved all the different things Harry and his friends came across in the Department of Mysteries, such as the vase that contained Time, the veil of death, and the many prophecies. I also found it somewhat interesting to learn more about the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Magic -- there was definitely more politics involved in this book than in any other Harry Potter book.  

Favorite magical creature: The thestrals were very interesting, and useful. 

Best argument between Ron and Hermione: For whatever reason, I can't recall a good argument in this book, although I imagine there must be one. Maybe because Harry was busy arguing with people instead?

Deathly Hallows that show up: The Invisibility Cloak, the Philosopher's Stone is mentioned

Horcruxes that show up: Nagini

Coolest magical object: Frank and George's various shenanigans were all pretty interesting and cool to read about. 


  1. Oh, I love these books, even though I like OotP much less than the others. Luna is one of Rowling's best inventions, evah. And I think as a real-life villain that Dolores Umbridge beats Voldemort every single time. (She and Bella tie for best villains of the series in my book.)

    1. I completely agree. While Voldemort is a good villain, I think such a big deal is made of how evil he is that it becomes matter of course. These other characters that show the way they are changed by working for him or by their circumstances are a lot nastier in smaller ways.

  2. I know this one bothered people because Harry was so whiny but I liked it. And it was the first time I cried reading these books.

    1. I think I know at which part you cried -- that is a difficult part. For some reason I love the movie version of this movie but the book just never did it for me the same way, although I liked it a lot better this time around.

  3. I really like the way you laid this review out. I remember my first time reading Order of the Phoenix, I didn't love it as much as the others because it was so dark and broody and emo-ish. When I re-read it via audio, I liked it much, much more. Plus, I love to hate Umbridge.

    1. Thank you! I think part of the reason this one didn't work as well for me is because i just loved the fourth one so much that this couldn't follow up. I definitely liked it more this time around, too -- beneath all the moodiness there was some awesome adventure that I think was overshadowed for me the first time around.


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