Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré This is less a review, and more a sort of memoir of my Harry Potter experience. Gushy emotions and etc follow, so feel free to skip this review with no more than my recommendation that if you have not read this series you must do so immediately.

Every so often when I'm sick in bed; a little depressed; or just generally cold and want nothing more than to snuggle up with blankets and forget the world for a few days, I go on a Harry Potter marathon. I read every single one of the books - in order - over the course of around two days (I've read them so often that I can devour them in almost a single go now) followed by as many of the films as I can fit into the time I have left, before I'm forced back into reality.

I am one of the Harry Potter generation. I was four when the first book was published, fourteen when the series concluded, and around the same age as the characters in the films, when they eventually came out. It's a series that I grew up with, and as such, cannot comment on its literary merits without bias. All I know is that they are a comfort, and feel like family.

I still remember the agony of being in a little country where books come out long after their release in bigger countries (America, the UK, Australia). Luckily I'm pretty sure this came out only a day after the original release, but that was plenty of time for spoilers to come out, making school on the day before a harrowing experience, hiding from those cruel people determined to ruin the book. I found out the ending. The book was not ruined.

When this book finally did come out, I waited in line at the bookshop for hours, and, once I had my hands on my (pre-ordered) copy, proceeded to sit at home undisturbed for six hours as I inhaled every word with both laughter and tears.

They may not technically be the best books I have ever read, but - for me - as a reading experience they are truly unparalleled.