Saturday, July 5, 2014

Harry Potter Series Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! I've been re-reading the Harry Potter series, and I've posted discussions about each of the books individually. Here are the links to all seven posts:

Now, I'm here to discuss the series as a whole, including my opinions about the entire series, my rankings of the books, rankings of the covers, and some of my favorite things in the series.

In my Cassie Clare series discussions, I talked about the overall premise of the series, and my opinions on it, but as I said in my individual posts, it's Harry Potter. If you don't know the premise of the series, then you need to stop wasting time reading this and go pick up the books and devour them. Therefore, this discussion is going to be very spoilery if you (somehow) haven't read the books or seen the movies. Also, as far as my opinion, I LOVE IT. This series was my childhood, my present, and my future. I love everything about it, and it will always be my favorite series. It's beautiful.

Ranking The Books

#7: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I hate to say that I have a least favorite, simply because this entire series is absolutely beautiful and perfect. However, if I were to name the one book I least enjoyed reading and had the least urge to re-read, it would be Chamber of Secrets. I think this is more due to how amazing the other books are than to something being wrong with this one. I don't think there's anything specific that makes this one lower, it's just not as good as the others. 

Favorite moment: When Fred and George parade Harry down the hall, joking about him being the heir of Slytherin. Leave it to those two to be not only completely loyal, but to make you laugh while doing so. 
Rating: Overall, continuing the 10 star system, I'd give it 9.4 stars out of 10.

#6: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Yes, I understand that this was the book that started it all, and how dare I put it so far down on the list, but the plot just isn't quite as interesting or intricate as the other books. And overall, it just seemed way too short to me. We didn't get to the scene where they go after the sorcerer's stone until the last 40 pages of the book! The detail and intricacy that we get in later books just isn't there yet.  do think that the plot of COS is better and more intricate than Sorcerer's Stone. However, Sorcerer's Stone has some of my absolute favorite moments and quotes in the entire series, while Chamber of Secrets doesn't. That's why Sorcerer's Stone gets higher.

Favorite moment: Literally any time a Weasley twin says or does anything.
Rating: I'd have to give it 9.5 stars out of 10.

#5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

While #6 & #7 are fairly equal for me, Order of the Phoenix is a distinct step up in terms of how much I like it. I don't agree with the people who think the book dragged, but while the stuff in the middle was important, I didn't find it quite as exciting. Umbridge was perfectly evil, the DA was really cool, and the scene where Mr. Weasley got attacked was exciting. Everything else that takes place throughout the school year just isn't as exciting or interesting for me, and as far as ending, Voldemort-fighting sequences go, the battle at the Ministry just isn't my favorite.

Favorite moment: Probably either the Mr. Weasley/ snake bit, or when Harry and Hermione take Umbridge out into the forest. 
Rating: I'd have to go with 9.6 stars out of 10 on this one.

#4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I enjoyed this book much more on this read-through than I ever have before. In the past, books 4&5 have always been fairly even for me in terms of my favorites. But this time through, Goblet of Fire came out significantly on top. It's one of the most action-packed and fast-paced Harry Potter books by far. The Tri-Wizard Tournament keeps everything exciting and interesting. And the scene in the graveyard is one of the most important moments in the series. Overall, I really enjoy this book.

Favorite moment: I don't really know. Maybe the scene in the graveyard? I like the graveyard scene through the ending.
Rating: I'd probably have to give Goblet of Fire 9.8 stars out of 10.

#3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

While I also love the 4 books ranked lower than this one, my top 3 books are very distinct and definitely a couple steps up from the other four. Prisoner of Azkaban is where we first meet Sirius and Lupin, two of the best characters in the series (in my opinion). The last 150ish pages of this book are some of my favorite moments in the entire series. And we also get the most epic and exciting quidditch game ever in this book. And this is when we first get the Marauder's Map. I just love how much we learn and discover in this book and all of the characters we meet. 

Favorite moment: As I said, everything from the Whomping Willow onward. So perfect.
Rating: I'd have to give it 10 stars out of 10.

#2: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Over the years since its release, Deathly Hallows has gone back and forth between being my favorite and being my 2nd favorite, but I think it has found its final resting place in second place. A lot of people think that the book is a little slow in the camping scenes, but I disagree. It was still exciting. This book is just an epic conclusion to the most epic book series I've ever read. This book rips out my heart every time I read it. The battle of Hogwarts has me constantly in tears. I'm surprised I'm always able to read through it due to all the tears. This book is just... perfect.

Favorite moment: The Prince's Tale. We learn all of the secrets and it's great.
Rating: It was a clear 10 stars out of 10. So, so amazing.

#1: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This book became my favorite Harry Potter book upon my first read at its release. For quite a while after the release of book 7, this remained my favorite before they eventually started flip-flopping back and forth. I've read this one more times than any of the other books, and actually had to repair it because some of the binding was coming apart. Reading the first 3 chapters feels like going home. It's so familiar and comfortable and I absolutely love it. I think that the pensive scenes are some of the most intriguing and interesting of the entire series. I just really, really love this book. A lot. 

Favorite moment: As I said, any moments with the pensive. So great.
Rating: It was a clear 10 stars out of 10. This book is perfect.

Ranking The Covers

#7) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I've never really liked this cover. I'm not quite sure why... I dunno, this one just is my least favorite. I feel like I'm hating on Chamber of Secrets a lot since I put it last on both lists, but it really is my least favorite in both categories. And when I think of Chamber of Secrets, I picture the movie cover, which is a sure sign I don't like the cover. Sorry, COS!

#6) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I've never really been that excited about the cover, mostly because of the front. I think it's just because the way Krum and Diggory are drawn aren't really how I pictured them, so I didn't really like it. The rest of the cover is really cool though! The back is interesting, and the Goblet of Fire is cool! If some elements had been moved around, this could have been higher of my list.

#5) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I really like this cover. I think that it fits the tone of the book perfectly. Dark, mysterious, monotone blue, this cover is really cool and interesting. When I think of Order of the Phoenix, I immediately think of this picture. Very cool.

#4) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I have very mixed feelings about this cover. If this list was based on just the front of the cover, this would be at #6. I'm not a fan of the front on its own at all. However, the full panorama like this is really cool and I really love it. I kinda wish the back were the front. I love the back, with harry's patronus, Sirius, the whomping willow, and the dementor. It's just really cool. But due to my very mixed feelings, this falls right in the middle.

#3) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter covers are always very intricate, and for me this one is the most intricate. We see Harry trying to get the snitch, we see an owl, flying key, Dumbledore, Fluffy, a unicorn, Harry sneaking out of bed, it's just so intricate and such an iconic cover. It's the one that started it all!

#2) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

While most people think that the most iconic cover is Sorcerer's Stone, I think it's Deathly Hallows. When I think of Harry Potter, this is the cover I think of. It's just such a vivid cover and it stands out so much. We get the curtains that we saw in book one, and we see Harry finally facing off against Voldemort. It's so great.

#1) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I couldn't find a full cover of this with the Harry Potter lettering across it, which is sad because I love the contrast of the green and purple. Anyway, I love the front, with Harry and Dumbledore looking into the pensive, with the memories swirling around them, because that's my favorite part of the book. The back, with the dark mark and Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, is also great and just as dark as the scene that it's from. I just really love this cover. Also, I think it's the only cover that has distinct images on the front and back rather than a full picture. Despite that, though, I just love the whole thing.

Favorites/Least Favorites

I'm planning to do a more in-depth "Favorite Harry Potter Characters" post, with a ranking of ALL of the most important characters, but for now, I'll just discuss the basics.

Favorite character: I've said it before, and I'll say it until the day I die. The Weasley twins are my absolute favorite characters in anything ever.
Least favorite character: Ooh, there are so many. I'd say Umbridge, but she's a really great character because she's just so unbearably evil. I'll just go with Filch for this. A bit random, yes, but he's annoying and serves very little purpose.

Favorite ship: ROMIONE. They are my OTP of life.
Least favorite ship: Neville and whoever he ended up marrying. Was it Hannah Abbott? Either way, NUNA. NUNA. NUNA.

Favorite moment: Everything. Everything. Everything.
Least favorite moment: I don't even know. Honestly. I just can't. I love it. 


So, there you go, that's all for my Harry Potter Discussion! What are your feelings on the series? I know you have some- everyone has feelings about Harry Potter! What are your rankings? Your favorite characters? Let me know in the comments!

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