I just finished Order of the Phoenix and while there were some key scenes and lots of important info, it definitely wasn’t my favorite. My best friend’s husband described the book as “filler” and while I don’t entirely agree with that, I don’t think he’s too far off on the statement either.
There was a lot going on in this book. I love that Mrs. Figg is a squib and was there for the Dementors. I imagine for Harry it was nice in hindsight that although he felt very alone for those first 11 years, he still had someone tangible nearby that was immersed in the world of magic and watching out for him in a sense. The Howler coming for Mrs. Dursley was quite intriguing as well and her acknowledging Dementors and the world of magic ever so slightly redeemed her for being a horrible human being to Harry.
Harry was noticeably so angry in this book. At times, I found it almost distracting and often thought, come on Harry, get it together. However, as a 30 year old, I often forget just how emotionally ruled I was capable of being when I was 15. So given hormones surging and the plethora of crap poor Harry has had to deal with, I gave him a pass here whereas I know others just simply found him whiny and awful. I have to remind myself when reading these books to remember what it was like to be that age and not from my current age perspective.
Seeing the different people making up (both past and present) the Order of the Phoenix was interesting as well. Tonks was one of my favorite new characters in the book as she’s a lot of fun yet takes her job seriously. I also got to know the real Mad-Eye. He was very similar to polyjuiced Mad-Eye, so I guess Crouch Jr. really did his homework on how to act like Moody. I was a little put off by how moody and sulky Sirius was being. I understand he was tired of being locked up, but I do agree with Hermione that he was having a hard time separating Harry from James and it was certainly not doing Harry any good.
Having Umbridge at Hogwarts was literally so hard for me to read. All of her scenes and just who she was made my skin crawl in disgust. It got to the point where I was speed reading over her somewhat because she just enraged me so much. I will say, I liked her choice in cat decor, but otherwise, she most certainly got what was coming to her. If I ever saw her in person, I may have to make a clipity clop sound like Ron did to freak her out after being taken by the Centaurs.
It was eerily well done with Harry seeing what Voldemort was doing and how he then used that to his advantage to trick Harry. I think their connection is essential to the story and the ultimate end of it and I’m enjoying reading just exactly how connected they are. I will say in the whole battle scene at the end, reading about Sirius’s death felt rather quick and uneventful, but seeing it in the movie really rattled my nerves. I also think Harry and Voldemort in the glass and Dumbledore vs. Voldemort was better done in the movie. That whole part of the book (the battle, not the part of getting there) felt very rushed to me and was jumping around too much.
Dumbledore again touched my heart in so many ways. The end with Harry in his office was just so powerful to me. I could feel both sides – Harry’s anger and sadness, and Dumbledore’s love and desire to protect Harry. When he explains everything to him and then adds in about how Harry too much going on to be a prefect, well, it made me cry. I still hate knowing I’m going to lose him soon as he is simply amazing.
All in all, I liked the book, but definitely not one of my favorites. There were many good parts but a lot did feel like filler. I’m hoping the next book is better and as of yet, Goblet of Fire is still my favorite book (although not my favorite movie).
There wasn’t a lot of mention of food in the book, but the ginger newts really stuck out to me. I loved that scene with Harry in McGonagall’s office and instead of getting in trouble he’s offered a biscuit instead. I decided now is the perfect season for a ginger snap cookie, so this is my interpretation of a ginger newt.
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Mix together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Sift into a bowl (if you don’t have a sifter, a paste strainer works too).
- Beat the shortening until creamy then add in the sugar. Beat in the egg and molasses. Gradually add the flour and mix together.
- Roll out (I did it between 2 pieces of parchment paper) to about 1/4″ thickness and use cookie cutters. I found this cool newt like cutter online, but we also made some gingerbread men shaped cookies as well.
- Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes, allow to cool on a wire rack, and enjoy
So we basically devoured all of our cookies yesterday while putting up more Christmas decorations. These turned out so good and my son thought it was hilarious to eat a newt shaped cookie 🙂
What did you think of Order of the Phoenix?