Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Hello All! We've just finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in our Potter Head Read-Along. It's being hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey, and it's not too late to join in if you're interested in reading with us. Details here. As most people are all kinds of familiar with our boy-wizard's world, this won't be your average book review. I'll just talk about points that struck my fancy while re-reading. 

(If you're one of the four people in the world who haven't read or seen HP yet, be warned there may be spoilers below.)

Hooray for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! 

Hooray for Harry beating Voldemort, discovering the truth about Snape, forgiving Dumbledore, and achieving everything he could have ever hoped for! And of course for him ending up with Ginny, and Ron and Hermione staying together as well.

I love book 7. It was so epic. One of those fantasies that you worry will be a disappointment after all the buildup and hype of the previous books, but then surpasses all your expectations with flying colors, all with an ease and seamlessness that only a true, legendary author could pull off. 

I tend to blubber through a lot of the ending of this series, and not just the sad parts. Some of its epicness is so gripping (even though it's awesome, not tragic) that it just brings me to tears. (What can I say? I'm a girl. Deal with it!)

Most of all the thing that always strikes me about this book is how well Rowling gets her concepts across. There are so many lines that are beautiful and concise, summing up all the underlying themes of her story without being too wordy or in-your face. 

Some of my favorite lines:
"After all this time.""Always." (pg. 687) 
"...who would he want to bring back from the dead? He fears the dead. He does not love." (pg. 721) 
"Of course it's happening in your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it isn't real?" (pg. 723) 
"Albus Severus," Harry said quietly..."you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew." (pg. 758)

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And those are just a few! As for the film, I thought they did a really good job with it. (Both of them.) Of course there are always things I'd like to have seen in the films.

What I would like to have seen: 

More details about Dumbledore's past, and when he told Harry about his sister in his own words and cried. That was unspeakably powerful, but left out of the film. As with film #5 and somewhat at the end of #6, they always seem to skimp on the really powerful emotional stuff. Don't know why they do that, but I'm always a bit bugged by it.

And of course there are always the humorous details that get left out. I especially loved some of the hilarious images during the final battle. The broken gargoyle Harry stepped over that said, "Oh don't mind me. I'll just lie here and crumble." Or the image of McGonagall using student's desks to fight Death Eaters, running around the corner and yelling "Charge!" I crack up every time. Wish we could have seen that.

What the film did well:

I liked that it added the scene where Snape went and hugged Lily's body after she died. While it really compressed some of the rest of the history, that made it so the material point and the powerful emotions of Snape's unrequited love came across. Very well done. Also the epicness of the battle between Harry and Riddle, getting to see Neville triumph, and getting to see Mrs. Weasley kill Bellatrix were all there. Kudos for those.  And of course the 19-Years-Later ending was done very well too. Loved it!


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There's one other part in the film I really liked. It's Harry, Ron, and Hermione running around Hogwarts during the battle. They come face to face with every major foe/creature they've faced in previous years: giants, trolls, spiders, and dementors, as well as death eaters all around and Fenrir Greyback. I thought it was a great way to run through all they'd been through in previous books and show how it was all coming at them at once in the final, epic showdown.


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Overall:

All I can say is, there is a reason Harry Potter is a classic. There's never been anything quite like it, nor will there be again. Our children and grandchildren will still be reading and enjoying the magic of Hogwarts and gaining character from reading about Harry's very human triumph over his arch nemesis, and the enemy of the entire wizarding world. 

Did you like HP #7? What did you think of Hollywood's efforts?

2 comments :

  1. Great review. I think the 7th book and the 7/8th movies were my favorite in the series. I did laugh at the end of the 8th movie, though. I saw it in 3D, and when Voldemort became 3D confetti at the end, I found it really funny for some reason. The people in the theater probably thought I was crazy.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. LOL. I can see that looking pretty goofy. That's funny! I really liked the final installments, too. Thanks so much for stopping by. Always great to meet other HP fans (especially because there's only a couple of us, lol).

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