Confessions of A Harry Potter Virgin: Edition 5: The Order of the Phoenix

Posted on 09/10/2013 in Book Review / 11 Comments

Confessions of a Harry Potter Virgin

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At 33 years old, I had never read Harry Potter. In a world full of Muggles and Witches and Wizards, and tens of thousands of memes dedicated to all things Potter, I was unknowing. Oh, I followed Voldemort on Twitter and giggled at some of the things he said….but I didn’t get it. You don’t truly get it until you’ve read the books, even in a world saturated with Potterisms. I didn’t know about dragons, or three-headed dogs that could be sung to sleep, or potions and spells, or Quidditch and the Snitch, or Gryffindor, or invisible cloaks, or Platform 9 ¾. I didn’t know the Hogwarts school song, and I hadn’t met the Weasley Twins yet…or Professor Snape and Dumbledore. I may just have been one of the last people on Earth to begin waiting on my own letter (which, I suspect my postman may have stolen…).\r\nYes, at 33, I was a Harry Potter Virgin. These are my confessions of a Harry Potter virgin.

\r\nConfessions of A Harry Potter Virgin: Edition 5: The Order of the PhoenixHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #5
Published by Scholastic Press on 7/21/2003
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Gift
Goodreads
five-stars

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected...

\r\nSuspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down.

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SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS! Do not read these reviews if you have not read the books!

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SO MUCH MORE HAPPENS in The Order of the Phoenix and I feel as if I have lost my head.  Full disclosure:  I took a really long break in between The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix but I wish I hadn’t.  It was, to put it simply, just amazing, and heart-breaking, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be the same as a reader again.

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It’s the summer after he watched Cedric Diggory get murdered and Harry is stuck at Privet Drive with the douchey Dursley’s again for the summer.  He is so pissed off, because no one is really writing him, and he wants so badly to be a part of the wizarding community.  I took note here that Harry is not so obliging to the Dursley’s anymore; he doesn’t deliberately make waves, but he doesn’t acquiesce to them when they are being mean either.  It’s like he’s growing up and getting some backbone and I really REALLY liked that.  I do think he was also frustrated because he feels welcome and a part of things when he’s at Hogwarts, but then he feels like Ron and Hermione forget about him (as does everyone else) during the summers.  Except they don’t.   And Harry just wants answers.

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Everyone was right when they told me that The Order of the Phoenix was so much darker than the last four books.  I thought, “nah” because I felt that the Goblet of Fire was pretty dark, but I found that Order surpasses that at warp speed.  It’s not just dark magic, but corruption and hate…and violence.

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Lots of crazy happens in the Order of the Phoenix:

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  • Harry and Dudley are attacked by dementors in Little Whinging and Harry saves the day with a Patronus
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  • Harry goes to trial for using magic “illegally” at the Ministry of Magic
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  • Dumbledore is ousted as Headmaster of Hogwarts, replaced by the hateful Dolores Umbridge
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  • Harry, Ron & Hermione start the D.A. (Dumbledore’s Army), where they practice Defense of the Dark Arts in secret with other students, in the Room of Requirement
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  • Ron and Fred Weasley quit Hogwarts and literally fly off into the sunset
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  • Umbridge fires one professor and attacks two others
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  • Someone close to Harry dies (again)
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Order left me reeling.  I very much hated Dolores Umbridge, if not for the way she looked down on Harry in his trial, then for the way she denounced him as a liar when he talked of Voldemort’s return, and gave him detentions where, when he was made to write lines, they magically inscribed onto the top of his hand, causing him to bleed.  “I must not tell lies.” He stoically never did, nor did he ever give in to her and pretend either.  He was casually indifferent, but never a coward.

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There is a lot of division within Hogwarts this time around, too.  More so than normal, and it’s more than just competition between the Houses or Quidditch.  The Sorting Hat warned of this, didn’t it?  And nobody but Hermione really took it seriously.  She’s such a smart cookie.

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I have wondered throughout five novels now if Draco Malfoy is truly an evil little bastard like his father (the Death-Eater) Lucius, or if he even really knows what his father is into and he’s just a punk little jerk with a lot of money and no humility.  The ending of Order leaves me thinking it’s the former, but throughout the novels, I’ve always thought it was the latter, and somewhere along the way (probably the end), he’d come around and they’d live happily ever after.  I’m now starting to think there is no HEA, but only a bittersweet ending.

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Where the hell did Ginny come from?  One second she’s a whiny little girl in the first book who is upset she can’t go to Hogwarts with her brothers and now she’s a kick-ass teenager!  And she is just as devious as Fred and George!  Must be a Weasley gene.

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The ending left me heart-broken.  Harry has had the worst luck in life and then that happens.  But at least now he knows why he bears that scar and why old Voldy wants to kill him so badly.  Do you think Harry and Neville would trade places with each other if they could?

five-stars
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Jennifer became addicted to books when she randomly picked up a Sweet Valley High book in grade school. She never looked back. After blowing through the SVH and SVU series faster than her parents could put them in her hands, she began perusing her stepfather's bookshelves and reading fantasy like Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, which she still maintains is some of the best fantasy ever. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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11 responses to “Confessions of A Harry Potter Virgin: Edition 5: The Order of the Phoenix

  1. mandikaye

    Oh, this review was so lovely. I know I’ve said this before (I think), but I love seeing it through someone’s eyes for the first time!

  2. queendsheena

    Order of the Phoenix is just the start of a truly dark road. Your review was amazing and yes Ginny changed quite a lot. I also hated Umbridge but not just for what she did to Harry and his friends but other characters as well. She was a real nasty bitch that one. But L loved the part with Dumbledore when he escaped and Kingsley stated he had style. Classic, also done great in the movie.

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