Confessions of A Harry Potter Virgin: Edition 6: And the Half-Blood Prince

Posted on 09/17/2013 in Book Review / 13 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 6: And the Half-Blood PrinceHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #6
Published by Scholastic Press on 7/16/2005
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Pages: 652
Format: eBook
Source: Gift
Goodreads
five-stars

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

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And yet, as with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate—and lose a few eyebrows in the process. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

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So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort—and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.

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

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I suppose you want to know how I felt about the ending first. So let me go ahead and say it…

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Wait for it.

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WAIT FOR IT.

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WHAT DO YOU MEAN SNAPE KILLED DUMBELDORE, WTF AM I EVEN READING, WHY DID YOU MAKE ME READ THIS, IHATEYOUJOROWLINGJUSTKIDDINGILOVEYOU.

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*breathes*

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I’ve made it to Year Six with Harry & Co. and the story is progressively darker now.  Not only do Six Years have to complete their N.E.W.T.s, but they are also learning to Apparate, sometimes with HI-larious results.  Snape manages to finally, FINALLY snag the Defense Against the Dark Arts position he has so long coveted, leaving Dumbledore to bring aboard a new potions professor, Horace Slughorn (who just seemed fairly slimey, btw).  Since Harry didn’t think he had passed his O.W.L.S., he didn’t bother getting the latest Potions book, and needs to borrow one from the school, only to find out that this book previously belonged to someone called “the Half-Blood Prince.”

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Scrawled inside Harry’s Potions book are genius spells by the Prince, and it felt like Harry developed this kind of friendship with the person who invented them, even if he didn’t know who it was.  I know he hoped it was his father, but I don’t think Harry got his brains from James; I think there is something to be said about Muggle-born wizards, because all of Harry’s trips in the Pensieve have hinted that Lily Evans was a keen one.  I did always think that the book belonged to Voldemort, and obviously Rowling leads you by the nose with those teases, so who it really was, was a shock.

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This is also the year that Dumbledore begins initiating private lessons with Harry, although for awhile, the lessons felt ambiguous to me.  I didn’t understand the purpose behind them, except that the ultimate goal was to take down Voldemort.  They of course spent a lot of time in memories, which was more than kind of awesome, because now I finally got to learn about Tom Riddle’s past, before he was even a twinkle in his mother’s eye (if he ever was).  He and Harry shared such similar lives, but I do think this book shows there is Good and then there is Evil.  Sometimes you can’t nurture the evil out of someone.

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Rowling introduced me to Voldemort’s horcruxes, which just further confirms that he is an evil genius.  Who else would split their soul in so many pieces, just to achieve mortality?  Again, I do think that Harry and Voldemort are two sides to the same coin.

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Harry is really angry in this book.  And he takes it out on everyone around him, but I get it.  He got the short end of the stick in life and it’s really unfair that he’s the Chosen One and the wizarding world (well, some of them) is depending on him to kill Voldemort, because according to the prophecy, only one can live.

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I continued to waffle between Snape being bad and Snape being good.  Rowling played both sides of him SO WELL, it was incredibly hard to decipher, but I knew which team I wanted him to be on!  So tell me now, please!  Except then he goes and does THAT THING and I had to set the Half-Blood Prince down and give myself a good cry.  Because how is Harry supposed to defeat Voldemort without Dumbledore?

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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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13 responses to “Confessions of A Harry Potter Virgin: Edition 6: And the Half-Blood Prince

  1. DebbieReadsandBlogs

    One of the reasons why I love JK, she is not scared to kill of favorite characters. With all the people she has already killed off I shouldn’t have been shocked that Dumbledore died but WTF man I still screamed and cried my eyes out. Just wait until book 7. That final book was dark as hell and freaking massacre of witches and warlocks. Ugh! This makes me want to do a reread of the series.

  2. mandikaye

    When that scene happened, I was too stunned to cry. I didn’t see it coming AT ALL. I never IN A MILLION YEARS thought Dumbledore would die. I mean – WHO WOULD KILL A KIND OLD MAN?! \nTHAT EVIL JO WOULD, THAT’S WHO.

  3. ReadingbyKF

    hahaha I know! Rowling is an evil genius!! Seriously, who’d ever think that Dumbledore could die? Much less be killed by Snape?? Ahhhh!! I cried to so much in this one! And in the next book! And omg Snape’s story! Poor guy!

  4. TheBookNympho

    LOL. I’m loving your track through this series. I only read books 1-3. I stopped because I’d watched the movies and knew the story and just didn’t feel the need to read the books. Even though my hubby said I should since there was more details than the movies. But after knowing who lives and dies I just didn’t need to read it.

  5. queendsheena

    Oh yes Dumbledore’s death was quite a blow. I’m certain most thought he had an excellent chance of making it. More so that it wasn’t Voldermort who did it. I like many wasn’t banking on Draco. So great to read this from the perspective of someone new to the book. Makes it all fresh, even the sad parts. One more to go. All I will say is take a big gulp of air and steel yourself.

  6. Laurens Loquacious Lit

    I was SOOO annoyed by Harry in this book, but I’ve always been mad at him for his part in Sirius’ death. I was so PROUD of Malfoy when he broke Harry’s nose, I was simpering as much as Pansy Parkinson.

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