Welcome back–hope you all had safe and fun halloweens! I saw the Goosebumps movie with my VERY tolerant husband and some good friends. It was actually quite funny! Paid homage to the tone of the books while still being enjoyable for adults. Jack Black is hysterical as RL Stine. As a writer and a reader, I really enjoyed it. For some reason, this movie is not getting a ton of publicity–you may not have even realized there is a Goosebumps movie in theaters now!–but I urge you to go see it anyway. It’s a lot of fun, and safe for kids as well (it’s PG). So check it out!
Anyway, we’ve arrived at the penultimate Harry Potter blog recap…(sadness). A warning–I haven’t read book 7 and I don’t think I’ll be able to for a while due to Work Duties, so it may be a while before that one shows up. But I will finish it! Stay tuned!! We’ll just have to talk about some other stuff for a while. Any ideas?
So, Half-Blood Prince.
–Everyone knew it was Snape, right? I mean, obviously? I think one of the biggest disadvantages I have as a reader (and Tumblr user) is that the big reveal about Snape actually being good was spoiled for me. He’s set up as this big arch-villain the entire time, and then he’s not. So that’s felt weird, reading the books and knowing I’m meant to dislike him but he’s just a sad, lonely dude who accidentally got his crush killed and now has to deal with her kid 24/7. I don’t quite feel bad for him, but I don’t quite hate him, either. I don’t know how to feel about him.
–This book is true to life, aka Teenage Boys are Oblivious Sometimes. Ron is at his most unbearable for most of this book, and that’s saying something. It’s SO PAINFULLY OBVIOUS that he and Hermione are going to get together, but it’s dragged out for so long. This book received record levels of eyerolls from me re: Teenagers in Love.
–JK’s description of Harry’s love for Ginny as a “caged beast inside him” were really tragic. Has she ever known a teenage boy? This whole metaphor (which she uses a LOT) rang a little too Harlequin-romance for me. A lot of the love stuff in this book doesn’t feel authentic. One senses JK is a bit too far removed from her puppy love days to recreate them with any sort of authenticity. Or maybe she just had really crummy boyfriends. Could be both.
–Harry is a terrible quidditch team captain. There, I said it.
–The Felix Felicis! Dear God, the Felix Felicis. Remember how I’ve been saying I wish Harry could have one Pretty Good day for six books now? This was SO gratifying in so many ways. I read this part out loud to Tom. I laughed out loud. It’s perhaps the only truly funny scene in the whole darn HP universe. I just love love loved it. The mental image of Hagrid, Harry, and Harold Zidler huddled over Aragog’s corpse is just sublime. I honestly didn’t know JK had funny in her. She should write more funny sometime!
–Why did Harry trust the magic potions book? Doesn’t he know NOTHING GOOD CAN EVER HAPPEN TO HIM?
–Also, why does JK hate women so much? Seriously, if there are two women in a scene together, chances are they hate each other. The whole Fleur vs. The Weasley Women thing was insulting.
–However, when Fleur rushes to Bill/Charlie’s defense at the end after he’s been attacked, I almost cried. Almost. Just a little. Blame it on the hormones.
–The horcrux in the middle of the dead lake scene was perfect. Chilling and intense–I really must give JK credit for this. When she’s in top form, making spooky magic bits, there’s almost nobody who can top her. CS Lewis with Narnia, JRR Tolkien with LOTR, Philip Pullman with His Dark Materials. It’s in that league of awesome. People say she’s a middling writer with a small vocabulary, and that’s not untrue, but her world-building skills are absolutely first-rate.
(Speaking of Pullman, DID YOU SEE BBC1 IS GOING TO ADAPT HIS DARK MATERIALS TRILOGY INTO A MINISERIES!?!?!?!?! That sound you hear is my brain exploding with joy.)
–Snape kills Dumbledore. It’s transparently obvious that he’s supposed to do it, so it’s not so shocking. But it does suck for poor Harry. The kid cannot catch a break. I feel bad for any adult that cares about Harry and/or mentors him…watch your back, the kid’s got a high body count with people who love him.
–His funeral was very lovely. I didn’t cry. But I thought about it. It made me sort of admire Dumbledore, which I hadn’t ever really before. So that was something.
–I HATE how Harry’s all, “Ginny, I have to go save the world so we can’t date anymore.” and she’s like “I know. Please be careful.” And he’s like “No.” I know that I just said that people who Harry cares about get killed a lot, so I know why he did it, but man, Ginny, don’t be a doormat! You are not a prop in Harry’s story. You are your own darn story.
–So I guess the next one is Harry, Ron, and Hermione find the Horcruxes? I know there’s a big battle and tons of people die. Geez, do these wizard kids ever go to school? I sincerely worry about their real-life skills as adults. Like, did they ever learn to balance a checkbook? Take sex-ed? Make food? I know that wizards can do a bunch of stuff with magic and don’t need practical skills as much, but can these kids even do basic math? Once again, I contend that Hogwarts is the worst school ever.
So that’s it, folks! Am I totally off on this Snape thing? Will the 7th book be worth it? I have to say, I’m not chomping at the bit to read it. Can you believe it’s November already? I can’t really. How many days will it be until I hang my Christmas lights up? I’m guessing 14, tops. I’ve been surveying the neighborhood, waiting for the first person to do it so I can put mine up. SOMEBODY DO IT THIS WEEKEND OKAY? I NEED CHRISTMAS CHEER!!
What’s your favorite Christmas movie, friends? Let me know! See you next week.