Friday, December 7, 2007

JK Rowling 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'

I profusely apologize for the long lull. If I haven't lost your readership already I'll try to do better in the future. I decided I needed to preview the fifth book of Harry Potter before my eight year old dove into it.

I've always liked young adult literature, especially fantasy stuff and when I read the first Harry Potter eight years ago I wasn't impressed. The characters were flat and the writing pedestrian. So I turned away from the series until my daughter picked them up this summer. I followed her progress through books 1-3 then tried to keep her from going on with the vague thought that they might get too adult for her as the characters get older. When she ignored me and sailed through book 4 I figured I had to put my money where my mouth was and actually read book 5 if I was going to have some reason to tell her she couldn't.

So these books are damn long. I still have some of the same reservations about the characters being static but I will admit, this lady can sure write a page turning plot. An author that pulls me through over 800 pages that I didn't really want to read, that's impressive. I quite enjoyed the story by the end and decided that my oldest could probably handle it. She seems to be less affected by scary scenes in the book form than she is by movies so I gave her the go.

I think it's particularly interesting that she put aside the awesome Susan Cooper book, "Over Sea, Under Stone' in order to jump back into the Harry Potter books. She just couldn't get through it. That sort of sums up Harry Potter for me so far. Enjoyable, not sophisticated or nuanced like a truly good YA book. I guess it's sort of like the difference between romance and good fiction. And I of all people, know the value of a good trashy romance novel.

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