I was growing anxious last week, not knowing what time I should be lining up for my reservation... it's the first time for me to actually AWAIT a book's release.

Anyway, as luck would have it... I finished re-reading the Order of the Phoenix at around 2 am Saturday... and seems to have turned off the alarm that should wake me at 6:00 AM. Good thing DBF (da boyfriend) called me at 6:30, asking me where I was already.

I was number 22 at National Bookstore (Rob Place-Ermita). It was positively annoying to have others who didn't reserve copies already paying for their purchases while we all had to stand in line (those of us who reserved) and wait. Well, ok, those who reserved got 10% discount off the total book price (which is P1,500.00).

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSo, anyway, I am now the happy owner of my first hardbound HP book. And yes, I am actually prejudiced against uber expensive books that are hardbound (and yes, I understand them being produced for those who actually want to collect books... but i've always believed that a book is made to be read first, and collected second... so paperbacks should be released first!) but I can't wait for another 6 months or so while all the world is already discussing the latest book!

Did I like it? Not as much as the 3rd and 4th books... anyway, my thoughts and some spoilers follow:

* I was disappointed that there was not even a mention of Susan Bones suffering from stares and talks because her aunt (?) was killed. Then again, there wasn't any mention that she actually returned to Hogwarts so I guess that's why.

* JK Rowling was being very realistic when she made the kids absorbed in boy-girl relationships. I get that, really I do. But apart from getting irritated with teenage angst and raging hormones, it was really a challenge to get past all the snogging (kissing) going on.

* Those who are rooting for a Ron-Hermione love affair are happy, am sure, because the book made it clear that there ARE really feelings between them, even if it wasn't clear that they were already a couple by the end of the book (and as far as I know and can deduce, they haven't snogged yet). Of course, I am disappointed with this even if I saw it coming... I just never really saw anything great with Ron... apart from his blind loyalty to Harry.

* I was also not happy to see Ginny and Harry becoming a couple (and then going their separate ways because Harry now has a mission to really seek out Voldemort and company). Despite Harry being the hero of the series, I also don't think he's good enough for Ginny.

* It's nice to see more of Ginny though, and how her strong personality is making heads turn and people notice.

* I was surprised that the Weasleys haven't had a death in the family yet, considering that there are 9 of them, and except for Percy, are close to Dumbledore. Of course, I hope Percy dies because he's such a prat (have to give kudos to JK again, for her consistency with characters and character traits). And yes, it's too bad that Bill is no longer handsome. And heaven help me, I don't think I can stop myself from crying if anything happens to the Weasley twins!!!

* It was touching when Fleur had words with Mrs. Weasley that Bill, having been contaminated (but not turned) by a werewolf, will still love her, and that she still loves him, and that she is beautiful enough for both of them. Of course, any mother would be touched!!! And of course, I feel sad that I won't get to read about their wedding in at least 3 years.

* It's still not quite clear if Snape was working for the good side or the dark side. True, he killed Dumbledore with the Avada Kedavra curse... but that may have been pre-arranged... something they have talked about and agreed to allow to happen for the greater good. So yes, I guess, I still believe Dumbledore was not wrong to trust Snape. Besides, what if it was necessary because Dumbledore knows Snape will play a greater role than he ever will in Voldemort's downfall? (I was looking for a loophole in the Unbreakable Vow Snape took with Narcissa Malfoy...)

* If Dumbledore is really dead... and am ok with him being already dead... I wonder now what's going to happen to the Order, and who's going to lead it. And it doesn't matter anymore if Hogwarts will reopen because Harry, Ron and Hermione good as said that they won't be returning anyway even if it does.

* Who is RAB? Couldn't Dumbledore have an inkling that somebody else has gotten to that particular Horcrux? And how did RAB refilled that vessel with liquid? What if the liquid, however foul, protects someone from the Unforgivable Curses?

* Hermione must really love her friends for her not to go on to finish her NEWTs.

* Know what made me cry? Not Fleur's devotion to Bill... but Tonks making it known that she really loves Lupin, and Lupin still insisting that he's too old, too poor and too dangerous for Tonks. Sigh. I'm partly jealous because I love Lupin... but I've always wanted a love interest for him. I even thought it should be another unregistered animagus that turns into a wolf... to keep him company. But Tonks is ok... I hope they get married in the 7th book too. And yes, I hope Lupin doesn't die...

* Yes, there have been many deaths in this book... but only of familiar names. The Death Eaters only lost one, and the Order another one. But yes, Dumbledore is a big, big loss. (and yes, his affinity with the Phoenix almost makes me believe that he'd return)

* I like it that JK, when she kills wonderful characters, isn't big on drama and whatever. She just kills them. And I don't thnk Ginny will die in the 7th book, because I think something should be said about her being the only Weasley girl after so many years.

* And yes, Malfoy should be pitied... for however despicable his personality may be, he was only really being pressured to protect/redeem his family.

* For a while, I thought it would be nice if Harry lends Kreacher (part of his inheritance by Sirius) to the Weasleys... but Dumbledore is right, it's better for Kreacher to be watched over by his fellow elves at Hogwarts.

* Too many things were going on in the book... too many information I feel were being crammed... making up for all that's lacking in the first 5 books... good thing, the book was overall redeemed by the last 6 chapters or so.

* Nice twist... Voldemort didn't have one scene at all... but you got to know much about Tom Marvolo Riddle.

Anyway... maybe i'll try to read some of Gaiman's works while I wait for the last book. Most stories are usually anti-climactic, but Harry Potter is a phenomenon that can't be beat. Am sure, there will be more converted to loving the series before the 7th installation...

And I really thank JRA for buying me my first 4 books... (he downloaded the e-copy Sunday morning, too envious that I was already reading the book... he has to read from his PDA, me naman, I am prejudiced against e-copies and prefer reading books in bed).


Monday morning didn't start well... found myself wrapped in a towel outside, trying to stop my brother from really getting physical with neighbors who picked a fight with him... so early in the morning too... and me, stark naked under the towel...

Anyway, hope my dad, who is returning to the country today, has a safe flight back home...

And hope my Mom will be ok...since she will be left alone in the US.


Read JK's interview here. Notice that on page 2 of that interview... JK said she didn't categorically say that a major character will die... so, there's hope for eitehr Sirius or Dumbledore I guess :)


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