Synopsis: It’s no longer safe for Harry at Hogwarts, so he and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are on the run. Professor Dumbledore has given them clues about what they need to do to defeat the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, once and for all, but it’s up to them to figure out what these hints and suggestions really mean.
Their cross-country odyssey has them searching desperately for the answers, while evading capture or death at every turn. At the same time, their friendship, fortitude, and sense of right and wrong are tested in ways they never could have imagined.
The ultimate battle between good and evil that closes out this final chapter of the epic series takes place where Harry’s Wizarding life began: at Hogwarts. The satisfying conclusion offers shocking last-minute twists, incredible acts of courage, powerful new forms of magic, and the resolution of many mysteries.
Above all, this intense, cathartic book serves as a clear statement of the message at the heart of the Harry Potter series: that choice matters much more than destiny, and that love will always triumph over death.
Here’s my first controversial opinion of
my infinite supply the many that will surface within this long-ass review: A Very Potter Musical is better than the Harry Potter series.
Please feel free to fight me on this. You’ll lose, but you can try your darnedest if you’d like. (And no, “AVPM wouldn’t exist without the books” is not a valid argument, because duh. That doesn’t mean the books offer anything better than those long-ass YouTube videos.)
God, what an unexpected result this is.
Let’s talk about it for six pages. I loved Half-Blood Prince so much that I postponed finishing the series for five months. More context: I started rereading this series in December, I was done the sixth book in February, and I didn’t pick up the finale until July.
I thought this book was going to destroy me!!!
And, like, it almost did. But not in the oh-my-god-this-amazing-series-is-over-cry-cry-cry way I expected. More like I, too, divided my soul into horcruxes, and they, like Voldemort’s, were being taken out at an excruciatingly slow pace over the course of 784 pages. Just weakening infinitesimally and kind of being like, can you just get this over with already? But instead of, you know, my actual self being killed, it was my enthusiasm for this series and any appreciation I may have had for JK Rowling.
Seriously, I feel like any love I had for a couple of the books in this series has been brutally, torturously, painstakingly extinguished.
This book was a CHORE.
Let’s talk about why (for an extraordinarily long time).
(Like all of my Harry Potter reviews, this is nothin’ but spoilers.)
So…can we all at least agree that the concept for the first half of this book is, uh, not great?
The storyline is already, like, What if we just sat around in the most depressing on Earth for a few hundred pages, jumping locations every day, having the same conversation repeatedly, and granting our readers in-depth analyses of the gross fish we’re eating? (Sorry, British people, but I think we can all agree that a freezing/damp moor is no tropical vacation.) (Also shoutout to the time when Harry, Ron and Hermione overheard other wizards saying “Accio salmon” in order to eat and were just like, That information’s going straight in the mental trash can.)
But then on TOP of it, the pacing is so!! horrible!! Nothing happens, and then something will happen and take literally no effort by the golden gang. Like when a thing they need just SHOWS UP in a frozen pond. How exciting. So glad I waded through hundreds of pages of freezing moor bickering to get to this point.
Also, the bickering is legitimately the same three conversations over and over and over and over.
HAHAHAHA. I just remembered that the seventh book was divided into two movies. LITERALLY WHAT WENT DOWN IN THE FIRST MOVIE?? Hahahahaha. Oh man. I am just never going to watch those adaptations, probably.
I’m almost grateful that this book was so bad. Because now I never have to be sad it’s over! I do so much better with anger.
Like every young woman with a semi-functional brain, I’m big into Hermione. Or I was, for the first five or six books, before she was completely ruined and it was like she was never goddamn helpful or smart in the first place.
IN OTHER WORDS, WHY DID J.K. ROWLING DO HERMIONE LIKE THIS?
In this book, Hermione totally ignores logic in order to: a) stare lustily after Ron (Ron! Can you believe it?? We’ll get to that), b) sustain the stupid arguments that keep cropping up between the supposedly-golden trio, c) also maintain the TOTALLY USELESS ROMP THROUGH THE BRITISH COUNTRYSIDE, and d) ignore the good ideas that are exclusively coming from Harry presumably just in order to extend the book.
Which, speaking of, this book is just the goddamn Harry Potter show. He comes up with every single plan, everyone at Hogwarts defers to him like he’s Team Good’s Voldemort, and the whole book he’s treated like this misunderstood genius, too smart for the world around him.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MAGNIFICENT SIXTH-BOOK CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT FOR GOD’S SAKE.
Ron also sucks. He is constantly complaining and picking fights. He offers exactly zero (0) good ideas throughout the book. Legitimately all he does is try to be funny AND NOT BE. I cannot believe the (usually) fab Hermione was handed off to him like some sort of prize for the biggest pumpkin at the state fair.
The only character who got what they were owed in this book was Neville. Which, if I had to pick one character to get the best ending, that’s who it would be, BUT STILL. His perfection is no excuse. He’s barely even in the f*cking books. Impossible to mess up.
And I missed Dumbledore soooo muuuuuch but then he showed up (in death or quasi-death – this book is stupid and we’ll get to it) AND TALKED TO HARRY FOR EIGHT HOURS AND IT DIDN’T FEEL LIKE HIM ONCE. It was just sh*tty writing and plot exposition and explanation. How DARE you use Dumbledore as a plot point.
Wow, I am especially bitter today.
EVERY SINGLE ENDGAME ROMANCE IN THIS WHOLE SERIES IS THROWN TOGETHER AND BAD. I will go through each and explain this.
Harry and Ginny: Ginny is so cool in the sixth book. So cool that I took back all of the Ginny-sh*t talking I did for approximately four years. I was even open to the concept of Harry/Ginny (even their ship name must be awful, no? Hinny? OH MY GOD I AM PRAYING IT’S “Garry”) just based off of Ginny’s apparent greatness. BUT NO IT’S JUST BAD. Harry spends a significant chunk of this already-boring book moping about Ginny. And it couldn’t be less cute. It’s just I miss Ginnyyyyyyyyyoverandoverandoverandover without any mention of like, who she is. Or what their relationship is like. OR ANYTHING. It’s just J.K. Rowling being like, Oh, Harry would probably miss Ginny. Here’s a substance-less reminder.
Ron and Hermione: like…areyoukiddingme. Not even Joanne and her terrible Twitter account are pro-Ronmione. They could NOT be less compatible. They are not fun together at all. My last words will be WHY NOT HERMIONE AND FRED. (I will scream them, which will be very startling to the loved ones who may be gathered around my hospital bed.) And no, Joanne, Harry and Hermione are not the correct answer. SERIOUSLY HOW IS HER TWITTER ACCOUNT THIS BAD. HOW DOES SHE HAVE SO MANY REGRETS ABOUT THE DUMB CHILDREN’S SERIES SHE WROTE 15 YEARS AGO.
Lupin and Tonks: I don’t…I don’t even…when do they interact? When did this happen? How am I supposed to even support this? Isn’t Lupin a million years old? A shabby sloppy old were-man? Isn’t Tonks a young hottie? Also, literally how f*cked up is it that everyone thinks Tonks is like mourning and blaming herself when actually she’s all, “Why won’t Lupin loooooooove me.” Dumb.
Lily and James: This one makes literally NO sense. Just because your BFF calls you a racial slur doesn’t mean you have to f*ck and then marry his bully. James sucks. Just because Snape somehow sucks even harder doesn’t mean that James’s dreamy green eyes override his TENDENCY TO BE THE WORST PERSON IN THE MAPPED UNIVERSE. (Second-worst.)
Are there any more? Actually, scratch that. If there are more I do not want to recall.
WHERE IS THE GODDAMN LOGIC.
SOMEONE FIND IT AND HAND IT BACK TO JOANNE
One, don’t just KILL CHARACTERS TO TRY TO MAKE YOUR BOOK SEEM SAD AND POWERFUL. A good writing strategy is definitively not, “Oh, guess what, the stakes are high. How do you know? Um, I’ll just…kill these 14 people. Who matter a lot to you nerds I guess. How crazy, it’s almost like I’ve emotionally manipulated you into building a devotion to these works of fiction for the entirety of your child and made a literal billion dollars off it! But this book has already been super boring? No time to mourn!!! Sorry! Whatever, bye!”
You can literally watch my progression into convincing myself that J.K. Rowling is a full-on real-life witch over the course of this review. And not a Hermione type of witch. A Wizard of Oz Wicked-of-the-West witch. A Salem witch trials witch. But CAN YOU BLAME ME. She’s a billionaire with nothing better to do than tweet about the project she keeps pretending she can move past!!! But she can’t!!! Because she keeps writing stuff! Is a billion dollars not enough? Can you release your stupid 90-page ebooks for not-money??? I am FURIOUS. And also sleep-deprived.
But back to the stupid stuff. Well, the other stupid stuff.
The sh*t that goes down in this book makes literally no sense at all. Dumbledore even says, “You and Voldemort have traveled into realms of magic hitherto unknown and untested,” which is really Joanne saying, “I have really f*cked up this time. Wow, I have no clue how this makes even a magical sense of logic of my own creation. Um, what if…can I just not explain it?”
Here’s one example of how dumb this is. Voldemort survives death continuously because there’s a piece of him in Harry, which supposedly “dies” when Harry dies. This is somehow the only part of Harry that isn’t, like, resurrected, but whatever. There is then in turn a piece of Harry (or Lily’s protection force-field thingy) within Voldemort, which is what keeps Harry alive. SO WHEN VOLDEMORT DIES, HOW DOES HARRY SURVIVE???? THIS MAKES NO SENSE NO SENSE AT ALL AND YES I REALIZE I’M THE TECHNICAL-ADULT TRYING TO READ LOGIC INTO WIZARD-DEATH BUT IF JOANNE, WHO IS A MILLION YEARS OLD, IS ALLOWED TO STAY IN THIS WORLD FOREVER THEN I’M ALLOWED TO DO THIS.
Fair is fair.
I am barely controlling the section of my Harry Potter-related fury that is dedicated toward the pond monster/anthropomorphized dumpster/human Port-a-Potty/damp sock that is called Severus Snape. (It actually makes up 84.6% of my Potter-anger, so you ain’t seen nothing yet.)
All I will say is that there is a Snape rant coming, but I am almost frightened to write it. I think when I start typing I may transform into some sort of anger-monster. In four stages. Duh. Like the cover of an Animorphs book.
I’m going to go drown my sorrows in A Very Potter Musical now.
Bottom line: The number one item on my bucket list is “get in an Internet fight with J.K. Rowling.”
AVERAGE SERIES RATING: 3.57 stars
QUESTION: Should I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child???