The thing about me is that I am teeming with hot takes.
All of my thoughts: controversial. My opinions: unpopular. Simply put, my takes are hot.
If I were alive in late seventeenth century Salem, I have to imagine I’d be hanged for my witchdom. (Fun fact: They did not burn the witches.) I have to imagine that both because a) I am constantly yelling about things and people do not like it, and b) if you were a young woman in Salem in sixteen ninety whatever and you WEREN’T on trial for being a witch, you must have been lame af. In this narrative in which I live a few miles over and three hundred years earlier, I would quite literally rather die than be some non-witch nerd. Ugh.
Anyway, one of these opinions that is both completely factually right, because I am always right, and devastatingly controversial: my thoughts on the Harry Potter series. Which is the following:
The Harry Potter books aren’t that good.
Go ahead. Yell at me. THEY DIDN’T BELIEVE GALILEO EITHER, GUYS. THEY SAID “HEY DARWIN, YOU NERD, STOP LOOKING AT BIRDS. EVOLUTION ISN’T REAL AND WE ALL JUST APPEARED HERE.” I am a mashup of every right person that people thought was wrong, and also a very cool Salem witch because of reasons already expressed just let me have this okay!!
Okay, so. I suffered through all the Harry Potter books. My prize is that now I get to rank them. (Insert little purple smiling emoji demon, because that is one of my 2 favorite emojis currently but I won’t actually insert it because it doesn’t fit the aesthetic.)
Let’s do this! Beginning with the worst and working our way up through the varying degrees of “just okay.”
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Rating: ✦✧✧✧✧ Review: here
#7 in the series and #7 in our hearts. (Except more like # negative infinity.)
You know a book is bound to be good when the A Very Potter Musical summary of it is way more amusing, entertaining, and unique and also a hundred million thousand times more succinct.
Honestly I will always be grateful to this book, because I almost grew feelings and was almost going to be sad about finishing this series. And then this million-page monster came along, destroyed everything, and reminded me that nothing is good so there’s no point in being sad about endings anyway.
The romantic pairings are very bad. The plot is comically boring. All the characters are awful and it’s just The Harry Show for a million years (the actual length of this book). There is no logic whatsoever. It’s just a very terrible book if you take the nostalgia and the emotional manipulation and the sadness (never heard of it) away.
Also Snape sucks.
6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Rating: ✦✦✧✧✧ Review: here
This one was VERY fun because I had briefly managed to trick myself into thinking that this reread was going to be one hundred percent happy-happy-joy-joy and then this book came along and laughed in my face. “Ha ha,” said this book. “You fool. You absolute idiot. Nothing is good in this world and how dare you ever forget it.”
And then it spent a few hundred pages being mildly poorly written and boring and stagnant and Hermione-less and was on its merry way.
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Rating: ✦✦✦✧✧ Review: here
THIS BOOK IS SO LONG. Can you believe it? 870 pages. That’s the most unnecessary thing I’ve ever heard. This is like, the book that is supposed to represent the full 180 this series took from middle grade to YA, but honestly more like the 180 from “at least short, mercifully” to “long and f*cking boring.”
Just kidding. With some (one) exceptions. (One exception.)
Anyway this book is very long and half very good and half very bad. It perfectly encapsulates what is to come with the remaining two books.
4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Rating: ✦✦✦✦✧ Review: here
This was pretty entertaining but also very imperfect. And also it’s middle grade as hell and a) you guys know how I feel about middle grade and b) middle grade always just gets lighter ratings. Because they’re light books. They are, simply put, Not That Deep.
Then this series has to go and f*ck it all up but that’s another thing.
3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Rating: ✦✦✦✦✧ Review: here
Harry and Ron are super annoying in this one. The depiction of women varies from very awesome to not at all awesome. Snape continues to exist. Some things just absolutely full on don’t make sense.
But also there was a lot of worldbuilding (my favorite thing about this series) and the plot could be generously described by some as “exciting” and that is truly just about the most you can ask for with this series.
2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Rating: ✦✦✦✦✦ Review: here
THIS IS THE ONLY BOOK YOU’RE ALLOWED TO CALL GOOD BASED ON NOSTALGIA ALONE. Because I said so, and because it’s the only time I did that and only my opinion matters.
Anyway I read this book in a sitting at Christmastime-ish and it was really delightful. I have no real complaints about it, except that Snape continues stubbornly to be something I have to deal with.
But seriously you guys – this is just a really good children’s book. Nothing to spend decades obsessing over in my sweet, 100% correct opinion.
1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Rating: ✦✦✦✦✦ Review: here
Okay. Here it is. The ONLY book in this series actually worthy of obsessing over and the only one that I truly actually really love. In an “ended-up-on-my-all-time-favorites-list” type of true adoration.
Anyway. This is just a really good book in terms of characters and character development. And literally the only good one at actually displaying emotion that isn’t emotional manipulation.
I love it a lot.