This has always been my least favorite Harry Potter novel. There are several examples of bad decisions made throughout the series but the bulk of those bad decisions come in this book. Bad decisions were made by everyone but none more than Dumbledore. We don't see much of him in this novel but the bit we do see isn't great (imo).
Don't get me wrong. I still love this book. I still love this series. Maybe my overly negative view has more to do with the world we are living in right now than anything else. I mean Cornelius Fudge and Dolores Umbridge are refusing to see what's right in front of them because it doesn't fit their own personal agendas. Dealing with the truth is too scary for them. It sounds strangely familiar. Umbridge alone. Ugh. If you have read all of these novels and if by the end of them, you don't hate Umbridge more than Voldemort, you read them wrong. Go back and try again.
And Harry? He is unbearably arrogant and foolish in this book. About the only action of his I agree with is at the beginning when he snaps at Ron and Hermione because they are always bickering with each other. They are. They deserved to be snapped at. After that it's all down hill. Bad decision after bad decision. If we're being honest with ourselves, Umbridge is really the only person who actually hold Harry accountable for his actions. I don't agree with her methods but she's not really wrong. Yelling at teachers? Not following directions? Those are things you aren't suppose to do when you are the student. When other adults (McGonagall, Lupin, the Weasley's, etc.) all tell you to put your head down and just do what you're told, maybe you should listen to them. But no. Harry just barrels on and does whatever he wants. Maybe just do what you're told and let the truth come out on its own. That's kind of how I'm currently feeling about that stupid "PLANdemic" movie that people keep posting all over Facebook (Seriously, my friend list has been cut in half in two days). Eventually people will realize how stupid they look. And if not? Well, sometimes you can't fix stupid.
If I'm going to come to an overall conclusion about TOOTP, it's that maybe I'm the problem. It's entirely possible, I'm just reading this book at a bad time. This is the first time this series has failed me. I always read it when things get a little out of hand. I like the predictability. I like the characters. It feels normal to me. Maybe the bigger problem here is that normal is changing. Maybe the problem is I'm not willing to accept the change so I'm irrationally lashing out at a book. This is some pretty deep thinking for someone who is only through one cup of coffee this morning.
Read 4/24/2020 - 5/7/2020
I´ve been listening to this audiobook since November and I finally finished it. It was a reading experience that I didn´t particularly enjoy.
Stephen Fry´s narration is amazing, the story in itself is not and the only thing that saved this book from a worse rating is the narration.
My main problem with this book is that J.K. Rowling doesn´t know when to stop. In the first half not a whole lot is happening in regards to the actual story, it´s all about grumpy teenage Harry and Dolores Umbridge and just how horrible she is (which she truly is, but I don´t have to get it told over and over again). Almost 13 hours of this stuff is a whole lot to take. In the second half of the book the plot gets more variety, but I was so fatigued by the first half of the book that I didn´t care about the rest of it.
The good thing, however, is that I can use this audiobook for the Snakes and Ladders game as a book written by a woman.