Traditionally, Order of the Phoenix has been my least favorite Harry Potter book. But maybe this time around, with exam anxiety looming large, I found myself highly enjoying (or at least amused by) Harry’s A.N.G.S.T.
In short: Harry is a hormonal teenager. He’s angry about the fact that no one is letting him in the loop about the revival of the Order of the Phoenix, the anti-Voldemort league. He’s angry that Dumbledore seems to be avoiding contact with him. Meh, he’s just kind of moody in general (and they say girls are bad!). He keeps having strange dreams, while trying to ward off a threateningly saccharine and disturbing new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. All while trying to stay safe from the returned Lord Voldemort.
There were so many times when I would just snap, “Shut your DAMN MOUTH, Harry,” or “Harry, STOP,” or “Harry, you’re STUPID.” Clearly, if I have boy-children, I am going to be such a loving and supportive mom. Ahem…Harry. My husband believes Rowling got the teenage angst absolutely down (from the male perspective). I just kept. rolling. my. eyes.
I will say that the introduction of Dolores Umbridge was genius. Listen, we’ve all had an Umbridge in our lives. She’s a maddening figure. The girlish laugh, the garish trappings, strange rules, and power-hungry moves. They are frightening in a different way from the obvious evil that is out there in the world. So I found the Weasley twins’ final stand to be completely satisfying and delightful, along with Umbridge’s comeuppance.