Wayward Kitsune

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré For the full review, please visit Thoughts and Pens

Finally, the second to the last installment of the boy wizard’s amazing story. I’ve read this book ages ago but I can’t stop re-reading it especially these fast few months. I am terribly missing Harry and the gang.
You must probably know by now (if you’ve read my past HP book reviews) that I intend to finish reviewing all the Harry Potter series because I owe him big time. Anyway, this is the second to the last HP that I’m going to review and I’m definitely moving read another series. (Watch out for that one)
To start with, the Half-Blood Prince currently holds the number 4 spot of my favorite Harry Potter sequels with Prisoner of Azkaban holding the top spot. I have mixed emotions about it, not in a negative way though. I don’t know whether I’d be happy with it or be heartbroken when JK finished one of my favorite characters. That’s a spoiler, I know, but it’s necessary to be able to convey my review for this book.
Going into the specifics, there are a lot of things I like about HBP. Number one is that JK Rowling didn’t fail to give us another jaw-dropping twist and mystery in this book that by the end, I was breathless like a trout out of water.
Second, it answered some of the questions that have been hanging in books 3, 4 and 5 but leaving a slight cliffhanger at the end...just enough to make everyone happy and thrilled to read the last book.
Third, the oozing teenage romance of our young heroes made my heart flutter and my stomach queasy with anticipation. And I totally admire that JK portrayed it in a funny, wholesome way unlike some other books out there that takes advantage of the whole romantic angle in an attempt to save the book.
Fourth, I love how JK Rowling chose HBP for tracing Tom Riddle’s life history. It was very well timed and did not feel like the whole Riddle’s story was inserted to make the pages longer.
Fifth, JK Rowling’s consistency with the characters, their interactions, and dialogues have always been a reason to look forward in reading and re-reading the books. There was never a time that I didn’t smile every time a sarcastic remark or a punch line is delivered. And to emphasize this, I love the new character introduced in this book, Professor Slughorn. He’s an outrageous, overenthusiastic glutton that dots on Harry every opportunity that he got. Maybe an older version of Colin Creevey?
Sixth, I just love everything about HBP: the more serious tone, Harry’s obsession with what Draco’s up to, Slughorn, Harry’s unashamed credit taking for his new potion brilliance (at least he’s being authentic. Ha!), Ron’s newly found hobby (snogging in public), Harry’s moment of finally finding the right girl (spoiler), the lessons with Dumbledore, and Riddle’s life being dissected. But there's one thing that made me mad about this book. WHY? WHY does Jo need to be sadistic in taking something that we all learned to love? Isn’t it enough that we are completely in pain for Harry’s past? Isn’t Harry’s past losses painful enough to feel the need to strike him with another blow? *sighs and cries*
To wrap this review, HBP is an excellent spectacle to set the stage for the final book. It tidied up the loose ends from the previous books without spoiling your hunger for the next book. A must-read even for the most reluctant HP readers out there.