I think out of the whole series, I’ve read this one the least number of times. Aside from the usual ‘reread all the prior books before the new one came out’ I would also try to reread the book again before seeing the movie. For whatever reason, the movie release of Half-Blood Prince really snuck up on me, so I think this is only the 3rd time I’m reading this story. For that reason I think this is the one I was the most excited to read again. Here’s my review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
What’s interesting here is we get a whole lot of information. We learn about Voldemort’s history and the ultimate course of action Harry must take to defeat him. By breaking up the pieces across the whole year and a number of memories, we are able to get the whole picture without feeling like it takes too much effort to keep up.
My favorite thing about this book though is the relationships. It almost seems silly, for the characters to get worked up over who’s dating who…but it makes it seem more real. If everyone was only going to focus on the war with Voldemort, we wouldn’t care about them. Plus how can you not smile when Ron, who is willing to journey with Harry whatever comes next without hesitation, does not want to cause a scene by breaking things off with Lavender. It’s real and funny and those scenes are the ones that help keep things from getting too dark.
I love this book for the balance. We are fully aware how serious the situation in the wizarding world is. By giving us other aspects of the characters to care about, it doesn’t feel like we’re getting dragged down by it. I give it five out of five stars.