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You should never put off eating chocolate, because it might melt - and you should never postpone reading anything, especially Harry Potter. We here at LAist are humbled by the shocking aftermath of our decision to put off reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for a week. It came as a surprise to no one, especially ourselves, that when you wait to do something, you might not have time to do it.
Sure enough, the designated Saturday we had set aside for Potter persual was rudely invaded by a variety of delays in our work (yes, we work on Saturdays) and our YA-fest was curtailed. We had to finish reading it before our friends got home to mock us, and the last
three chapters were unfortunately accelerated.
That said, we have now read, and re-read, and re-re-read, the aforementioned and heretofore-referrred-to-as HPATHBP. We give it a full four Hogwarts houses out of a possible four - and though we know this is against Potter doctrine, we think it might be our favorite so far. Although Rowling's style is showing its threadbare spots (the word "highly," the ellipsis, and the gasping character are all overdone) her plotting has never been better, and her systems of slowly divulging information never more compelling. HPATHBP moves back and forth between flashbacks where Dumbledore and the Pensieve show Voldemort's past, and Harry's busy, troubled sixth year at Hogwarts. There is more snogging. There are more deaths. And the Bildungsroman of Potter has finally got Built. The boy has become a man, sexually and Quest-ually.
HPATHBP has all the splendid suspense of The Empire Strikes Back or The Two Towers - a good cliffhanger and a good villain. We can only hope that the upcoming Goblet of Fire flick is equally satisfying, but without Alfonso Cuaron directing, we won't hold our breath. (We're sorry, Mike Newell - we love Four Weddings as much as all the other chicks, but Mona Lisa didn't make us smile.) Our final advice to all you Potterers out there is to never let anything come between you and your books. Nothing, especially not work, is worth escaping escapism.