HBP: PART DEUX! ACTION!
1. I really hate the amount of girl-on-girl hate in this book. Whether it’s between Hermione/Ginny and Fleur, Lavender and Hermione, or Pansy and EVERY SINGLE OTHER GIRL IN THE CASTLE, it’s just so overwhelming and annoying. A lot of the “real-life teenager” aspects of JKR’s books are a little over-the-top and not that well-written. Add that to the fact that she has lingering resentment towards girls who were mean to her in school (which I’ll talk more about later during the epilogue of the 7th book) that colors the way she writes some of her teenaged female characters, and it’s just really, really fucking annoying to me. This is a magical fucking world; do you really need to keep perpetuating the same tired old gender stereotypes?
2. There has only ever been one thing in the entire series that has made Harry consider skipping a Quidditch match: Draco Malfoy. Seriously….between his epic bromance with Ron, the disturbing amount of times he thinks Tom Riddle is handsome, and his obsession with Draco Malfoy, can you really blame people like me for picking up on these totally fucking homoerotic undertone? It’s not just wishful thinking; I’m practically drowning in gay subtext over here.
After the jump, read more about Dumbledore’s time-wasting, potentially awesome monsters, and stupid relationships…
3. I’ve always been really confused about how the plot of this book works. The main plot is that Dumbledore is showing Harry memories that help him understand the boy, man, and eventual monster that is Tom Riddle/Lord Voldemort. Of course we find out later that all of this is very important for understanding what the Horcruxes are and where they might be hidden. But here’s what I don’t get. Harry is given the task of getting the unaltered memory from Slughorn, the memory that will tell them what Horcruxes are and that Voldemort found out what they are. Why does Harry need to do this? Dumbledore has been searching for Horcruxes since before the school year started; he’s already destroyed one of them! He obviously knows what a Horcrux is and what Horcruxes Voldemort created. He also obviously already knows all the shit that he shows Harry. Why the fucking shit is he wasting time making Harry get this memory? It’s like, the one thing in the whole series that Dumbledore is stern with Harry about, and it’s a totally nonsensical thing! I understand that if we didn’t have these memories in the books we’d basically have a super-short book that is really boring. But even WITH the memories, Dumbledore does a shit-ton of talking—telling rather than showing which is almost always a weaker kind of writing. There’s a reason so many people—myself included—say that this book doesn’t really have a plot.
4. “I need to see what Draco Malfoy is doing inside you”—real words in this fucking book. I REGRET NOTHING IN REGARDS TO SAILING THE DRARRY SHIP.
5. Harry would make a way better overlord than Voldemort: “[The Horcruxes] could be anything?…They could be old tin cans or, I dunno, empty potion bottles…” That would actually be, you know, smart. But Voldemort is so fucking into himself that he has to make his Soul Jars the most obvious shit EVER.
6. I’ve always been disappointed by how underused Inferi were. They were so chilling and I always felt like the build-up for them was subtle but persistent, I thought it was going to build up to more. But after the sixth book they all but disappear. Think about the terrifying things that could have been done with Inferi; imagine the bodies of all the people Harry lost being used against him. Scary. Shit. So disappointed.
7. I will say that I think the scene where Harry has to force-feed Dumbledore the potion in the cave is one of the most emotionally powerful, well-written things in any of the books. But just one thing bothers me: couldn’t Harry have just pointed his wand at Dumbledore’s mouth and used the Aguamenti spell? It might not have worked but it was worth a try, especially when the alternative is touching the scary dark water with the dead bodies in it.
8. PEOPLE. REALLY? HOGWARTS WAS JUST FUCKING ATTACKED BY DEATH EATERS AND DUMBLEDORE JUST FUCKING DIED AND YOU’RE ALL FUCKING TALKING ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIPS? This part….where Mrs. Weasley accepts Fleur as her daughter-in-law and we finally discover what Tonks’ problem is has always been so fucking annoying to me. It just feels so awkward, abrupt and inappropriate. I just really, really hate the way Tonks is written in HBP. Actually, this whole damn book seems to suggest that relationships turn women into ridiculous emotional messes who just don’t know how to act. And we’re given the most bullshit hand-wave ever from McGonagall when Lupin points out how NOW IS TOTALLY NOT THE TIME: “Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world.” Be that as it may, this is still not the fucking time, omg, I hate when JKR writes romance. Just fucking stop. You suck at it.
9. Imma say it. Imma be one of those people. I. Do. Not. Like. Harry/Ginny. And it’s not because I don’t like Ginny (because rereading as an adult has made me like her a lot) or because it’s not my OTP or because I think Harry’s gay (even though I totally do think he’s gay) or any shit like that. It’s because this fucking relationship comes out of nowhere. So many people get Strangled By The Red String in this book! Like, okay, Ginny was obsessed with Harry for like a thousand years then she stopped being a shy little weirdo around him. Then all of a sudden he just can’t stop thinking about her hair and he has this RIDICULOUS goddamn chest monster (read: boner) and there are REPEATED references to his private fantasies about Ginny and it’s just ridiculous.
So there you have it, my critique of Half-Blood Prince! This book was so much easier than OotP, like…seriously. Even with all the problems I have this was still a much more enjoyable book mostly because Harry isn’t such a douchewad. (He’s still kind of a jerk but not nearly as much.) Starting Book 7 is pretty exciting seeing as I’ve only read it twice since it came out. I don’t have the same level of (insane) familiarity with it so I’m interested to see what I may or may not catch! As always, if you have any questions, concerns, contributions, or anything, please comment below!