I read the Harry Potter series years ago while I was in elementary school, and I've spent life since then being fascinated by the magic and joy these characters bring me and so many others. Last Fall, I decided to reread the books and see how different my experience would be ten years later. Knowing this, my friends and family bought me the book set for Christmas. I was so overjoyed; my heart knew I was in for another adventure.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I started a reread again. There's just something magical about adventuring with Harry, Ron, and Hermione during the holidays. Rereading this series in my twenties has been just as wonderful as it was when I was 10. J.K. Rowling has really managed to create a world that feels like home to me and millions of other readers.
After much debating with my fellow HP friends, I've decided that it'd be fun to do a ranking of the series. It's no secret that we love all the books, but there are some that we love just a bit more than the others...
7. Order of the Phoenix
Before rereading the books the Order of the Phoenix had been my favorite of the series. But after years of watching the movies and rereading the books I've come to find that this book is actually quite uneventful when compared to the others (mostly because it's a sort of transition into the Second War.)
In the Order of the Phoenix we come to understand that there is truly something uniting Voldemort and Harry. And while it's a terrifying discovery, it comes in handy (saving Arthur's life) but also at a cost (the loss of Sirius). This book may be an emotional rollercoaster, but there's no doubt that it's a pivotal moment for the series. Dumbledore's Army is formed and through it we see the strength of the students at Hogwarts. Oh and did I mention that the Battle of the Department of Mysteries is one of the coolest fight scenes in the series?
6. Chamber of Secrets
Five words: DOBBY IS A FREE ELF. Before reading the books a second time around, the Chamber of Secrets was at the top of my list. I enjoyed the plot twist that Rowling provided, and I also loved the battle scene between Harry, Tom Riddle, and the infamous basilisk. However, after rereading the books ten years later, I wouldn't say it's my favorite. While readers find out later in the series that the diary is a horcrux, it still seems a bit silly that a diary (and ultimately Voldemort) was the villain all along. Regardless, this novel is still so so so wonderful. Dobby AND a flying car. What's not to love?
5. The Goblet of Fire
The Goblet of Fire is fast-paced and offers shocking plot twists and a great and heartbreaking ending. The Quidditch World Cup, the Triwizard Tournament, and Voldemort's return... SO MUCH HAPPENS IN THIS ONE. There's nothing quite like this book; it's a roller coaster of suspense and excitement.
4. Deathly Hallows
There's no doubt that the Deathly Hallows deserves a spot on the top of the list. This book provides readers with all the feelings we could possibly know and want. By the end of the series we've laughed, cried, and everything in between. The deaths of Fred, Dobby, Tonks, and Lupin bring so much pain and shock that by the end of the series it feels like Rowling has eliminated almost all the characters that made this series the magic adventure that it is. Despite this, we also get to witness the deaths of Voldemort and Bellatrix, and as readers nothing is more rewarding.
Deathly Hallows is the end of an amazing journey. It gives readers an immense sense of closure and almost leaves us all wishing there was more. And did I forget to mention that Ron and Hermione finally kiss?
3. Half-Blood Prince
The Half-Blood Prince is, in my opinion, one of the best books in the series. Many complain that there isn't enough "sitting at the edge of your seat" action throughout the whole novel, but I think that's one of the reasons it's at the top of my list. This one lets you focus on the characters instead of the darkness even if it's just for a small while. Nonetheless, the Half-Blood Prince is definitely a warning that chaos is on the brink. You can see it in the way Slughorn is affected by his memory of Tom Riddle. You can see it in the way that Draco struggles with himself throughout the book. And you can see it in Snape's compliance with Dumbledore's plans.
By the time readers finish the Half-Blood Prince it's extremely difficult (and yet not at all) to believe that Snape could be capable of killing Dumbledore. While we later discover that Dumbledore was right to trust him all along, it's a huge blow and betrayal for first timers.
2. Sorcerer's Stone
The Sorcerer's Stone is undoubtedly one of the most magical books in the series. It's the beginning of our adventure, and what makes us, Harry Potter fanatics, fall in love with the wizarding world. The introductions of Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, and so many other characters into the series will always be iconic. That's what makes the Sorcerer's Stone the beginning of a magical ride.
1. Prisoner of Azkaban
I had never cared much for the Prisoner of Azkaban, but after rereading the series I know I was absolutely wrong. This is my favorite book, and in my opinion, the best novel of the entire series. The use of the Time-Turner and the introduction of Sirius and Lupin made this a standout novel and one to remember. No book has a more shocking turn of events than those that occur in the Prisoner of Azkaban inside the Shrieking Shack. This book had me on edge the last 200 pages; I could not put it down (even though I already knew the ending).
Have you read the HP series? Which are your favorites? Let me know down in the comments below!