There are no spoilers in this post, but there are spoilers in the links.
I’ve been a Harry Potter fan since I was eleven. When I read the first two books, I didn’t even notice all the media attention they were getting. I remember finding an article about the series on an airplane and realizing that I wasn’t the only one who liked these books, and I remember how excited I was when someone told me there were going to be seven books in all! I read the first two books aloud to my younger sister, and then my dad read the third, fourth and fifth book aloud to us both. We could spend hours just discussing the details of the characterizations. Quidditch is the only team sport I’ve ever been enthusiastic about.
Granted, it’s been ten years. I’ve had other things on my mind. The first two movies were really disappointing, and the general media circus and people overanalyzing the importance of these books for society were well, overkill. And the fifth book was bad, which means the fifth movie could never be all that good.
Even so, after spending most of yesterday on my friend’s sofa, listening to very dramatic LotR soundtrack music and reading The Deathly Hallows (while she reread her own copy next to me), I can only say: I hoped that Rowling would tie up the loose ends to my satisfaction, and she really did. I don’t have time for a review at the moment, but I’ll refer you to:
Maya (mistful) : "I’ll never stop loving the thought of people in excited lines at midnight (…) I could never be anything but grateful." (Maya makes a lot of good points, particularly about character development, which I love to over-analyze)
Jenny Sawyer: "Unfortunately, Rowling did her readers a great disservice by making the story about Harry when it really should have been about Snape." (Wow, Snape’s life story would make a really good novel – not for kids, though)
Uma Damle: "All is well that ends with a well written book." (New favorite quote!)
Updated September 4th 2007: Catherine Bennet in the Guardian writes: "You feel that simply by cutting intra-paragraph repetition and the number of times she describes an angry Harry saying something angry angrily, Rowling and her editors might have saved 10,000 trees (…) Anyone who, as a child, never wanted a favourite book to end, must envy the Potter cohort a magical world that has grown by hundreds of pages a year; a world whose arrangements Rowling has depicted in such sublime, almost manically generous detail, that for 10 years her readers could more or less live inside it (…) Whatever happens in the last of these brilliant adventures may matter less, for the millions of children who grew up with Harry Potter, than the end of his companionship and with it, the end of their childhood."