I'm sad now...I finished book 7 today and the realization that it's the last one is very sad. The book was wonderful, though. By far the best yet! I was right about a few of my speculations, but there were a few twists that totally took me by surprise! I'll leave my thoughts on those in the MORE section so as not to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read or finished it yet.
Book 7 unlike the previous 6 cannot stand on its own though. Rowling wrote the first 6 in such a way to give enough information for you to know what's going on if you hadn't read the others, but not enough to bore you if you already read them all. Book 7, though makes reference to so many events from the previous 6 books that you really will miss out on quite a bit if you don't read the first books.
I still need to buy books 1 and 2 in hardback - I have all the others in hardback, but the first two I only have in paperback. I gave those to my father to start reading - let's see if he loves them as much as I do! I think I want to buy the DVDs as well. I haven't seen the newest out in the theater yet, though. I will eventually. I think now that the books are done I might go back and start reading them from #1 again after I finish school. I gave my father the set of C. S. Lewis books a couple years ago for Christmas and he gave me those to read. I think I'll see if I can get a couple of those read before school starts for the fall semester.
Okay...so now on to my thoughts on the book - I'll start backwards - I really like that Rowling gave us a look at the future of our friends nineteen years down the road and loved the names given to Harry and Ginny's children! I was curious to know who was the new head of Hogwarts, though. I thought for sure it would be someone we knew...it was very cool, though that Neville had become a professor, though!
I do think I need to read the speech Harry gave Voldermort at the end about the wands again, b/c I didn't quite understand why Draco was the rightful owner of the Elder Wand - he only would have been if he had actually killed Dumbledore the way Voldermort originally wanted - he didn't though, so how was he still the real owner of the Elder Wand, or did I read that wrong?
I assumed all along that Snape wasn't really on Voldermort's side...so that wasn't a surprise, but the fact that he did it all b/c of his love for Lily is something I didn't see coming. I know that previous books made reference to his affection to her, but I wouldn't have guessed the history they had and that at one point they had been best friends.
I also liked the that we were given the history of Dumbledore and his family, too. It was sad hearing about the losses the family experienced and reading about it brought tears to my eyes.
It was sad to lose a Weasley, but b/c there was so many of them I knew that eventually we would have to read about that loss. I was glad that Percy finally came around, though; but the turnaround of the Malfoy's wasn't expected. I still can't believe, even with the suggested friendliness of Draco to Ron and Harry nineteen years down the road, they truly turned. I think what is more accurate is that they were too afraid of Voldermort and "became good" to avoid prison or exile. I don't know...maybe they really did realize that life was better on the side of good - who knows?
It was sad to lose Snape after seeing all that he did, too. Seeing his thoughts, though answered many questions from previous books as to why Dumbledore had such a devout trust in him.
I really loved this book...and it's sad to see the series come to an end. When Emma is old enough I'll definitely read them to her.