|Title||:||mark reads harry potter and the order of the phoenix|
|Number of Pages||:||474 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
mark reads harry potter and the order of the phoenix Reviews
Mark Oshiro is generous and fierce. I hope he sometimes knows this.
I haven't reviewed any of the others in this series, but this was a special case. This book encapsulates why I'm reading something so odd: I'm experiencing this amazing series through someone else and watching their experience, and Mark's parallels my own very closely.I resisted reading Harry Potter for years, until one weekend my brother and I were visiting my mom. I finished the book I had brought to read more quickly than expected and had nothing left to read on hand (the joy of having a kindle today!). My brother had also gotten the Harry Potter board game, so they convinced me to read the first book so at the very least I could understand what was happening and then could legitimately say, "This isn't for me, now that I can actually legitimately say that."I read it in under a day and immediately asked for the next one. Like Mark, I thought it started off a bit silly and was almost actively looking for a reason to dislike it. Instead, my expectations were subverted, and I found myself loving these characters and wondering where this was going.I was similarly unimpressed with book 2 (this is turning into a book by book review....maybe I'll go back and add reviews to those if I get bored). I thought it was setting itself up to be episodic and formulaic, and was disappointed. Still, I was impressed with how Rowling wasn't flinching away from some truly disturbing themes that you don't see in kids' books. It was refreshing to see a childrens' author really respecting its audience and writing something I could really relate to.For this series on which I'm writing this review (a review of a review...how meta), it was engaging to read about an experience that mirrored my own: empathizing with being ostracized by your peers for being different. I didn't exactly talk to snakes, but it's amazing how quickly giving a presentation on geology to your 3rd grade class for show and tell (complete with an extensive mineral collection properly cataloged and displayed according to morphology) singles you out as a target for bullying (even within your own family, and I'm not talking about just the children). The third book was where I was hooked for life, partly because it coincided with the first death in my family: my paternal grandmother. It happened on Memorial Day weekend, 2001. We took off within hours to drive to Florida for my dad to handle things. Then it came out, in the following weeks, that my grandmother had been secretly managing what was pretty intense alzheimer's in my grandfather, who could then not really handle taking care of himself. We took off with no notice to go retrieve him and empty the house to prepare it for sale, moving my grandfather into our house temporarily (this circles back to relevance in book 5 again).I packed a suitcase of clothes and my small duffel from Space Academy (from which I had just returned a few weeks ago). I only packed one book, HP3, and my GameBoy, because I thought we were flying there and coming right back. As such, I think I read this book 4-5 times over the course of that week. For the longest time, it was my favorite, perhaps because of the comfort and escape it provided in dealing with this situation.Book 4 came later that year when we were retrieving my stepmom's parents' new boat from Maryland and bringing it back....via the ocean, in a storm. I spent most of my first read-through very seasick, but I remember having the same thoughts as Mark: This is not for kids anymore. Shit just got real. Wizard Hitler is back, how in the hell is every one of these characters I love going to get through this unharmed? Answer: they won't. Cedric is dead. No one is safe.This book was the peak of emotional engagement, both for Mark and myself. I had never had a book make me feel such an incredible range of emotions and trigger such rage and frustration and sadness. I had felt that helplessness butting heads with an authority figure who got off on exercising their power against the powerless: teachers with smug grins telling me I can't make up an assignment I missed; an assistant principal enforcing rules for their own sake when I was attacked by a group of students and didn't even defend myself; the same guy berating me for defending myself the next time (and thinking, "WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO, I LOSE EITHER WAY?!").And of course just being crushed by the death of Sirius, and beginning to truly understand the importance of character depth, complexity, and development. It was my first great example of how a character can begin and end as completely different people, and the importance of that journey being organic and relatable......and, of course, using this to set up a haymaker for your audience. Not done for its own sake, of course, but serving an integral role in both the plot and the development of the protagonist.Experiencing this all over again through the eyes of Mark really had a similar feeling of a punch to the gut. It's a unique way to recapture that same feeling I had over a decade ago, but now with so much more experience and perspective to augment it. In a way it's like reading the series in the first place....it seems pretty silly, and like throwaway entertainment, but it slowly opens up and reveals something much deeper.This book is definitely where Mark really opened up and embraced this project of "Mark Reads" or later "Mark Does Stuff" and came into his own. It's such a unique series in that respect, seeing this develop from literally a bet with a coworker about reading Twilight to something with a life of its own.
Another entertaining set of reviews by Mark Reads, each of which could pretty much be boiled down to copious keysmashes and repeated use of the phrase "sh!t is so real". And he's not wrong. I love Mark's description of the OotP itself: "This book is, quite simply, frustrating. The bad guys are clearly winning, the bullies are getting away with their fuckery, friendships are falling apart, angst is colliding with trauma and nothing feels right." (pg. 152) Yup. That's it. That's the book.Several of the reviews are chat logs with his friend Kasper. He's done this before, though here I feel he does it too often. It's somewhat balanced by the serious and revealing reviews in which he remembers and analyzes his own experiences with bullying and abuse.