Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!! The one the size of a refrigerator!
I think this book would have been my answer to "Have you ever disliked a book, only to love it now." On my first read through of the book, it was painful. Should it have instead been titled "Harry Potter and the Teen Angst"? After having reread this installment several times, I now think it is one of the most brilliant of the 7. Sure, I don't relish all of Harry's negative feelings, but it's also about dang time that the poor guy had a bit of a breakdown. He has had the most powerful evil wizard (since Grindelwald) trying to oust him since he was 15 months old. That would put anyone into some serious therapy!
Understandable angst aside, I love the layers within this book. Umm, hello? Neville Longbottom? No spoilers, but if you know then you know 🤯 OotP also has my favorite villain - Professor Umbridge. Another gem I read long ago explained why so many people hate Umbridge over Voldemort; it all comes down to the ability to relate with Umbridge more than Voldemort. Voldemort was a manifestation of evil itself…which is almost too broad to grasp. Whereas Umbridge…we've all had an Umbridge in our lives. This book made my younger self feel seen.
Some other faves from this book: LUNA! TONKS! The comradery of DA & the bravery shown by all. On a sentimental note, The Order (& even DA) gave Harry the large bustling supportive family he has always wanted.
Specific ties to it's counterpart arc (Prisoner of Azkaban): Sirius Black, Dementors, Buckbeak, Snape's relationship to the Marauders, Professor Trelawney. I'll talk more about these at the end of the month, but you can DM me if you just can't wait haha
Tomorrow is Half-Blood Prince and Friday are the movie versions with themed recipes! Until then, blame the #nargles.