Okay, so this should have happened in June, but as I explained before I've only been able to look up films for these. That said, this is one of the rare exceptions for this series of Anniversary reviews: A Book.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix turned 10.
This is the book that ruined a generation. Where were you when you heard that Sirius Black died?
I was at my kitchen table at five in the morning with the giant tome open in front of me. I had been gobbling up J.K. Rowling's latest installment of what was quickly becoming my favorite book series. While I had so much fun reading the first four, this one was filling me with a sense of dread. Not just because I was warned that something was going to happen (I'm lucky I wasn't spoiled farther than that), but because while Rowling's whimsical sense of humor is still on display, shit was getting real (pardon my language).
First off, Dolores Jane Umbridge. Just typing that name makes me want to retch and take a shower. This is the first literary character that I've actively despised to the point where I wanted to reach into the book and cause her violence. Hell, I still do every time I read this book. If that's not a powerful villain, I don't know what is.
This is also when we begin to really see our main character growing up. Their thoughts, adventures, everything is much more adult here than in the previous books.
Of course, ever since Prisoner of Azkaban, I've adored Sirius Black as did many other readers. His death shocked us to the core because of how unexpectedly it happened, as well as how quick and mysterious it was.
Really, what happened beyond that veil? What was that thing, and how did it kill Sirius? It was so confusing that the film version made the last spell to hit him Avada Kedavra instead of a normal Stunning Spell. Of course this kind of contradicts whatever the point of the veil was, but that's a topic for another time.
Most people tend to list this on as either their most favorite or their least favorite. It's sort of in the middle for me because while I think it's one of the best written in the series, it is ultimately too depressing for me to put at the top.
But at least we get Dumbledore's Army.