Okay, I realised what was missing from the last post, and it was my overall reaction to the book. I think in order to understand that, though, you have to understand what OotP was to me.
In retrospect, I was really wound up about OotP. I tried not to have a lot of specific ideas of what to expect, though of course I did, but my one great expectation was that JKR was going to surprise me. There would be a unique and brilliantly creative plot which nobody had predicted. There would be a fabulous and unexpected twist at the ending.
And it didn't happen. It just plain flat-out didn't happen. Instead we got a stupid prophecy, which half the fandom had predicted, saying that Harry and Voldemort were going to have to fight to the death, which the entire fandom, including most of the lunatic fringes, had predicted.
Even finding out what the Order of the Phoenix was -- a secret Voldemort-fighting group established by Dumbledore -- wasn't at all surprising.
Adding injury to insult, she killed one of my two favorite characters.
I can't say I disliked the book. Parts of it were enjoyable. But to this day, I haven't gotten around to reading it more than about three times. Compared to the number of times I've reread the rest of the series, that number is just pathetic.
Part of my reaction was that OotP was the first book that had come out since I'd discovered fandom. I had devoted way more obsessive thought as to what it would be like than to any of the the previous books. I had built it up onto a pedestal from which it could hardly help but fall.
This book, I went into differently. I had my ideas about what would or would not happen, yes, but I wasn't really attached to them at a visceral level. I was really surprised, actually, about how not-worked-up I managed to remain. So I got the book, read it through, but on some level I kept the attitude of, okay, whatever. JK's human, the book will go however it goes, and I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the ride.( Extremely vague spoilerish material; totally safe to read, but cut just to be on the safe side )
It'll be interesting to see reactions -- my own and others' -- to book seven. I'm a little afraid right now that I may not be able to maintain this nice detachment, but I guess I've got a couple of years to work on it. :g: