Well I finished the book last night. I think this is the best book of all. It made me laugh and it made me worry and it made me cry.
The first tears shed were for the loss of Hedwig. That one hurt. The second tears were for Dooby. I had to put the book down I just couldn't go on at that point. Then Fred!
I was on the Blue Line Train to my sisters and I again had to stop because if I had kept reading it would have been embarrassing to be openly crying on a crowded commuter train.
I found no part of the book boring or wordy as some have said.
The entire middle part where Harry, Ron and Hermoine are on the run and living in the magical tent I found to be very informative. The fight between Ron and Harry was really well done, and the fact that these two are so close and shows just how to guys can be so close they are almost one, without all the nonsense about them being gay is thrust upon them. I was very happy with the way this was done and also watching the relationship between Ron and Hermoine develop over the course of the story.
The battle scenes were so well written that I could plainly see it in my minds eye, and of course everyone looked like they do in the movie. McGonnigal is a hoot in this book. I can hardly wait to see Maggie Smith doing these scenes.
The chapter where Harry goes to meet Voldemort and does not offer any resistance was kind of strange, but of course I did not know at that point what was coming. The last couple of chapters are paced like a runaway train. Just kept me riveted to the book and could not put it down. I was hoping for that big final battle between Harry and Voldemort and I was not let down. I knew that at some point Neville was going to be very important in the final resolution, and was not disappointed there either.
The so called Epilogue was wonderful. I had been told that this part would be the toughest to get through but I am pretty sure I was being misled by friends who had finished and did not want to give away the very happy ending. I loved it and yes I did cry, but they were tears of joy, not sadness. I was right about Snape and that made me very happy. Glad that Draco and his parents survived as well, it just makes for a balanced world to have both good and evil present.
The hardest part about the epilogue was that we do not know what happened to George (he was an identical twin, and the surviving twin is always damaged after the death of his second self), McGonnigal (is she still alive after 19 years and if so, is she now permanent Head Misstress of Hogwarts?), who is the new Dark Arts Teacher, What does Harry do for a living (I always thought he would teach at Hogwarts as the Defense Against the Dark Arts), what became of Percy and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and a few other loose ends that were not mentioned.
But that said, overall when all is said and done, J. K. Rowling gave us...
what we wanted. A very exiting and satisfying book in the end. And yes, I would love to continue on with the children of our band of heroes (and villains like the Malfoys) and see what mischief they get themselves into. She did say this was the end of Harry's story, but.........