Julian, who is 16 and lives in Brooklyn, got right down to business when he got his copy Friday night. "I finished it by Sunday evening," he said. "I read in every spare moment, but it was a pretty busy weekend, so unfortunately I didn't finish in a day, like I did for the sixth book." Nine-year-old Rachel, from Duluth, Minn., had the same enthusiasm for jumping right in: "I read Harry Potter in two days. I read one chapter Friday night, and finished it Sunday evening." 15-year-old Tricia from Pittsburgh got the book at midnight and polished it off in 24 hours. "I liked it a lot," she gushed.
All our readers took satisfaction in Rowling's sense of closure for the series. "I liked everything about Deathly Hallows," Rachel said. "I wanted to know what happened to these characters I grew up with and love. But I'm sad that Fred, Lupin, Tonks, and Mad-Eye Moody died, I liked them. I'm really sad that Hedwig died, because I like animals. I'm glad that Snape turned out to be a good guy, but I'm mad at the same time, because my dad and I had a bet, and my dad was right."
Julian loved the ending, saying, "I'm glad no one super-important died, and I was very happy that Harry lived to kill Voldemort." He was less pleased, however, with Rowling's choice of epilogue. "I thought it was really corny, and all the names of the children were just cheesy. We never found out what any of the surviving characters went on to do, besides having children. I want to know what happened to Luna! How about McGonagall?"
Turning that last page left all our readers with mixed feelings. Julian said, "I was really sad when I finally held the book in my hands on Friday night. I've been waiting for it for a while, so it was really nice to find out what happens in the end." Tricia said she was "really glad" that all the key people lived, but said, "I was surprised that more people didn't die. I really thought she might kill off Ron or Hermione." And Rachel offered this comment: "I'm sad that the series is over, but am happy that Harry married Ginny. And if Hermione had died, I would have stared at a wall for the rest of my life."