Thursday, August 23, 2007

Harry Potter Review Contest—57 Winners

UPDATED to include readafew*

The winners of the Harry Potter review contest, picked by you! The reviews for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came pouring in—there were 288 by August 6th (the day the contest ended), and 364 as of right now!

As we said, the top six seven winners get a $50 gift certificate to Amazon, Abebooks, Booksense, or any independent bookseller. These were choosen because they were the reviews that got the most thumbs-up, using our new rating reviews feature. We intended to award the top five, but of course, there was a tie for second, so we're giving out seven top prizes, total.

Without further ado, the winners:

LadyN's review was by far the top ranked, with 28 "thumbs-up" when the contest closed (it's even higher now!). LadyN captures the book perfectly, I think, when she writes:
"In Deathly Hallows, Harry gradually finds himself without several things he has previously believed he relied upon, the truth growing ever more apparent that his true magic is drawn from friendship, loyalty, protection, courage and the pursuit of what is right."

The next five were all tied, with 19 thumbs-up votes.

sinister_wombat's review was less glowing, rating the book only 2 stars.** sinister_wombat found fault with the consistency of Rowling's world, and notes that: "Harry's quest for the hallows feels like a clunky story haphazardly thrown into the main narrative with no real point or purpose."

xicanti's review appreciated the way the entire series built to this final book, saying, "Many, many times, I found myself crowing with glee as a long-running plot point was summed up, or when one of my theories proved correct."

ablueidol's review sums it up by saying, "Expect that the story and the consequences are darker. Discover that loose ends from the various stories are tied up. And that all that glitters is not gold."

invisiblelizard, it appears, read the book through the night (as many of us did). The review notes that the "ending ... timed to coincide with the first rays of sunlight after a long night, felt warmer to me. Even with several main characters left on the floor."

Kerian's review celebrates the Boy Who Lives—"Filled with surprises as well as chapters that had me crying all the way through them, this is a book I will reread for decades to come. J.K. Rowling has created a marvelous series, full of love, tears, and laughter. Without a doubt, the Muggle world will never forget the name Harry Potter."

readafew's review was a great (and spoiler free!) journalistic commentary: "What? You want to know about Harry Potter? Sorry, I can’t answer any questions about on-going investigations...."

The other fifty winners were pulled randomly from all the members who both wrote a review and voted for others' reviews. It's kind of neat to see how many people participated all around.

These 50 winners get a free membership to LibraryThing*** and a CueCat for entering their books.****


Congratulations to all, and thanks for writing. These were truly fun to read.

*So we pulled the top winners by calculating the number of votes minus the number of flags against that review, as of Aug 6, when the contest closed. But it mistakenly counted flags against the review that had been applied *after* the fact, which counted readafew out. So thanks to all for setting me straight, and thanks to the Hogwarts Express crew, who noted the correct winners, waited patiently for me to blog this, *and* wrote a fantastic song... :)
**I think this allayed a lot of concerns about the "thumbs up" review voting feature—that people would only give positive reviews a thumbs up. Good job, folks.
***You've already got one? Pass it along to a friend!
****We're sending you a profile comment if you won, but if you have comments disabled, or if we miss you somehow but you see yourself listed here, then send an email to to claim your prize.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

So my nineteen thumbs didn't count I guess...

8/23/2007 3:37 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

the top thumbs are slightly different now - the winners were chosen based on the number of thumbs as of Aug 6th (when the contest closed)

8/23/2007 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abby I HAD 19, I actually had 19 on the 5th. I now have 22

8/23/2007 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll confirm the fact that readafew was tied for 2nd on the 6th - we were all chatting about it over at Hogwarts Express. (Incidentally many of us were also talking about how unique and creative read's review was!)

8/23/2007 3:55 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

I'm so sorry readafew. It's changed now, and you're included. As Christopher said, "This may be the best illustration that we have that the 'not a review' flag may be bogus..."

8/23/2007 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly appreciate it Abby, Thanks for taking a second look!

8/23/2007 6:28 PM  
Blogger Rob Szarka said...

Whee! I'll bet my back issues of Make have some interesting things to do with the CueCat...

/me laughs like a mad scientist

8/23/2007 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woohoo! :)

Glad you liked the song, Abby. :) Also glad readafew got their deserved recognition. Is there someway to delete the flag on their review? Whoever posted it must have been a poor sport, 'cause readafew's review was, as elbakerone put it, amazingly unique and very creative. I thought it was wonderful. :)

8/23/2007 6:49 PM  
Blogger gw said...

Totally not sour grapes here, because I won another cuecat which is what I was hoping for in order to give to my sister for her birthday... BUT... I would still stand behind those who may have flagged readafew's as "not a review." It was an immensely entertaining post, I'll be the first to say, but it told me nothing about the book and offered nothing along the lines of a review. It wasn't a micro-fanfic contest. You dig? Congrats nonetheless, of course, but surely even you can see how it's not actually a review, right?

8/23/2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this was a fun contest, thanks for having it.

If we won one of the 50 memberships, but are already members, how can we transfer it to a friend?


8/23/2007 10:12 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

Al - we're going to be sending you a gift membership via email. You can just forward it along to a friend if you'd like.

8/23/2007 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks abby! :) -al

8/23/2007 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A review's a review. Please be kind.

8/23/2007 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool, I won a Cue Cat. I don't need the free membership though, since I bought a lifetime membership, so if anybody wants it, let me know. I'll give it to the first person to leave me a comment asking for it (please make it a public comment so I don't get a bunch of people asking).

8/24/2007 12:16 AM  
Blogger gw said...

Anonymous - presenting a reasonable opinion is not unkind. You're right, a review is indeed a review. But a piece of narrative fiction, no matter how entertaining, is not a review. The dictionary definition in the case of books is: 6a: a critical evaluation (as of a book or play). What part of readafew's post presented any criticism (good or bad) or any evaluation?

Again, I'm not saying I disliked readafew's post. I myself voted for it and didn't flag it as "not a review." I'm just saying I understand where the people who DID flag it as such are coming from. Simply disagreeing with those people does not make you right and them wrong automatically.

If you'd like to discuss it further, please come out from beneath your invisibility cloak and chat directly :)

8/24/2007 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to support Greg and say that readafew's isn't a review. This isn't a criticism; obviously people liked it anyway. But it's not a review.

8/24/2007 11:51 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm inclined to agree with Greg. I didn't flag that review, but I don't consider it to be a review at all, never mind one of the best reviews for DH.

8/25/2007 12:33 PM  
Blogger Rhinoa said...

Cool I won something and I didn't even know there was a competition! Congrats to the others who were pulled from the hat and to those who got gift vouchers.

8/26/2007 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it isn't too selfish to ask, if you still plan on passing along your membership, I wouldn't mind staking a claim on it.

Being a grad student and all I don't quite have the money to spend on a membership although I would really like one.

8/29/2007 12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, I see you gave it to somebody else. Never mind.

That was very sweet of you.

8/29/2007 12:22 AM  

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