I finished book three last week, and skipped ahead to book four. Without blogging.
I think a part of the problem was that I just did not know what to make of book three. It really didn't come alive for me until the very end. The majority of the book went at a snail's pace and then it picked up to a breakneck speed. The whole thing left me feeling rather dizzy, to be honest.
For once, I actually liked the Muggle scenes in the beginning. His uncle's sister, while even more evil than Harry's guardians, is an evil that's believable. I personally have an aunt that would get on really well with that woman. And the panic and fear and hopeless that Harry felt in those first chapters was palpable. My stomach was in knots. And that continued throughout the book...I kept gasping and my eyes kept widening, and I repeatedly felt like I needed to vomit. And that's a credit to Rowling. But I loved the Knight bus. The Grim thing was confusing and I actually missed that Harry saw a dog before going on the Knight bus. For an actual motif, Rowling really didn't spend much time on descriptions and explanations when this dog actually showed up.
Now, as for James Potter and his croonies, I'm less than enchanted. If we're supposed to feel that Harry is justified in his downright hate of Draco who is a bully (though not physically abusive), then Snape had every right to kill James Potter and his ilk. Harry's father and his friends were a thousand times the bully that Draco is. They're prats and I don't care for any of them except Lupin. I quite like Lupin and feel that he was used as a tool for evil purposes by his friends.
The dementors. Oh, the dementors! One more thing on the long, long list of things Rowling 'borrowed' from Tolkien. Dead and shrouded the suck the joy out of their surroundings and can infect others. There's not an ounce of creativity in that. And I won't give Tolkien all of the credit because I have read fairytales with similar creatures, but almost every description used exact words, just paraphrased, that Tolkien used to describe the Ringwraiths.
The end was interesting, but weird. I'm truly still reeling. I didn't see the Scabbers thing coming at all. I had actually liked Scabbers. I truly, truly love the little grey owl that Sirius gave Ron as a replacement though. I want that owl. I have a spare cage.
I actually really loved the bit of Harry saving himself, and his in-real-time-self mistaking his time-traveling-self for his father. That was really poetic and beautiful, I thought.
Other than this, I think I can just safely say that I'm happy to be done with book three.