So I finally got around to reading the Harry Potter series. I'm halfway through book 3, and overall, I like the HP books quite a bit. Sure, they're not exactly challenging literature, but they're a fun, easy read. I especially like the slapstick and other over the top humor (like, well, mostly anything dealing with Dudley Dursley) woven throughout the stories. It's mentioned casually, so it adds some more fun and interest without being all "ZOMG look kids Mr. Wonka ran into the Great Glass Elevator AGAIN! Let's pause to laugh!" The characters represent a good mix of personalities, and the main ones have some depth to them. The characters who don't seem to have much to them (e.g. Dudley the glutton and Percy Weasley the snooty goody two shoes) are at least entertaining.
Thus far, there's not much in the way of criticism for me to share. I don't really know why and I don't feel like delving into it right now, but it seems that the writing improves as the series goes on. (The only concrete klutzy first book writing example I can think of offhand is the accidental use of the same adjective in two very close sentences.) The reader will be reminded of events and motivations, which can be annoying to people used to keeping more complex books in order in their heads while reading, but I expect that sort of thing in young adult literature, and at least you're not beaten over the head with it.
Oh, here's a problem. Romance of the Three Kingdoms arrived today, and I couldn't keep myself away from it. I really do want to get my decentfic based on the Battle of Guan Du off the ground, and for that, I have to at least read through the first of the four volumes. And this isn't exactly speed-reading fodder. This will probably be a multiple reading sort of deal. w00t...study time!