Perhaps someone with a sense of humor just decided it had been way too long since we had any decent HP foolishness to mock? No?
Hey, bitterfen! I think it's great that you've decided the Harry Potter series was wonderful, awesome, splendid, deep and inspiring up to a certain point, and then abruptly and with absolutely no warning became awful, terrible, disgusting, wretched and disappointing with the release of a certain book. I understand that an author going from absolutely fantastic to absolute trash is by far the most likely explanation for your reaction, rather than anything having to do with your own expectations. I admire your brave and principled stand about how this one book turned something great into something awful. But there's a problem. I'm having trouble because you can't agree on which book it was!
Was Order of the Phoenix the beginning of the suckitude, with Sirius's death and that dumb ol' prophecy and everything getting dark and CAPSLOCK and no fun? Or was OotP awesome, but the sucking started with Half-Blood Prince, which was not dark enough and what happened to the prophecy and Harry's not miserable enough and he CAN'T like that awful little Weasley girl and WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SHIP?? Or was HBP also awesome, but the giant sucking sound appeared with Deathly Hallows, which beyond all expectation contained the Trio hunting Horcruxes and a mystery involving Snape and Dumbledore, instead of realizing whatever free-association "theory" about Slughorn having died in Dumbledore's place or whatever you dreamed up? It's really hard for me to join in all the bitterness when I'm not sure what to be bitter about!
But it's okay, it's okay, I think I've figured it out. Here's Peachespig's Rule of Entitlement: the first Harry Potter book that sucked was always the first one after you, whoever you are, got way too emotionally invested in an unreasonable outcome. Always.
I read books one through five when they were all readily available, with many months left before six came out. Because I could read those first five one right after the other, they felt more cohesive, and that sense of the books grew in those last remaining months. Book six felt like a slightly different reading experience, as did seven.
But bleeding-reeming hell! The lag between readings is the only reason for that! I get that new canon can feel like fanfiction if it's been a while since the last bit of canon material got out, but all seven books rang true to her style for me all the same.
The other reason that the last two books "felt like fanfiction" is that there had been enough time and enough obsessive theorizing that SOMEONE HAD WRITTEN AT LEAST ONE FIC IN WHICH AT LEAST EVERY MAJOR PLOT POINT POSSIBLE HAD APPEARED.
Heck, one of the first conversations I had in online fandom (this was two years pre-HBP) had to do with Voldemort hiding a piece of his soul in Harry's scar. Take that, JKR!
Snape loving Lily? Harry pining for Ginny? Dumbledore killed by Draco/Snape-who-really-did-it-because-DD-was-going-to-die-anyway? Read 'em all.
Except the Hallows. I don't think anyone saw those coming. ;-)
Could play into it. The only way I can really relate to that claim is through getting used to any new text about Harry and Sirius and so on coming from fanfic, so it's jarring for a moment to read about them in new canon.
That moment goes by pretty quickly. 1-5 are my nostalgia books, but I have no real complaints about HBP and DH.
Man, I groaned at first over Snape/Lily, but only because I associated it with its fans. Looking back, it was sorta hinted at in his worst memory and all that, so it shouldn't have been a surprise. It fits. I just like to think that part of his obsessing over her all that time was due to guilt over having caused her death, and not soley him never being able to let go of a high school crush.