Spoiler alert - if you haven't read the book, don't read this entry.
I ordered the book from Amazon with guaranteed delivery on the publication date, but I ended up going to the bookstore that morning and picking up a copy so I could get started on it. I figured that with two copies of the book, B and I wouldn't have to share.
I started the book somewhat reluctantly - it was the last time I'd be opening a Harry Potter book for the first time. But then once I started reading, I didn't want to put the book down. Fortunately, the kids spent the night with their grandmother, and I spent the day in bed with a migraine, so reading conditions were perfect. I traded calls with my sister and my boss at Holt, each of us answering the phone saying, "I haven't finished; don't tell me what happened," instead of hello.
Bottom line, the book didn't disappoint. There are certain parts that just didn't fit. The whole section inside the Ministry getting the locket from Umbridge was a bit contrived, and the bit in the middle as Harry and Hermione wander the country not doing much of anything dragged on. But oh, having Dobby die was just too much for me. I cried. I also cried that one of the Weasleys and Lupin and Tonks died. That just wasn't fair.
But I was thrilled that Neville got to be a hero at the end. His character developed so much through the series, and I'm glad Rowling let him shine.
The final showdowns between Harry and Voldemort was somewhat anticlimactic though. Once I knew Harry had survived the scene in the forest, I knew he'd make it through the final battle without a problem. It was just a question of how it would happen.
One final bit that didn't sit well with me was having Harry and Ginny marry. I always saw Ginny and Neville marrying each other. And I pictured Harry and Luna together. But the final line of the book was just perfect. As was having Harry name his son for Dumbledore and Snape. As nasty as Snape was, I always knew he wasn't a bad guy, even after he killed Dumbledore. I was so glad to be right about that one detail.
And Rowling's revelation about Dumbledore's being gay - didn't bother me in the least. I kind of shrugged and said, "Hmmm. Interesting," and let it go at that.