>Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

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harry potter,goblet of fire,cover

Please keep in mind that due to the crazy popularity of the HP books and movies, I’m not going to be too cautious about spoilers here…

This has to be my favorite of the whole series. I’m going to try to go through the reasons coherently…

First, I love the huge plot of this book. THIS is really where the books start to be aimed at teenagers and not children. First off, there are a lot of new people introduced – Mad-Eye Moody, Crouch, Bagman, the foreign students and their respective headmasters, etc… The Tri-Wizard Tournament is a refreshingly new obstacle for Harry to face instead of the usual Quidditch games all year. And *here’s the big one* Voldemort’s intricate plan to come back. And come back he does. The big bad plan, which involved a Death Eater long-thought dead, is a really good plan and I remember being absolutely shocked the first time I read this book. Voldemort, in the end, is re-born and Harry narrowly escapes again. This book also features the first real death in the series (so definitely not light reading material for the youngest readers out there). There’s so much mystery and intrigue in this book, I love that.

Secondly, I love that the characters all feel so ALIVE in this one. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have never seemed so real, and I think it’s because they’re so emotional – they’re full-fledged teenagers now, and the extra drama is actually enjoyable. Hermione develops her passion for house-elves, Ron struggles with his possible crush on Hermione and with being poorer than his friends, and Harry (on top of everything else) also starts developing his crush for Cho. The drama and embarassment of trying to find dates for the Yule Ball was right-on. We get to see more of Sirius, and his obvious care for Harry. And Dumbledore is amazing here – smart, quirky, but ready to stand in a blaze of glory and fight for what he believes is right.

Third, I love the underlying themes in this one. We once again have the tension between the magical races – we find out that house elves are treated horribly all over, that giants are hated and feared, and of course there’s the pure-blood versus Muggle-blood prejudices. All portrayed very well, and we get to see a very strong speech from Hagrid about the importance of being happy with yourself and never mind what other people say. We see Hermione battling with Rita Skeeter over her malicious and false reports. Harry and Cedric are constantly trying to remain courteous and helpful to each other throughout the entire Tri-Wizard Tournament. There’s just so much more happening, and all the personal dramas and conversations between characters are so worth the time and book-length.

And of course, even though it doesn’t necessarily end happy, it ends with the feeling of getting ready for a big fight, which means you can’t wait to go on to book #5. I know I can’t :o)

Sarah Says: 5 stars!

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3 comments

  1. >I totally agree that this book was the first to really make me think that it might not just be aimed just at children. I remember reading it just after its release like a good obsessed Potter maniac, and I think I was kind of surprised at the dark turn that it took. Now that I think about it, this is probably my second-favourite book in the series (my favourite is the one that precedes it).

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  2. >For me the series definitely took a turn for even more awesomeness in the 4th book. While I loved the first 3 books, it was really book 4 that cemented my undying love for the series.

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  3. >+JMJ+ When I was reading the series for the first time, I didn't like this book very much–probably because it was breaking out of the Middle Grade box far too much. I did a reread of the entire series recently, however, and I think it's my new favourite! I think the way Rowling uses it to bridge the more innocent early books and the darker following books is quite masterful! Yes, I have some plotting issues (which is to say I think we could launch a space shuttle through a certain plotting device, with room to spare), but I find it doesn't really bother me, when weighed against the other awesome elements of this book. =)

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