I just want to outline a few things before I get started on this review. Since starting my re-read of the Harry Potter series, the author (who I am not naming) has expressed certain views which I do not share. I used to think she was this amazing person when I was a kid, but as an adult I am starting to see that she is an awful person. That being said, I am separating her views from reviewing these books. Her opinions are being held separately from my re-reading and reviewing of these books. So, while I may say that the writing has approved, or the character development is shown in these books — I am not praising her as a person. I will never support anything else this author publishes, and I refuse to buy any Harry Potter products again — I am not going to give this author more money. This author doesn’t deserve any royalties from any Harry Potter licensed product or book (I really do need a new copy of Order of the Phoenix, but I refuse to buy a new book). Now onto the review!
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards.
And in his case, different can be deadly.
I didn’t like this book as a kid, I think it was my least favourite one side from Chamber of Secrets. Reading this book as an adult I’m picking up on so much more. As a kid I didn’t appreciate the growth the author has in the writing style. I snorted in laughter and at the humour sprinkled throughout which I enjoyed much more this re-read. A lot went over my head as a kid, I think, but now as adult I can appreciate it a lot more. I forgot how dark this book got… Having a tournament where kids face a dragon, then must search for something at the bottom of a lake… And then throwing them into a maze filled with god knows what. That’s pretty messed up to me. Then again, it is Hogwarts so *shrugs*
This book could have done with more editing. From here on out, the books could have used some fine tuning with edits, especially in terms of word choices. I got tired of seeing the words “beetle” and “ferret/ferreting.” I understand that the author was referring to specific moments that occurred in the book, but it was getting ridiculous. I can tell that the author’s writing got better, the sentences flowed better, there was less repetition, and she was playing around with her word choices compared to the first three books. That being said, I like the author’s writing style, it keeps getting better and the plots are getting more complex with more intricacies sprinkled throughout.
Can we just take a minute to appreciate Harry and Sirius’ relationship develop and grow in this book? It warmed my heart that Harry finally has an adult he can confide in. I love their relationship, even if it was cut short… I’m such a fan of Sirius Black!! He is one character I wish we could see more of.
This is the turning point in the series for me. We’re introduced to more darker themes in this one, with the obvious one of Voldemort’s return. We learn about Death Eater’s for the first time who are followers of Voldemort. I posted this on my Instagram when I got to the part at the end of the book, and I’ll post it here too.
I got emotional over Cedric’s death. The way it was described… just had me feeling everything. I wasn’t even this emotional the first time I read the book when I was 10/11 years old. And everything after Harry came back from the graveyard was handled really well. This might be the best praise I’m giving this super horrible human being of an author, but I think she depicted the shock and guilt Harry was feeling very well. I felt a sense of disconnect from Harry as I continued to read until the end. Maybe she planned this, or maybe she wanted to end the book… But it felt like a different type of writing style from the graveyard scene until the end of the book.
Some random rambling points as I’m reflecting on this book:
- Still don’t like Dobby. Yes, he helped Harry in the second task, but I still find him annoying. But good for him for wanting pay and getting days off while working at Hogwarts.
- I still want to be part of the Weasleys. Mrs. Weasley is honestly the greatest and wants the best for her kids. Maybe because I have a strained relationship with my own mother, but I always admired Mrs. Weasley and wanted my mom to be more like her. I didn’t get that wish sadly, but I do have an awesome dad to make up for it.
- Hermione’s confidence and ability to ignore comments about her is so inspiring. I feel like she really grew as a character in this novel. I remember reading this book for the first time and wanting to be like Hermione.
- I wanted to shake Fudge. He’s in denial, which is understandable, no one wants a repeat of what happened during the first wizarding war. But you can’t just stick your head in the sand and pretend everything is okay.
- I hated Snape even more in this novel. He has no redeeming qualities. I can’t get behind a character who bullies and belittles students and terrifies them. Nope. Can’t do it. He will always be unredeemable to me.
- Rita Skeeter made me so frustrated when I was first reading this book. Now I chuckle at her antics, I’m still frustrated by her as a character though. I enjoy how towards the end Harry is so fed up with her that he delivers possibly one of my favourite lines that made me chuckle.
‘Congratulations Harry!’ she said, beaming at him. ‘I wonder if you could give me a quick word? How you felt facing that dragon? How you feel now about the fairness of the scoring?’ ‘yeah, you can a word,’ said Harry savagely. ‘Goodbye.’
Overall, I enjoyed this one. I gained so much more from this re-read than I did when I first read it and then again during my multiple re-reads into my teenage years. I find it fascinating to see what we pick up from books that we read as kids to when we read them again as adults.
I can’t wait to continue my re-read of this series! Order of the Phoenix is up next and it’s still my favourite book in this series — I can tell from how well worn and loved my copy is. I can feel myself getting more nostalgic as we dive deeper into the series. These next three books have been with me through a lot; I can vividly remember getting each book and where I was in my life. I’ll be posting a lot more updates on my Instagram as I read through these books. Feel free to follow me on there!