3.27.2012

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter #4)
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fantasy, Magical-Realism, Young Adult
Publication Date: 2002
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. 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 a hundred 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.

There is so much to love about this book! Before reading this series, the fourth movie was one of my favorites. I distinctly remember sitting in the theater with my brother and sister (both avid Harry Potter readers) after the show had ended, and thinking how cool it all was...only to turn to hear how much they didn't like it. I was crestfallen. What didn't they like about it? It was great! Well, now I know. There was so much more to the book! I'd venture to say, there were even some pretty crucial plot points left out.

I really enjoyed the events of the Quidditch World Cup. It's the first time we get a closer look at some of the politics of the wizarding world. The entire book hammered in the fact that the wizarding world exists beyond the scope of Hogwarts; now we see students and headmasters from other schools, foreign ministers and Quidditch players/spectators, and we learn just how far Voldemort's power once extended. This is also the book where we begin to see more violence, and what I think to be more death-defying escapes on Harry's part.

Harry gains a lot of his confidence in himself and his powers between these pages; having to learn and exercise powers beyond his age. Hermione and Ron begin to grow into their powers and confidence as well, and the trio finally begins to take a look at what's going on in the world around them. They're no longer sitting by idly, surprised when trouble finds them; the have begun to expect it, and to look for signs of more trouble. They have also begun--and I think this has to do with Dumbledore, Lupin, and Sirius, from the last book--to trust more adults with their secrets; they are more willing to go to them with their problems and ask for help or guidance.

It's interesting to see the little hints of Ron and Hermione's future relationship in this book. I don't think their growing attraction was that clear in the movies, so it was a big relief to see so much of it in the book...even if it is mostly their petty arguments. :)

The only thing I didn't enjoy about this book was Hermione and her obsession with S.P.E.W.. Although it matches perfectly with her character, it seemed like an unnecessary plot line in a book already full of plots, and I got a little annoyed with it. Oh, and did anyone else cringe when Moaning Myrtle said that she ends up in the LAKE when she gets flushed down the toilet? I hope it was just poor wording, but it made me sick to think that the toilets could possibly flush to the lake.

Lastly, I admire Hermione's extreme moral compass; it doesn't always point North. While she abhors breaking rules and causing trouble, and constantly reminds the boys not to do so, she herself will break any rule, or cause trouble, as long as it is the right thing to do. It's a complicated, but impressive, moral stance.



Read this if:
...just read it!

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Death, a few instances of torture, violence, and a few swear words. In my opinion, this book takes the series from one for children, to one for adults young adults.}


Other Books in the Series:

Purchase HP & the Goblet of Fire:
J.K. Rowling:

5 comments:

  1. Great review and I'm glad you liked it. It's really interesting to read this in its entirety compared to the choppiness of the movie that only focuses on the Tri-Wizard Tournament, isn't it? So much more in the book!

    SPEW gets on my nerves a little bit, too, but I don't mind it. The thing I mind the most are little things. I'm so funny about that. But, it's not enough to make me hate the book because I absolutely adore it.

    I'm currently reading number 5 right now. It's my least favorite of the series, but I still love it. I guess it's just because Harry can do no wrong in my opinion. :)

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  2. Oh my gosh. I can't tell you how many times I've read this book, but not once has it dawned on me how gross it is that M.Myrtle ends up in the lake when the toilet flushes. I'd hope even wizards had proper sewage systems.

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  3. SPEW is actually one of the most important plot lines in the series, and I was devastated that it was removed from the 4th movie - the movies could only be so good after that was erased. I do think it goes a bit overboard in book 4 but I think that's also age relevent. Think how purely we held on to right and wrong at that time in our lives. The concept will become more and more potent as the series goes on. It is so fun seeing the books through your eyes! I wish I could go back to those first reads :)

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  4. So glad you enjoyed this one. I'm not a fan of the movies because they all leave out huge plot points! Especially with book five, which is my favorite in the entire series.

    See I think that Hermione and Ron's relationship was more noticeable in the movies than it was in the books. Then again I was reading the early books in the series when I was pretty young so I might have not paid close attention to smaller plot arcs back then.

    Can't wait to see what you think of book five. Thanks for the great review

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  5. I'm still amazed that you hadn't read HP before! But I'm okay with it, because it means I get to read them again vicariously through you. :)

    I LOVE Ron and Hermione's petty little arguments, haha, they're so fun. And I get what you're saying about SPEW, but like eisparklz said, there's a pretty important moment later on that makes it all worth it, imo. :D

    I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the rest of the series!

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