Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J. K. Rowling
It is the summer holidays, and one night Harry Potter wakes up with his scar burning. He has had a strange dream, one that he can't help worrying about...until a timely invitation from Ron Weasley arrives: to nothing less than the Quidditch World Cup!
Soon Harry is reunited with Ron and Hermione and gasping at the thrills of an international Quidditch match. But then something horrible happens which casts a shadow over everybody, and Harry in particular...
I have to admit, the Harry Potter reviews are by far the hardest reviews I have ever had to write. How do you express all of your love for this series in just a few paragraphs? I honestly don't know and I know that everything I type here is never going to explain just what it is that makes me love these books so much. Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in the Potter series and it just gets better and better every time. This is my first re-read of the series since sixth form and it's so lovely to see that these books captivate me just as much now as they did when I first read them.
The fourth book follows Harry into his fourth year at Hogwarts. It's only a year away from their OWL's and the work load is getting higher and higher. This year, not only do our heroes attend their first ever World Cup Quidditch match, but Hogwarts is hosting the Triwizard Tournament. Things are set to be exciting for our trio, but once again Harry is dragged into trouble. With his name being drawn from the Triwizard cup, he is to enter into this tournament against wizards and tasks that are far above his skill level. What more could we expect from Rowling, really? :)
I love the fourth book. Despite it being one of my least favourite films, the book is just brilliant. It contains so much character development and once again, a wealth of new characters to love or loath. Goblet of Fire has so many twists and turns, and it is only on reading it again that I sit up and take notice of all of the hints that Rowling drops throughout to who it is that is attempting to hurt Harry. Reading back on it, it is so glaringly obvious, but then again, is that just because I know? Anyway, it doesn't matter what it is it still keeps me devouring the book.
This book shows us our first glimpses of Harry, Ron and Hermione's development into teenagers. They begin to experience different emotions and begin to see the opposite gender in more than just a friendly way. The Yule Ball is such an entertaining aspect of the book. We see the transformation of Hermione into an absolutely beautiful young woman and the stuttering and stumbling of Harry and Ron as they attempt to find girls to go with them to the ball. Not only does it include all new emotions for the trio, but we experience Harry and Ron's first falling out. A frustrating argument and I just wanted to shake Ron and get them to make up a.s.a.p! There is nothing more frustrating than having characters that you love at each others throats for a fair chunk of a novel.
As well as these character developments, we are introduced to severe issues with regards to privacy, morality, trust and slavery. Barty Crouch mistreats his house elf Winky severely and we are often privy to the torture that Winky undergoes following her dismissal. Rita Skeeter, a reporter, is often sneaking and conjuring up flamboyant and grossly untrue stories about a variety of figures in the novel. I found it really interesting to read about how the media is manipulated and manipulative at the same time and also how easy the Ministry of Magic and the Daily Prophet's morality is swayed by the slightest of things.
I loved the introduction of two other Wizarding schools also within the tournament. We are introduced to Durmstrang and Beauxbatons and a variety of characters which comes with them. Both Victor Krum and Fleur Delacour were frustrating characters to begin with, but it is impossible to dislike them by the novels close. Rowling also gives more depth to Cedric Diggory and it is really interesting to see how various relationships play out during the tournament. It's definitely something unusual.
This book is such a wonderful read, and I really hope that the majority of you reading this will have read Potter. If not, you are missing out! :) I cannot express my love for this series enough.