Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K. Rowling
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.
Paperback, 734 pages
Published Sep 28th 2002 by Scholastic
Current Goodreads Rating: 4.53 Stars
I don't know if I would have finished this book if I wasn't listening to it in an audiobook format. This was the first longer book in the series and intimidating to begin with. I'll start with my favorite quote, some WTF moments, then finally my review. "We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided...Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open" - The ever wise Dumbledore Now for the WTF Moments...
One: After it was revealed with all the manipulations and cheating that went on, how was he allowed to keep the prize money. How was his only guilt that he let someone tie with him and not that he didn't actually do a single challenge on his own? Two: At the beginning, (I doubt I would have caught this if I was reading this as a child because I didn't know what whiskey was) did she really advise that her horses only drink single malt whiskey?!? I'm surprised I didn't hear an article about the neglect of fictional animals after this book was released.
I was disappointed in a few things and there was a bit more bad than good. So far this is my least favorite in the series and I hope the others don't follow suit. I didn't enjoy that this was more about a competition involving sports than about relationships. The main characters that I had just finished learning so much about, seemed to be taking a back seat to the dozens of new characters I was overloaded with. There was romantic ties introduced and just way too many new characters all at once. I don't enjoy sports books, so that was a major turn off reading something similar to Ready Player One where contestants had to get through three challenges to win a prize. I wanted the classroom setting and to see the relationships still growing between teachers and students and to have the mystery of Hogwarts still explored. The dance made my anxiety shoot through the roof because I despised high school dances. I avoided them like the plague and to see Harry and Ron struggling too made me uncomfortable. Mentioning Ron though, I was not happy with him in this book. The author seemed to stop all relationship growth the majority of the book because Ron was stubbornly pouting, mad, and avoiding Harry for what seemed like half the book. Get over yourself because that is the comradery I loved reading between friends. The part I liked most about the other books was in this book as well, but it was thrown in during the last few chapters as almost an afterthought. I was so busy with the competition that I forget to think conspiratorially, so I did not catch a single hint as to who was manipulating what this time. This made the ending extremely confusing because I wasn't prepared and there wasn't an ah-ha moment when the double crosser was revealed because it just didn't seem to be the focus of this book. Another positive seems to be the endings. Not the reveals, but the sweet small revelations afterwards on the train home from another year. This one that made me smile was the beetle in the jar. Completely unexpected, but Hermoine just got major brownie points in my book and is winning me over big time.