I’m reading! Reading all the time. Despite it being a crazy bit of time during work, I’m still reading, which is keeping my stress level down for sure – though I’m not sure it’s very perceptible, or if my other half would agree with that statement.
I’m chugging along with my new plan to alternate between reading new and old books. I think it’s mostly working, although I still haven’t found the best time to read the one book I’m dying to read (it’s too hard to concentrate on during downtimes at work) and so I’m pursuing the rest of my gigantic TBR list. One day, I might make that list. It will scare me.
Anyway! Lovely readers, let’s talk Harry Potter (again!).
REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
Plot: It’s summertime again, which means Harry is stuck at Privet Drive with the Dursleys. Luckily, due to Sirius’ surprise return into his life, he now gets to keep his school things with him, and the Dursleys are properly afraid of him again. But it’s the Quidditch World Cup, aka the best thing ever, and Harry attends with the Weasleys and Hermione. While there, the Dark Mark streaks the sky, reminding us all that nothing is ever as good as it may seem. Back at Hogwarts, something incredible is happening: the Triwizard Tournament. But someone has entered Harry into the dangerous tournament, putting his skill and friendships to the test. Will he survive when it all seems to be stacked against him?
Most Memorable Line(s): “You know, Harry, I reckon whoever put your name in the Goblet of Fire was trying to do you in.”
-THIS MOMENT. I think it speaks so much of Ron’s character. Can anyone really blame him for his jealousy? I certainly can’t; he gets so much flak, but he’s always overlooked and that’s hard for anyone – especially a teenager – to constantly take. This moment, where he puts his negativity aside and realizes exactly what Harry means to him just gets me every time.
What I liked: Um, well, everything! This is another book in the series where it’s hard for me to fault anything too much, because I see how it all works together and how it all makes sense. Whereas Hermione’s self-righteousness was a bit too much in the previous book, it works so well here. Her defense of House Elves is really marvelous – and I love Ron’s response, too. The juxtaposition of someone who didn’t grow up in the wizarding world and someone who did is just fantastic. Love it. Anyway, this book does so well with the action. I also love how Rowling deals with the obvious fact of characters growing up; they’re 14 now, and really are starting to act like teenagers. I love the dynamic she began to create with Ron and Hermione in the last book, and she follows it up here. Their argument post-Yule ball is so incredibly perfect. Harry’s lovestruck nervousness around Cho represents the other side of the coin – and his devastation at Cho choosing Cedric is so heartbreaking! Also, the Rita Skeeter storyline is so perfectly woven in to the story. The events in which she writes about don’t necessarily seem to be particularly important for the story, but the fact that she is there to capture them makes them important. I just thought it was a great addition, because it would have been possible to do the story without her, I believe (although she does add the reason why Harry is not believed about Voldy, so there’s that). The last thing character thing I truly loved about this book was her choice of villains and how she made that happen. To introduce Moody in the way she did, as Dumbledore’s ally, to have him become so integral to Harry’s development, and then rip off the mask was the work of a master, in my opinion. I had never expected it when it first happened, and now on each reread I see the little movements that show me I was wrong. It’s great.
I wrote a paper in college explaining how this book followed all of the traditional makings of a fairy tale, and it’s something that’s stuck with me every time I’ve read it since. It truly represents a Hero’s journey, and the fact that it is encompasses within the hero’s journey is even more clever to me. But anyway, we thought we’d seen action before, what with the time turner and all, but it’s nothing compared to this. Rowling did a perfect job showcasing Harry’s talents – his nerve, his tangible skills, and his integrity – while also highlighting exactly why he was woefully incompetent for each challenge. Each challenge left me breathless, and I wanted everything in between to move faster so I could see what Harry would battle next.
Finally, the evil eeriness of the graveyard seen was done so perfectly. Reading it made me feel like I was watching it all happen through a dense fog. I just loved it.
What I didn’t like: This is the last book in the series in which I can honestly say that I didn’t dislike anything about it. Kudos, Ms. Rowling!