What is it about?
The fourth book in the spellbinding Harry Potter series, this sees the titular character in his fourth year at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. Only this year the school isn’t focussed on lessons and exams; the Triwizard Tournament is rolling into town and, obviously, Harry is going to get involved whether he likes it or not. The first book in the series that really deals with romance and other thorny teenage issues (falling out, rivalry etc), this is an immersive novel perfect for anyone wanting to escape reality and find themselves in a world of mermaids, dragons and mistreated house elves.
Is it any good?
In the Goblet of Fire, Rowling really gets to stretch her metaphorical legs to reveal to us a wider and more complex world than featured in any of the books previous. The great thing about having Muggle-raised Harry as the main focaliser of the series is that the reader grows with Harry – he learns things about the world of magic just as the reader does. Furthermore, in terms of characterisation, the cast feels a lot more three dimensional, especially the likes of Neville Longbottom, Dobby, Snape, and several of the new characters introduced in this book. One thing I didn’t like, however, is that Hermione is only deemed to be pretty and worth male time once she has had her teeth (referred to as being the size of a beaver’s) magically shrunk down by the school nurse; it just didn’t sit at all well with me, along with other parts of past books as well as this one that seems to focus far too heavily on the appearance of characters (for example, Rowling takes every chance she can get to make fun of Dudley for being fat, and not a single good main character is ever described as anything other than thin – Hagrid doesn’t count as he is half-giant). But back to the innumerous positives of this book. Hermione starting a campaign for the rights of house elves (called S.P.E.W. – Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) is just genius and really reflects her caring character; it is a travesty that they left this out of the film adaptation. Goblet of Fire is also not without its adorable squee moments, such as when the Weasleys send the Dursleys a letter and, wanting to make sure it gets there, plaster it with about a million stamps; a personal favourite cute moment is Dobby calling Ron ‘Harry Potter’s Wheezy’. This novel must have been a mammoth task for Rowling to undertake, but she pulls it off so fantastically well.
How long did it take to read: six days
For fans of: Merlin, Cassandra Clare, The Hunger Games trilogy, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
This book tastes like: hot dogs with too much ketchup