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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

In this action-packed fourth installment, Harry has to face off against a dragon, fight some spear-wielding merpeople, and enter a deadly maze where his greatest enemy lies in wait…all while finding himself estranged by his own best friend, trusting the wrong people, and dealing with the deaths of people he cares for.

hp-gobletTitleHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, Book 04
Publish Date: July 8, 2000
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionLord Voldemort, the dark wizard responsible for the deaths of Harry’s parents, is growing stronger. At the Quidditch World Cup, Voldemort’s signature Dark Mark appears in the sky over the stadium, causing pandemonium. The lightning-bolt-shaped scar on Harry’s forehead is sporadically causing him agonizing pain, and he is also hearing disturbing voices. Harry realizes that all this is the result of a strong connection between himself and the Dark Lord, one that is putting him in grave danger.

Back at Hogwarts, the students are getting ready for the upcoming Triwizard Tournament. Witches and wizards from two other schools are coming to Hogwarts for the year to compete in a series of grueling contests. The tournament is open only to students age 17 and above, but when someone secretly enters Harry’s name, he is forced to compete. How can a 14-year-old possibly pass tests that might be fatal to an advanced wizard? And with the threat of Lord Voldemort looming, will he be able to focus on the tournament at all?

For Harry, his friends, and everyone in the Wizarding world, the stakes are about to become much higher. This fourth installment, with a heart-pounding and emotional climax, serves as a turning point in the series, for the reader and for Harry himself.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

This is the first HUGE volume in the Harry Potter series and there’s so MUCH to learn from it. JK Rowling not only expands Harry’s mind of the marvelous wizarding universe he’s had the fortune to land in, but also her readers. For the first time, we’re seeing glimpses of the ministry and how magic works outside Hogwarts. We’re meeting new wizards who will come into play for future books and also discovering how much Rowling exceeds at world building.

There’s a lot of action in this, lots of spell-wielding duels, fights against dragons, and dangers that lurk around every corner. But there’s also a lot of emotional drama that Harry has to face – Ron temporarily turns against him; he’s got to face the death of an innocent boy, Cedric; Rita Skeeter, a nosy and pesky journalist, is making him seem crazy – all ideas that set up for plots in the next book, where the Ministry refuses to admit Voldemort has returned to power. Though Harry comes out of his fight with Voldemort alive, it is a Pyrrhic victory.

I love that Rowling writes with such wonderful emotion. She’s putting a fourteen-year old through hell and readers are so sympathetic for Harry the whole way through as he navigates through a rollercoaster of people, opinions, and feelings.

Here are some of my favorites:

Character – Hagrid, because he’s just so damn likeable. But also Sirius because he gets to play a more parental role in Harry’s life.

Scene – I really love the scene where Harry is in the prefects’ bathroom and Myrtle comes in to practically stalk him. Though I do love the first task chapter, where Harry goes up against a dragon and gains some of his confidence back.

Creature – Dobby! He gets the win from me for being so cute and grateful to Harry, willing to do anything to help him out, even if it may get him killed.

Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is my FAVORITE out of the series. I love that there was so much magic in this one with the tasks and the Quidditch match! My favorite scenes are the Quidditch World Cup and the final task in the maze. I love the drastic change between the two as book four gets increasingly dark. The characters are still amazing and it feel like you grow with them as you read.

I was severely disappointed in the movie. I was expecting all the magical wonders that were in the book and instead got a rushed confusing mess. They changed so much and left out very important characters.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

Some of the parts of Goblet of Fire that I really love are:

  • The whole storyline between the Weasley twins and Ludo Bagman.
  • Meeting the elder Weasley brothers.
  • When Harry doesn’t recognize Hermione at the Yule Ball.
  • When Harry saves everyone from the merpeople.
  • When Hermione finally realizes how Rita Skeeter has been listening in on private conversations.
  • How Harry and Voldemort’s wands, with the common core, react to each other.  I love how this tidbit, that was mentioned in Book 1, finally pays off here.

There is actually a whole lot to like in Goblet, from the innocence of first romance to the betrayal of a trusted mentor, to the loss of a peer and a life. This is why Harry Potter never felt like a “kid’s” book to me; the author manages to pack in so much relatable emotion into every single book.

Agent_Annie_100Agent Annie says…

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was another great read as the series keeps getting better and better. It’s been several years since I’ve read the whole series but I do remember how it all ends, and the extraordinary groundwork JK Rowling has already started to set up the ending and lay clues to how it does end is wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with the Pensieve in Dumbledore’s office when we learn Crouch’s history and are introduced to some of Neville’s background. It’s also fun to have even more awkward teenage courtship, and the Yule ball section was fantastic. I can so picture Ron’s embarrassment over those hideous dress robes. Again a 5.

Our reviews in this series…

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

In his third year at Hogwarts, Harry has to deal with new classes that could spell disaster for him, win the Quidditch cup for Gryffindor, and avoid the escaped prisoner who sold his parents to Voldemort – and is now headed to Hogwarts to take Harry out.

AzkabanTitle: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, Book 03
Publish Date: July 8, 1999
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionHarry Potter is lucky to reach the age of thirteen, since he has already survived the murderous attacks of the feared Dark Lord on more than one occasion. But his hopes for a quiet term concentrating on Quidditch are dashed when a maniacal mass-murderer escapes from Azkaban, pursued by the soul-sucking Dementors who guard the prison. It’s assumed that Hogwarts is the safest place for Harry to be. But is it a coincidence that he can feel eyes watching him in the dark, and should he be taking Professor Trelawney’s ghoulish predictions seriously? 

Possible spoilers ahead.

Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

Like many of my fellow bloggers, this is my favorite in the series. The characters are beginning to grow up, the magic is getting real, and I’m really enjoying how much the world Harry knows is expanding. Here we’ve got werewolves, teachers who can predict the future, and for the first time, a window to Harry’s past as he discovers the former friends of his parents.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Favorite characters: Hermione and Hagrid rule this story for me. Hermione shows off just how smart she is by using the Time-Turner to save both Sirius and Buckbeak, not to mention getting through all those classes with flying colors and standing up to Malfoy. And Hagrid, well he’s just a big softie with a lot of dangerous pets as he introduces Buckbeak, the hippogriff, and has to deal with a stunt by Malfoy that puts Buckbeak in danger. But he finally gets the job he wants and since he doesn’t get fired, I’m really eager to reread just what he has in store for Harry and co. next book.

Favorite scenes: Harry discovering that “Sirius” betrayed his parents after overhearing a secret discussion from the teachers. This shows us that Harry is getting all kinds of new hormones and a temper, willing to risk murdering the betrayer of his parents in order to avenge them. And my second favorite scenes goes along with that as we find out Sirius did in fact not sell the Potters out to Voldemort and asks Harry to come live with him, stealing him away from the Dursleys and giving him a place of comfort instead.

Favorite lines: “You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?”

But I also loved this because it made me laugh: “It’s obvious what it means. There’s going to be loads of fog tonight.”

Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Ironically this is my third favorite Harry Potter novel. I love that we get to see a darker side of Harry and that he also gets a ray of hope to escape the horrible Dursleys.  The creatures and even Hogwarts itself get more and more interesting with every page.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

Book 3 is my favorite in the series. It has something to do with Harry finally having a “familial” tie to the magical world in Sirius. Even though he’s not able to leave the Dursleys and live with Sirius at the end, knowing that Sirius is free, didn’t kill his parents, and WANTS to be Harry’s guardian gives him a firmer footing in the world and confidence in himself. Harry is building his own family, and isn’t that what we all do?

I like that in this book we’re starting to see hints about Ron and Hermione’s relationship. They’re fighting a lot, and yet Ron is protective and admiring of her at times.

Regardless of what we learn about Snape in future books, this book convinces me that he is a mean-spirited, arrogant, petty bastard. He takes his own misery and anger out on children, which is never appropriate for an adult to do (even though it happens too often). People can be both heroic for their own reasons and jerks at the same time. Snape definitely is that.

I love that Hermione tells Trelawney to kiss off, basically. I’ve had some teachers and bosses like that, who are so fake it’s criminal. That Hermione recognizes her for what she is (most of the time) and quits the class shows that she can think for herself and doesn’t have time for stupidity. It’s ironic, then, that Trelawney is for real, but only on rare occasions.

This is about the last movie I could watch without full-body cringing. But I did like the line where Hermione says “Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?” I don’t know why, but that tickled my fancy. 😉

Agent_Annie_100Agent Annie says…

By far, this volume in the Harry Potter series is my favorite. It moves along so nicely and keeps the reader engaged throughout the whole story. I kept checking my % completed so I could update Goodreads and I realized until the last 20% or so, we still didn’t know that Sirius Black was a good guy. JK Rowling did such a good job with the suspense on whether Harry was going to be attacked by Black.

I also hadn’t remembered how nasty Snape was. I’m such a fan of the actor, Alan Rickman, who played Snape in the movies, I just didn’t see his hatred for Harry like I do in this book. If you haven’t read the books, at this point you have to really wonder what Snape did to convince Dumbledore he wasn’t part of Lord Voldemort’s followers. Already knowing the answer makes this part of knowing the character more complex and interesting.

I also love how JK Rowling has worked in the awkwardness of pre-teens starting to become aware of the other gender. For example, Harry turning red when Cho says hello, Ron not knowing if or how he was supposed to comfort Hermoine when she was crying.

This book is just so well done. I give it a 5+.

Our reviews in this series…

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Our love for this series only grows stronger as Harry has to face down an old enemy with a deadly pet… while still turning his homework in on time.

Chamber of SecretsTitle: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J. K. Rowling
SeriesHarry Potter, Book 02
Publish Date: July 2, 1998
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionThe Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone–or something–starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects…Harry Potter himself.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

The second installment in J.K. Rowling’s masterpiece of a series takes it up another notch as Harry enters his second year at Hogwarts. And it’s not particularly Harry’s year… He’s got a house elf trying to sabotage him at random, a new pompous Defense teacher who won’t leave Harry alone, his rivalry with Draco Malfoy only gets worse, and he’s the prime suspect in a bunch of attacks on the students.

But of course, with the help of his friends and a certain phoenix, Harry emerges victorious once again!

I really loved this. J.K. is finally starting to let us in on some more secrets surrounding Voldemort and some of the history in Harry’s world. We get to know about the four founding fathers of Hogwarts – and that Voldemort left a piece of himself within the diary – the first real hint behind the Horcruxes Harry’s got to deal with later.

Here are some of my favorites!

Favorite character: Still Hagrid. You discover he’s had a rough time after being wrongfully expelled. With everyone thinking it’s either him or Harry doing the attacking, you know poor Hagrid would rather just figure out how to tame the basilisk. He’s such a big softie.

Favorite scene: I really enjoyed the fight in the Chamber of Secrets. It shows how twelve-year old Harry is very brave and is just really exploding with the cool action.

Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Ah year two at Hogwarts! Once again Rowling wrote a novel that will always be in my heart and bring back memories as I reread them throughout my life. Harry and the gang learn more magic and get into more trouble.

I like the fact that the movie still keeps close to the book. However, I do wish they would have kept some elements like the Valentine’s Day events. Dwarves dressed as cupids would be hilarious!

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

In Book 2, we start to see how Rowling makes connections between books that make Harry’s world seem so very real.

First, we learn that the incident at the zoo in Book 1 wasn’t a random happening; that Harry actually has a talent for talking to snakes. Also notice that when Harry is hiding in the shop in Nocturne Alley, he encounters the Vanishing Cabinet, the Hand of Glory, and the cursed necklace that appear in later books.

Here is where we get introduced to the Whomping Willow that becomes important in Book 3, and the history of Tom Riddle and Hogwarts upon which much of the rest of the series is built. Ginny’s experiences with Riddle’s diary—an artifact whose significance becomes much more important later—begins a connection with Harry that won’t bloom until much later. These are some of the fantastic little details that you discover after reading, or listening to, the books multiple times.

Plus, there’s Gilderoy Lockheart. He is hysterical. I love how karma gets him in the end.

Agent_Annie_100Agent Annie says…

The second Harry Potter book doesn’t fail to enchant. It’s complex and layered and the characters are more robust. Harry gets better at being a wizard and his compassion for others really starts to come out. So much of the book’s imagery is influenced by the movies in my mind. I now have Dobby’s voice in my head along with Dumbledore’s twinkling eyes.

I often wonder how much of a full series author’s come up with when they write. Do they have the full arc in their minds or do they just write each story as they think of it? Either way JK Rowling did excellent work in leaving clues in book 2 that would end up coming to fruition in the final book.

What I though was most powerful, and done in such a way that young readers wouldn’t know they were being taught a lesson, was what Dumbledore told Harry after he returned with Ginny and had killed the basilisk: “Which makes you very different than Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” This theme runs throughout the books and JK Rowling proves what an excellent writer (and mother) she is by emphasizing this idea that choice makes a person.

Again, this book rates a 5!!

Our reviews in this series…

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

One Book Two recently wrapped up its Read Along for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Many of us are reading this book for the second, or hundredth, time, and we’re still in love.

Harry PotterTitle: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Author: J. K. Rowling
SeriesHarry Potter, Book 1
Publish Date: June 26, 1997
Genre: Children’s Fantasy/Literature
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!

US Edition read by Jim Dale

British Edition read by Stephen Fry

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Kat_Mandu_100Kate Mandu says…

I’m pretty certain there’s nothing new I could say about Harry Potter that everyone else hasn’t said. This is a phenomenal series from start to finish because of the writing, characters, world-building, and its legacy. This seven-book masterpiece is not just for kids. Adults love it too. There will be generations to come who will enjoy Harry Potter and all its beauty.

I remember having my mother read it to me when I was ten years old. Yes, I could read, but when Mom pulled out that book and started mimicking all the character voices, I was drawn in immediately. It wasn’t until word of a movie got out though, that I became very interested in this. I read through the whole series (well, actually I think the seventh one had yet to come out if my memory serves me correctly) several times and absorbed everything I could. To say that I became obsessed was an understatement (I still have a poster mural at my old house, after all).

But can you blame me, really?

Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone is an epic debut. The writing is spot on, giving readers that wonderful imagery and descriptiveness. JK Rowling writes so simply, it’s stunning how it turns out. Each chapter is filled with a mixture of action and intrigue, not to mention characters you grow to love more with every book. She hints at things later to come and that mystery really benefits it – like at the end of this first book where Harry asks why Voldemort wanted to kill him.

Fans around the world now know why… but if you didn’t, wouldn’t you want to know? It’s like an entire cliffhanger in itself. And that’s one of the reasons I like JK Rowling’s works so well. That secretive suspense that lingers across every page.

Not to mention the remarkably memorable world she’s invented.

But I’ll see more of that world-building in future books and comment on it later – it really comes up more in the fourth and fifth ones, so I’ll save it for then. Let’s focus on book number one.

Some of us (cough, cough, as in me) can’t pick a book without choosing some favorites. So here are a couple of mine.

Favorite character – In the first book, Hagrid will always be my favorite. This gentle giant with a heart of gold rescued Harry from the Dursleys, introduced Harry to the wizarding world, and continues to provide friendship to Harry when he needs it most. His fascination with magical creatures often gets him into trouble but that’s what makes him exciting. I just love how much of a teddy bear Hagrid is.

Favorite scene – I really love the Halloween scene. I feel like it shows just how brave Ron and Harry are, for trying to save Hermione, even though it’s fueled a bit by guilt. For one, you get to see them fight against this huge troll and come out victorious, even if it’s sheer dumb luck 😉 And secondly, it ends up with our favorite trio becoming friends.

What are some of your favorites, blog readers? Did you enjoy this series as much as we have? Let us know in the comments – or better yet, join the group on Goodreads here: for discussions, polls, and future giveaways.

Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Ah Harry Potter. I still remember my mom handing me the paperback version of Sorcerer’s Stone when I was 11. Even then I always had a book on me somewhere and she thought it would be right up my alley. She was right. From the very first page I got lost in the charming characters and stunning world. Re-reading it now, they are still just as charming and stunning but there is an innocence that makes me smile and takes me back. It is no wonder that even today the series is still popular with children and adults alike.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

A long time ago, a friend suggested I listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks. Though I had been a big reader since I was a child, I hadn’t really gotten into audios. I had tried a few, but they were all abridged and not very exciting. So it was with some skepticism that I borrowed her CDs and gave it a try.

Thus began my love affair with unabridged audiobooks. The combination of a wonderfully beautiful story and the amazing voice talents of Jim Dale captured my heart and imagination.  I’ve been listening to audiobooks ever since.

Unlike Kat and Luna, I was an adult when Harry Potter wizzed into the world like a Golden Snitch. Since it was a kid’s book, it was a few years before I caught on to how wonderful a story it was. Harry Potter is so beautifully done, so imaginative, so rich and full a world down to the last detail, so full of themes that apply to children and adults alike, it is no surprise that it is the classic of our age.

Agent_Annie_100Agent Annie says…

All I can say is WOW! What talent J.K. Rowling has. I had only listened to the Harry Potter books when they first came out and was really impressed with the narrator Jim Dale.  This read-along gave me the opportunity to appreciate Rowling’s writing.  One of my favorite quotes is by Dumbledore, “Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!” What a great way to flesh out the character’s zaniness.  I bet if I were 8 years old, I would be repeating these words until my parents were sick (and tired) of them.  As an adult though, I am still captivated by the complexity of the characters and the plot.  There is no doubt in my mind that JK Rowling deserves every accolade she receives for her writing! I look forward to reading the rest of the Harry Potter series.

Our reviews in this series…

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