Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #4
Genre: YA, fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2000
Source: Audiobook from the library
Read for: Harry Potter Challenge
Memories from the first time: This was the first Harry Potter book that I actually anticipated. I remember reading the first chapter in the Idaho Statesman Life section and being so excited for it to come out. I didn't wait outside a bookstore or anything -- but I was thrilled when a copy fell into my hands.
I also remember when I read it that I was absolutely floored by the fact that (SPOILER, but that is inherent in these Harry Potter posts) Cedric died. I was reading the book on a road trip to Idaho Falls with my cousin, who had already read the book, and I remember turning her and just looking at her with shock. For the rest of the week, we just kept looking at each other and saying, "I can't believe that Cedric is dead!" I think that was one of the first endings that just absolutely floored me.
Another interesting side note -- I totally used to associate the song "Stronger" by Britney Spears with Harry's fight with Voldemort. I don't particularly love that song, and I really don't particularly love Britney Spears, but I always think of that song with that scene. Hmm.
Impressions this time: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is still the best Harry Potter book, in my opinion. I absolutely loved the Triwizard Cup and all the other wizarding schools. I think this book is a turning point as well from the books being directed to a younger audience to an older one. I love that the books grow up with the readers.
Also, a particular scene touched me so much in this book -- when, for the third task, families are showing up for the competitors, and Harry feels awkward, worrying that the Dursleys will be there. When he sees that the Weasleys came as his family, I started bawling like a little baby. Maybe it was just the pregnancy hormones, but I loved that moment.
Best new spell: Expelliarmus is a pretty important spell in this book. I also really enjoyed learning about the various hexes that Harry practiced to get ready for the maze in the final task. And of course, while we can't consider these the "best" spells, it was very interesting to learn about the three unforgivable curses.
Best new character: You know, despite the fact that I really love this book, I don't as much have a favorite new character. Some honorable mentions are Ludo Bagman, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Rita Skeeter -- none of them are characters I adore, but they are all interesting.
My crush for this book: Have you picked up on the fact that I have a thing for Cedric Diggory? Strong, silent, heroic, and handsome -- what more could you ask for in a man? Oh, he's a Quidditch star, and a nice guy, too? Despite the fact that he occasionally gets in Harry's way (Cho Chang, beating him in Quidditch, getting ahead in certain Triwizard tasks) I was charmed by Cedric the entire time.
Most villainous moment: Obviously, the entire Voldemort sequence is pretty villainous. I was also absolutely disgusted by Barty Crouch the younger's crazed tirade about how he killed his father, transfigured him into a bone, and buried the bone. I think I possibly missed that the first time around. Hearing it described by Jim Dale in Barty's creepy voice made me shudder.
New secret discovered about Hogwarts: I think the whole sequence in the lake was very interesting. The lake is present in all the books and it was fun to learn about what actually lived in the lake (other than the Giant Squid).
Coolest new fact learned about the wizarding world: There are other wizarding schools! In fact, all the other wizarding information was pretty fun, with the other schools and the wizards of different nationalities at the Quidditch World Cup.
Favorite magical creature: Blast Ended Skrewts, of course. No, actually, it was really cool to read (hear) about the different dragons in the first task.
Best argument between Ron and Hermione: In this case, the biggest argument is actually between Ron and Harry. When Harry is chosen for the tournament, Ron is jealous and thinks that Harry is going after it for glory. They don't speak for weeks. It is very relieving once they become friends again.
Deathly Hallows that show up: The Invisibility Cloak.
Horcruxes that show up: Nagini.
Coolest magical object: The Goblet of Fire is pretty cool, I must say.