Summary (from Goodreads):
The summer holidays are dragging on and Harry Potter can't wait for the start of the school year. It is his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and there are spells to be learnt and (unluckily) Potions and Divination lessons to be attended. But Harry can't know that the atmosphere is darkening around him, and his worst enemy is preparing a fate that it seems will be inescapable ...With characteristic wit, fast-paced humour and marvellous emotional depth, J.K. Rowling has proved herself yet again to be a master story-teller.
This is my second favorite book in the series. Book 3 promised the most hope, and then this one, ironically demonstrated the darkness that was to come. I remember being so shocked to read some of the things that occurred in this book. I also remember getting into an argument with my mother about this book. She didn’t think I should pack this thing in my suitcase to overnight camp because it took up too much room/weight in my bag and she wanted me to enjoy my time at camp. Needless to say, this monster came with me. I did not wait in line at midnight, to postpone my finishing of it.
I do believe I was the only kid to have brought a book to camp that year at all. And I was certainly the only kid staying up late to read. But, it was well worth it. As I knew would be the case, the events of this book were not as shocking to me now as an adult. But, I have to admit the darkness in this one is pretty intense.
There are death marks, the murder of one student, the realization that another’s student’s parents had been tortured to the point of insanity, cut off hands, torture, dangerous riddles, epic battles with evil, a terrible reporter, and plenty of mystery. To juxtapose the darkness though, there’s also the Qudditch World Cup, a ball, the Tri-Wizard Tournament, Hogsmeade trips, letters to Snuffles, new friendships, a tiny smidgen of romance, and plenty of lessons learned about magical creatures and house elves.
I loved Hermione in this book. She stands up for house elves everywhere. She helps Harry with every clue. She breaks rules now without batting an eyelash. She bridges the gap between Harry and Ron when they are fighting. She stands up for herself when Ron is jealous of her ball date. And she gets her promised revenge on the awful Rita Skeeter. This book is mostly about Voldemort’s rise to power and Harry’s inevitable role in it. But, the side characters really shine too. I loved seeing that Harry and Ron aren’t always perfect friends. I loved the lengths Molly Weasley goes for Harry in this one, even coming to watch him in the tournament and acting as a family member.
I wasn’t surprised by anything, having read this so many times. But I remember my surprise at learning about Moody and Barty Crouch. I remember my shock at what happened to Cedric Diggory. I remember gasping out loud at Dumbledore’s speech at the end. This book was the first of the series to bring a tear to my eyes. It was the first book to teach me that not all of my friends/favorite characters would be safe. I learned that characters would die in this series. And that alone was a huge deal.
This book was so much fun to re-read. I know I’ve said this with the others, but I just feel so lucky to be able to re-read them again. I recommend a good re-read of them all (particularly this one) to anyone. It’s like visiting old friends. Remembering my past reactions to certain moments is such a treat. I give this a 10/10.
(This is my last post for a while. I'm going on vacation. I'll be back soon!)