I was not impressed with the GoF movie but the book is one of my favorites in the series. The introduction of Winky, a house elf, is totally excluded from the movie but the central key to the overall plot in the book. Other than that, Hermione's character is given more depth in her activism role as well as the difficulties of adolescence dealt with in the other main characters. GoF is the "coming of age" book in the series and focuses a lot on how our trio copes with early adolescence, noticing the opposite sex, and how friendship evolves.
Harry Potter is now in his fourth year at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, but this year he will find that he gets more than he bargained for as he finds himself signed up for a contest between different European schools of magic, that involves magical skill prowess, and that was supposed to have an age limit but someone apparently felt that Harry should be in on the 'fun'. In this fourth installment of the Potter series Rowling's writing is even more addicting and has matured a bit compared with the first three Potter books.
Following Harry through the tasks of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and Ron and Hermione's developing new relationship was a delightful task. Wondering what was going to happen next with the rise of Voldemort, and thinking about what it would be like to run into the strange professor Moody on a busy sidewalk in Texas made this book one that was hard to put down; it' one of my favorite in the series thus far. I must say I am glad that I am reading this series now rather than when it was popular I like reading the books without having seen all the movies its nice being able to picture some of the characters in my head; and having my own picture of them; sometimes the book really is better.
As a fan of this series, I feel that the fourth installment of the Harry Potter series crosses the threshold into it becoming more a series for adults than children. With the third book, the reader is given a glimpse of the dark direction the series can take, but the door is definitely thrown wide open with Goblet as Harry faces some of the most difficult times hes ever had to face. On the upside, He also gets to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity when he attends the Quidditch World Cup with his friends. Even though the event becomes frightening and menacing events occur, Harry seems to enjoy the experience. Luckily for the fans of the series, the unexpected doesnt stop there. When Harry arrives at Hogwarts, he learns that his school will be hosting a tournament between Hogwarts and two other wizarding schools. Somebody has plans for Harry and they arent good plans and Harry has to keep his wits when he is chosen as one of the participants in the tournament.
One thing I did not like about this story is the way Ron behaved after Harry was chosen as one of the champions. I get that he was jealous but it really bothered me that he is supposed to be Harrys best friend and you are supposed to be loyal to your friends, but yet Ron did not believe that Harry did not submit his own name into the cup. Even when he finally comes to his senses and realizes his mistake, I felt like Harry forgave him too quickly. I understand why he did but I felt like Harry let him off the hook too easily. I am sure that Ron gets annoyed playing second fiddle to Harry, but the series is about Harry after all. If it were about Ron, then this book would have been Ronald Weasley and the Goblet of Fire.
I very much enjoyed the introduction of the social custom of learning how to dance and attending the Yule Ball. Harrys distress at not being able to take Cho Chang to the Ball and worrying about who he should take was entertaining. Hermiones coming out was also enjoyable to see. Even with Rons snotty attitude, it was still wonderful.
I liked Cedric and thought he and Harry demonstrated great teamwork in the tournament even though they were competing against one another. Though the final stage of the tournament was well written and highly suspenseful, it was still difficult to read what happens as Harrys worst nightmare comes to life. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Draco undergo some major changes as well with the help of Mad-Eye Moody.
I am now more than half-way through the series and am so excited to be reading it again. There are so many things in the books that I missed in the first reading or had forgotten about that it really does feel like Im reading it for the first time. Even knowing what awaits me in book #5, I am looking forward to experiencing it all over again.