Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (JK Rowling)
The re-reading of Harry Potter continues with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where Rowling really steps up her story-telling game. Characters gain complexity, unexpected twists and turns abound, and a little bit of pre-teen love / angst is thrown in for good measure.
The one complaint that I have on this re-read is that almost all of Rowling's female characters lack the depth she gives male characters. Molly Weasley is an overprotective mother who jealously guards Harry to the detriment of another one of her child's friends. Madame Maxine is a manipulative love-interest. Cho Chang is a love-interest who is only described as being pretty. Parvati Patil is a runner-up of a love interest who Harry barely speaks to. Even Fleur Delacour, one of the tri-wizard champions, is mostly described by her looks and men's inability to take their eyes off of her - and she loses every round of the competition. Although I love the character of Rita Skeeter, she's more ill-willed gossip than journalist. Women in this book are either petty and negative or love interests. Gross.
Overall, though, this is such a great book. We get a better idea of what the world of wizards looks like when the book takes us to the Quidditch World Cup. (What do wizards do for fun? What do bad wizards do for fun? What happens when muggles and wizards have to share space?)
The reveal at the end of the book is perfect (and makes this reader think about how nice to live in a magical universe where a truth potion makes a villain's tell-all confession feel completely natural), the first really impactful death of the series always packs a tear-filled punch, and the story-telling is fast-paced, action-packed, and still takes its time when necessary.
It's a fun book full of great characters. Harry Potter forever. <3