Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of my favorite in this series (I always say that for all of them). In it, Harry has been entered into a dangerous magical competition that takes his mind off all of the signs pointing towards and his fear that Voldemort is getting stronger.
One of the reasons I love this book is because, even though it is fantasy, it is so easy to relate to. This time around, I was struck by the fact that Harry and everyone around him worked so hard to do the right thing, to prevent Voldemort's return... but it turned out that all the right choices they were making were the ones that ultimately brought Voldemort back.
I suppose you could think that this isn't a healthy message for a kid's book. But life IS sometimes like that. Sometimes you get straight A's and go to college and graduate in the toughest economy we've seen in a while. Sometimes you tell a story to someone in confidence to help them get through a similar difficult time and they turn your story into gossip. Life is tough, even if we are making the right choices day in and day out. But as is said TWICE in the final pages of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire... What's coming will come and we'll meet it when it does.
Yes, it works in the story. But it works in life, too. This book is terrifying (Harry is in danger of dying almost the entire book) and depressing (the whole backstory on Neville always makes me cry). Harry survives, but Cedric dies and Voldemort rises. Even so, JK Rowling leaves us with hope. We have the confidence that Harry will defeat Voldemort in future books and it is a confidence that can translate to real life. I never thought much about why I always read this book when I am depressed, but it is because this book ends with the message that many things are outside of our own control, but that we are strong enough to overcome anything. Sometimes, you need a short little 600-page book to remind you. At least, I do.
This book counts toward the following Challenges: 100+, Read Me Baby One More Time, and my final book for the Hogwarts Reading Challenge. I had a blast at the Hogwarts reading challenge. I came close to completing the tri-wizard tournament, but didn't quite make the points...But since Fleur failed the second task, I'm in good company. And she's hot and got Bill Weasley, so c'est la vie.
Also... I was going to include a picture of Fleur and Bill, but
1. Bill is way hotter in the books and
2. MAKE SURE YOUR SAFE SEARCH IS ON WHEN SEARCHING FOR "FLEUR AND BILL". Oh, Lordy.