Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire review

  • Author: J.K Rowling
  • Series: Harry Potter #4
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 636
  • Dates read: 01.06.19 – 23.06.19
  • Rating: 5 stars (Favourite)
  • Challenge: 2019 sequels and ONTD Challenge June Theme, “A book about friendship or where friendship is the main theme.”

I love the Harry Potter series! It is one of my favourite series of all time. I love the movies, the theme parks, everything. I listen to all the podcasts about it and last year I decided I was going to re-read my favourite series as I couldn’t remember much of Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, so I wanted to remind myself.

When I knew I was going to re-read this book I decided I wanted to approach the re-read with a different focus in mind. I had recently been listening to a podcast called Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. This podcast would take a deep dive into each chapter of the books and focus on a specific theme. They would analyse the chapter and have in-depth and insightful discussions on the events in that chapter. I binged this podcast and I thought to myself. I would love to adopt this idea of reading each chapter with a theme in mind, I would like to see if it shaped my way of thinking.

I also decided to annotate favorutie quotes and passages I found in the book. So I grabbed two highlighters, a pen and a ruler and got to work!

My takeaway from this experience was, that while I enjoyed looking for where the theme was in each book this needs to be a practice that you do over a long period of time. You can’t condense this into a short period of time. I tried to fit Goblet of Fire into one month and it was tricky at times as I felt I was putting a timetable in place to make sure I got it done. It felt more like homework than the joy of reading. That’s on me.

Some chapters were easier than others to annotate and some themes were easier to find corresponding quotes or passages. I did find though that I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I could of if I was just highlighting quote that I like and just reading the books as normal. But it was a vital practice for me to take a longer and more intricate look at the story. I felt that I learned more about the motivations of characters; I learned the catalyst for poignant moments in the novel that I may not have picked up on if I had just read it normally and I appreciated Rowling’s plot a lot more than I initially did as I was looking at it through a magnifying glass.

That being said, I will not be adopting this practice for Order of the Phoenix for two reasons.

  1. The book is incredibly long with some mundane chapters so I don’t want to be spending two months annotating, getting bored of the practice and then ruining my re-read experience. Also, making me want to step from the practice all together for future novels.
  2. I feel like I grasped the meaning of the practice and I am ready to move on and try something new.

I may come back and annotate the book for the theme’s in a future re-read but for now I will take a step back.

This review was more focused on my experience annotating a novel more so than the content of the book. The book was just as extravagant, heart-breaking and fun as I had thought so when I previously read it about 5 years ago. One thing that did change for this re-read was that I got very emotional over Cedric’s death and the following scenes after that. I feel like this was because I knew what was going to follow Harry after this moment and it broke my heart. Cedric’s death is such a cataclysmic moment for the series as a whole and it really got me.

I hope to read Order of Phoenix later on this year but I have some many books on my physical tbr we shall see what happens.

Equal Rites Review

  • Author: Terry Pratchett
  • Series: Discworld #3
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 288
  • Dates read: 17.06.19 – 24.06.19
  • Rating: 3 stars

This book was kind of lack-luster!

Plot: The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a female wizard. But now it’s gone and happened, there’s nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin…

Let me explain… the first half I loved. I loved getting to know Eskarina and watching her magic grow and her setting off on her adventure. The second half, to be honest when she meets Simon and gets to the Unseen University, I got bored. The plot centred so much on Simon and I never really grasped why and I never really cared because I didn’t care for Simon as a character.

Simon was an average character introduced, in my opinion, too late into the story. I didn’t connect with him so when all the stuff that went down at the end, I didn’t really care what happened to him.

I felt the ending was rushed and not really well thought out. It felt like it came out of no-where. I didn’t get how we got into the situation and then how we managed to get out of the situation. I was just very confused with the final 50 pages and I didn’t really like how it was all tied up. I would have preferred a story in which we watch Eskarina grow up to learn to use her powers and learn to control the staff with or without the help of wizards. I just didn’t like where the narrative went in the second half of the novel.

What I did love, as per, was Pratchett’s witty dialogue. I laughed out loud at some points, especially with Granny Weatherwax. I enjoyed his tangents on mundane objects or about characters that we will never meet again in this book, after this one interaction. I thought it was fun and light-hearted.

I loved Eskarina’s character. She was so ballsy and wouldn’t let anyone stop her on her journey to control and learn about her powers. Her relationship with Granny Weatherwax was so interesting. I loved watching them grow to love each other and how they look out for each other no matter what!

I also LOVED Pratchett’s commentary on gender equality. Constantly there were references to how women would never be able to do a man’s job and how women weren’t allowed in places of high education. I loved how the women in this book dismissed these statements and paved their own way and how the narrator made a note to add he disagreed with the misogynistic characters and things they were saying. Plus, the image of Granny Weatherwax slamming open the doors to the great hall and duelling with the Archchancellor of the Unseen University made me very happy!!

The next book I will be reviewing is The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. From what I have grasped so far, is that it’s a mystery novel of missing child set in Botswana.

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hi everyone, so since we are halfway through the year I thought it would be best if I told you all my thoughts and feelings on the books I read in the first 6 months of 2019!

I plan on –

  • Listing all the books I read.
  • Update on my challenges.
  • Then do the generic tag, giving you an insight into my opinions so far!

The books I have read so far…

Challenge Update!

So, in regards to my 2019 sequels challenge where I planned to read the sequel to all the books I read in 2018… I have done very, very well. I have only one book left which is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and then I would have completed my 2019 sequels challenge!

For my ONTD Challenge, I have also been incredibly successful! The list below is the books I have read so far for the challenge.

  • January ~ (Read a book that is being turned into a movie or TV show in 2019) ~ The Light Fantastic – Terry Pratchett and The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R Tolkien. (I did get this wrong as I chose books that weren’t being made or released as tv shows or movies in 2019 but I still technically fulfilled the challenge just the wrong year!)
  • February ~ (Read a book that includes romance or a book in which characters experience a break-up) ~ Obsidio – Amie Kaufman + Jay Kristoff and Legendary – Stephanie Garber.
  • March ~ (Read a non-fiction book) ~ How To Adult – Stephen Wildish.
  • April ~ (Read a book about time-travel) ~ The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North
  • May ~ (Read a book set in a country you have never been too) ~ The Girl in the Tower – Katherine Arden (Russia) and The Boundless – Kenneth Oppel (Canada)
  • June ~ (Read a book about friendship) ~ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K Rowling

Finally, for my Goodreads reading challenge. I have read 25 books out of my target of 33. So only 8 more books to go!

On with the tag questions…

Best book you have read so far in 2019:

The best book is a toss-up between Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve or Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. Both were action packed and full of amazing characters and set in two very different worlds. One is a post-apocalyptic dystopian, the other a flourishing utopia. Very different, it is too hard to choose now but I will choose Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve! See the next question.

Best sequel you have read so far in 2019:

Well, this one is easy! Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, this book was so much better than Scythe and I didn’t think we were going to be able to top Scythe! The world-building was incredible as per but the stakes felt higher in this book than in the first one and we started to move away from it being Citra and Rowan’s sole journey but to a wider more political novel about the society itself. This aspect I really enjoyed!

New release you haven’t yet read but want to:

There are so many new releases I want to read! I can’t pick one!

  • The Girl in Red – Christina Henry. My favourite author of 2018 but her last book was incredibly disappointing I hope she will bring it back with this one.
  • City of Girls – Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Gods of Jade and Sorrow – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Biggest disappointment:

Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst. This book was awful! The only reason I gave this a two-star rating is because the main character’s friend is super lovely and I see a bit of myself in her but besides that the book is awful! What was disappointing about this was that this was my first book from a book subscription box and I had really high expectations for the book as they, so rightfully, hyped it up. But it was just awful and the string of books that followed, from the company, weren’t any better, thankfully I came out of the slump thanks to their March box. But it was just disappointing as it was hyped up so much and under-delivered incredibly.

Biggest surprise:

The Long Way To A Small Angry Plant by Becky Chambers. This was a book I had seen posted around and mentioned numerous times but I never felt the desire to pick it up. A friend from work gave it to me to read and I was blown away by how sweet, funny and crazy it was. It has ended up becoming one of my favourite books of this year and I just loved the friendships and bonds that were formed. I always considered this book to be something I wouldn’t like.

Favourite new author:

I would have to say, Phillip Reeve. He is a new author to me this year and I thoroughly enjoyed his book, the world-building was amazing. The action was exhilarating and if it wasn’t for my massive pile of books on my desk waiting to be read I would pick up the next book now and read it!

Newest favourite character:

Again I couldn’t pick just one character so see the list below:

  • Rhen Tellur – To Best The Boys
  • Valentine Waterford – Resort to Murder
  • The entire cast of The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet
  • Jupiter North – Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
  • Death – The Discworld Series

Book that made you cry:

No book will ever come close to the tears I shed reading Lost Boy by Christina Henry. The closest I got to was Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. To me it was more emotion towards it being the end of the series, I really enjoyed this trilogy and the themes that were discussed in these novels are very heart-breaking and to see it all end and especially in the way it did. It did make me get emotional but I didn’t cry.

Book that made you happy:

I again have a few as I can’t pick one.

  • The Girl in the Tower – Katherine Arden. Mainly because it was such an improvement from her first book.
  • TLWTASAP – Becky Chambers. Just a fun book about friendship and connections with an incredibly funny cast.
  • The Light Fantastic – Terry Pratchett. His books are always just so fun and it’s so easy to get lost into his world and his writing.

Most beautiful book you have received or bought this year.

The Mortal Engines cover is the most outstanding cover so far this year. The artwork is absolutely amazing and breath-taking!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I have so many books that I need to read. I have 13 books waiting on my shelf to be read and most of these books don’t fit into the remaining ONTD reading categories so I will have to get more books in order to achieve that challenge. There are too many books to count!

Mortal Engines Review

  • Author: Phillip Reeve
  • Series: Mortal Engines Quartet #1
  • Genre: Sci-fi/Dystopian
  • No. of pages: 336
  • Dates read: 29.05.19 – 10.06.19
  • Rating: 4 stars

I didn’t know much about this story going into it, I had watched the trailer for the movie and that was about it. I am so happy that I have found this series!

Plot: London is a city on wheels – a future city like you’ve never known before. In the terrible aftermath of the Sixty Minute War, cities which survived the apocalypse became predators, chasing and feeding on smaller towns. Now London is hunting down its prey, getting ready to feed. But as the chase begins, Tom uncovers a secret – a secret full of deadly consequences. Soon he is plunged into a world of unkillable enemies, threatened by a weapon that will tear his life apart.

First of all, the setting was unlike anything I have read before. I loved the world-building of the city of London with its many cogs, levels and pipes. It had a massive steampunk feel to it, the city felt like it was just patched together with what was available. Reeve did an amazing job in painting a picture for you of London and all the other places that we visit. I just fell in love with this messed up world.

The characters in this book were incredibly varied. I loved seeing Tom turn from coward to hero, becoming the hero he dreamed of being. I loved Hester’s character the most, she was a woman with a goal and was unwavering! (Ignore the fact her goal is to murder someone.) Katherine was such a beautiful and hopeful character and you just want to see her succeed. The female characters especially lift quite a lot of the male characters up in this story which was great to see!

One thing I didn’t love, there is probably a reason behind this, was the emphasis on Hester’s “ugliness”. She has a scar which haunts her everywhere she goes and I felt slightly uncomfortable whenever she was referenced as ugly or disgusting by all the male characters she comes into contact with, it’s a sign of trauma in her life and it’s something that should be dismissed as ugly and unworthy of someone’s time. But there is probably a deeper meaning to this but I had to say it.

I loved the different POV’s we got throughout the story, we were watching many different sides to this big narrative! We got Katherine’s journey of discovery, Tom’s journey of survival and Hester’s journey of revenge. All very different journey’s so it made for an incredibly interesting read and very dynamic plot!

The romance that brewed in this novel worked well for me. It wasn’t too over-empowering but also developed enough so you didn’t think it came out of the blue.

I loved the theme of loss that flows its way through the story. While I can’t say too much due to spoilers, nearly every character has experienced, prior to the story or during the story, some element of losing something and now has to deal with that loss. It was a theme that follows you from page to page.

My final point would be that it felt very much like a standalone novel, someone the actions and plot points felt very final to me rather than the pathway to a second novel. So, I am interested to see where Reeve goes with the series, as it’s quite unclear to me.

The next book I will be reviewing is The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell. A more light-hearted and fun novel. I am still re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as I am typing this but there will be a blog post about that book as well.

May Wrap Up 2019

Here are the books I read in the month of May.

Resort to Murder by TP Fielden (4 stars)

This was another good instalment to the new murder mystery series by TP Fielden. I found the case to be far more engaging than the previous book, the addition of the character Valentine to be a brilliant choice and the ending to be a lot more satisfying than the original novel. That being said I did find some problems with the characterisation of one of the female characters in this book. She could have been written a lot better.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1.5 stars)

This was boring! I DNFed this book at 25% and because I only read 58 pages of the 230-page book, I didn’t feel like I had enough reasons or have read enough of the book to review it. This is my first 1 star of the year! To me, since it’s a character-driven novel, I had no idea where the plot was going, nor did I care! I also found the main character to be annoying and whiny. His stream of consciousness kind of monologue was dull and painful to read.

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (5 stars)

Another book which avoided 2nd Book Syndrome! I read the first novel and felt underwhelmed. But I decided to pick up the second book as I quite liked the direction it was going and it blew my mind! I loved how it kept to what made the first book so great, most importantly the folklore creatures but it also expanded on where it initally faultered. Vasya’ character development was done very well in this book.

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (2 stars)

This was a disappointing one for me. Mainly it felt like a middle grade trying to be YA. Also the book was full of a variety of genres that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, one minute it’s historical fiction and then it’s fantasy. The writing was lacking for me as well and I was just completely underwhelmed with it all.

Viper by Bex Hogan (3 stars)

This one I enjoyed. One of the last books I read from my Fairyloot subscription boxes and I loved it. I had never read a pirate story before so I was excited going into it. My favourite thing was the father/daughter dynamic between our main charcter and her father the infamous Viper! This story is incredibly action-packed and heart-breaking. I recommend everyone should give this a read!

To Best The Boys by Mary Weber (4 stars)

My last book for May and I have left the month very happy. This was one of my highly anticipated reads of 2019 and I loved it!! A book that every young girl should read. It’s incredibly empowering with an amazing message with two strong female characters at the forefront of the story. This story is like Viper, full of twists and turns and you root for girls the entire way through the novel. It also has a deadly labyrinth and who doesn’t love Labyrinths!

To Best The Boys Review

  • Author: Mary Weber
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Magic Realism/Action Adventure
  • No. of pages: 314
  • Dates read: 21.05.19 – 29.05.19
  • Star Rating: 4 stars


This is the kind of book I need more of in my life! This book is incredibly empowering and is something that all young girls should read.

Plot: Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port have received a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. In the province of Caldon, where women train in wifely duties and men pursue collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her mum succumbs to it as well, Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition. With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone is ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the deadly maze.

First of all, you have a female protagonist who aspires to be the first female scientist while also dealing with dyslexia, I love it. While dyslexia only plays a small part in her character it really shows her determination to want to learn and succeed. I thought she was an amazing protagonist and I found myself relating to her a lot!

One of the main themes of this book is about a women’s place. Who she should be in accordance to the male characters, you see Rhen try to break free from the societal constraints placed on her and she says numerous times that she is not owned by any man and that she is her own person to make her own decisions. Then you have Seleni who enjoys the more stereotypical roles of a housewife and mother and I loved that both women were empowered to lead their very different lives and the Seleni wasn’t ridiculed for her choices by Rhen and vice versa.

Seleni and Rhen’s relationship was one of my favourite parts of this book. I love their support for each other, their love for each other and how Seleni didn’t bat an eyelid in taking part in the contest to support Rhen. They were never really pitted against each other and even if they were they had each other’s back which I loved to see.

Many men in this book were awful! Point blank awful. I have never wanted to launch a book across the room as much as I have with this book, as some of the boys (the privileged, rich kids) were so rude and horrible. We had attempted assault, gaslighting, classism etc. Weber did a great job of making you hate these characters. I also felt that Weber did a great job though in separating the bad men from the good men who were allies to Rhen and Seleni. Like Lute, Beryll, Sam etc. These boys were a ray of light, especially Lute, who didn’t feel emasculated next to the girls and didn’t feel the need to bring them down but actually lifted them up and gave them opportunities to succeed.

What I liked about Beryll, especially, was he was raised exactly like the horrible boys were. Rich, privileged lives but he didn’t look down upon others and he took his experiences and the people he met and ultimately learned from it and tries to be the best ally he can me and I loved that about his character!

The setting for this book is really interesting. It’s sort of light fantasy/magic realism and I really enjoyed the setting. I loved that it was the norm to avoid going out at a specific time or specific areas because of ghouls and monsters and how some people didn’t bat an eyelid about it. The labyrinth was my favourite part of the plot, I do think we could have spent more time and I was disappointed that it was over so quickly. I felt it was incredibly imaginative and that not all was as it seemed, I love seeing the character dynamics play out with each obstacle. But I felt more time should have been spent in there.

The next book I will be reviewing is Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve. I have heard some amazing things about this novel so I’m excited to give this a go. I will also be re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at the same time. I will go into a bit more detail about my re-read and why I am re-reading the series in a future post.