Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 4 (#PotterheadReadAlong19)

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In Chapter 4, the Weasleys come to pick up Harry and chaos ensues. Let’s go!

I adore the Weasleys so much. They are my all-time favorite fictional family. No one else even comes close. They are the absolute best.

Harry is all packed up and ready to go. He had told the Dursleys when the Weasleys were coming, and things are pretty tense right now. Uncle Vernon wants to know what type of car they drive (since he’s the type who judges people by how expensive their car is) and Harry doesn’t know. Their last car lives in the Forbidden Forest now, so who knows if they’ve gotten another one. Actually, Harry has no idea how they are coming, and the fact that he can’t tell Vernon that makes Vernon all the more uptight.

I love when the Dursleys are scared. Does that make me a bad person? I just think that they deserve to be as uncomfortable as possible.

Also, Dudley is beyond nervous and actually terrified. He remembers his last encounter with a wizard ended with a pig tail sticking out of his rear end, which then had to be surgically removed. Oh, Hagrid. So yeah, Dudley is spending this entire day with his hands on his behind to protect it.

The time for the Weasleys arrival finally comes . . . and goes. They are late, which really ticks Vernon off. He and Petunia keep looking out the window for a car to pull up when suddenly, there is a large sound coming from the fireplace. The boarded-up fireplace.

“Ouch! Fred, no — go back, go back, there’s been some kind of mistake — tell George not to — OUCH! George, no, there’s no room, go back quickly and tell Ron –”

“Maybe Harry can hear us, Dad — maybe he’ll be able to let us out –”

There was a loud hammering of fists on the boards behind the electric fire.

“Harry? Harry, can you hear us?”

The Weasleys have tried to travel by Floo powder into a fireplace that is boarded up and has an electric fire. And now they are stuck. Harry explains all this to them (Mr. Weasley is very excited to see an electric fire — it has a plug!) and Mr. Weasley has to basically blast them out of the wall. The Dursleys are not amused and, in fact, think that the Weasleys are absolutely crazy. Mr. Weasley, bless him, tries to speak kindly to Dudley, who just whimpers in fright. I think Mr. Weasley probably thinks the Dursleys are just as bizarre as they do of him.

The twins are here, though, and that means there is always time for a prank. As Fred is helping to carry Harry’s trunk, he “accidentally” spills his pocketful of candy. He scoops them all up, but “accidentally” misses one that Dudley, starved from his diet, immediately finds and scarfs down. It is never a good idea to eat something that Fred and George provide. NEVER EVER!

Dudley was no longer standing behind his parents. He was kneeling beside the coffee table, and he was gagging and sputtering on a foot-long, purple, slimy thing that was protruding from his mouth. One bewildered second later, Harry realized that the foot-long thing was Dudley’s tongue — and that a brightly colored toffee wrapper lay on the floor before him.

Vernon and Petunia panic, trying to pull the weird thing out of Dudley’s mouth, which since it’s his tongue, doesn’t work very well. Mr. Weasley tries to help, saying he can fix it, but Vernon doesn’t want any help at this point. He throws a china figure at Mr. Weasley’s head, and Mr. Weasley tells Harry to leave so he can fix everything. And so Harry leaves and heads to the Burrow, ready to spend the rest of his summer with the Weasleys.

See you next time for Chapter 5!

Books I've Read

Book Review: The Wrythe and the Reckoning by Yvonthia Leland

The Wrythe and the ReckoningTitle: The Wrythe and the Reckoning

Author: Yvonthia Leland

Genre: YA, I guess?

Series: none

Edition: ARC from NetGalley

Blurb: The Wrythe and the Reckoning is an avant-garde nostalgic story that will have you not only falling in love with the characters, but you’ll also gain an understanding of their individual perspectives on life. This fantasy tale is sure to be enjoyed by readers of all ages, from teens to older adults.

In the mid-1800s, Lina and her family move from their small New Hampshire village to an industrial city in Massachusetts. During this time, it is said that a bizarre, malevolent human-like monster is lurking about in the forests of the New England territory. In addition, Lina is an independent thinker. She’s determined to make something of herself and to live her life the way that she wants to. Lina must face and overcome the difficult challenges surrounding her society in order to live her ideal life, all while avoiding being murdered by the so-called human-monster. ‘The Wrythe and the Reckoning’ is an epic urban fantasy tale of love, courage, bravery, freedom, and friendship.

If you’re looking for a story that’s simply about romance or a horrific event, this isn’t the story for you. The Wrythe and the Reckoning is an intricately woven tale of a teenage girl’s life experience as she grows into a woman and continuing afterwards. Not only is this story about her life, it’s also about the lives of those close to her and the society in which she lives.

Intriguingly complex and yet relatable, The Wrythe and the Reckoning is a thought-provoking and intellectual story of fantasy, mystery, adventure, and romance.

Review: Y’all, this is the first time in a while that a book has made me so confused. It’s also been a while since I was close to straight up not finishing a book. If I didn’t feel obligated by NetGalley to do it, I probably would have given up on this book.

The first thing you notice with this book is it’s voice. The tone is very old fashioned, reminding me of some of the late 19th/early 20th prose I studied for my English degree in college, except . . . way too simple. It is overly plodding, giving every detail. This book badly needed some edition. There were too many pages where nothing really happened. At all. It could have easily been a short story instead of a novel.

The pacing is also just strange. The first few chapters were reeeeaally long, and then they got really short. And there didn’t seem like a point to it. Also, I should point out, that the ARC is 20 chapters long (with chapter 2 broken into two parts for some reason) and it is incomplete. There is a note from the author basically saying to check out the rest of the book once it’s published.

So let’s talk a bit about the story. The main character is Lina, a young girl who is determined to be independent. Which basically means she doesn’t want to get married, which is unusual for her time period. This doesn’t stop several men from being smitten with her, despite everyone else describing her as not particularly attractive and very difficult because of her modern views. She attends abolitionist meetings and volunteers for the suffrage movement, but in a very bland way. All of the characters were very bland and they all had very average lives that were very dull at times to read about.

Now let’s talk about the “monster,” the thing that is really supposed to get this story hopping. There are a handful of hints about it in the book, none of which make it sound too serious. Maybe there is a murderer loose, but that’s it. Any hints of it being a “monster” are brushed off by EVERYONE as just superstition. But we the reading, through our point-of-view character Lina, don’t actually experience the monster until chapter 18. Of a 20 chapter ARC. That should have happened much, much sooner, but instead we got a lot of day-to-day details that don’t really go anywhere and, are frankly, quite boring.

Another weird thing: this book and this author have no information on GoodReads at all. The blurb above was taken from the NetGalley page.

I really hate to give bad reviews, only because I know how much blood, sweat, and tears go into writing a novel. But I also have to be honest, and honestly, I did not enjoy this much at all.

GoodReads Rating: 2 stars