Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Title: Howl’s Moving Castle
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Rating: 5 Stars
Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)

I’ve been putting off this review for a while, even though I’d been reading this since I was 10. In fact, I think I read this before Harry Potter, and cheated on Howl’s Moving Castle with Harry Potter. But, when finally the last movie was finally, finally out in theaters (of course I went to the premiere!), Howl’s Moving Castle was on my bedside, for some magical reason. Patient, and loving, edges quite frayed from years of love. And then, I picked it up and read.
And if anything, it was even better than I remembered it. There’s something inexplicably magical about Diana Wynne Jones and what she writes. The story was solid and strong, with whimsical qualities thrown in everywhere. And the characters appeared once again, built beautifully with quirks so quirky, you knew everybody. And the main protaganist? After reading this, you’ll never have to wonder why I want to kill every weak girl charrie that comes along in YA… Let me tell you something about Sophie, the leading lady of this book. When she looked in the mirror, and found herself staring back as an old lady… She didn’t bitch or moan about it like any other person would do, although she did feel quite mad. But after two seconds, this was Sophie:

And then, she uses this chance to escape from her dull life as a hatter. And likes being a granny. After all, she can scream and shout at everyone and still get away with it.
From the movie. Different from the book, but still has spunk!

How many teenage girls turned old ladies would decide that?
Besides the fact that she’d die much quicker, she’d probably decide to stay that way. But eventually, she decides that she’ll go to Wizard Howl’s place to get herself turned back. And meets the narcissistic, emotional, and handsome Wizard Howl. And let me tell you, their romance isn’t that much in the story, but it’s there. And it adds to the story. I’m screaming at the pages in my room, “CONFESS ALREADY!” But then I remember Sophie’s an old lady.

Oh, and let’s not forget Calicifer. The amazing talking fire!

5 Stars

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2 thoughts on “Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

  1. I loved this book. Just out of curiosity have you read the sequels? (Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways.) They aren’t quite as good as this one, but when a book is this good it’s usually hard to top it.

    I saw the movie version of this well before I read the book (actually, I didn’t even know it was a book until I happened to see it one day while wandering around Barnes & Noble). And while they’re slightly different stories, they’re both very good.

    Since you mentioned him specifically, I have to also say that I loved Calcifer, although after watching the movie I heard him speaking in Billy Crystal’s voice when I read the book, he was a great choice for the voice actor.

    • Yes, I have. And I think it isn’t quite as good as this one, either, unfortunately. Especially Castle in the Air. But, it still has those “whimsical” qualities…
      and I found that I enjoyed it a lot. The same thing happened with Harry Potter, too. And you can yell at me, I’m sorry, but the only book I’ve reread more than once from Harry Potter was the 1st one. After that, it lost its “whimsical” charm, if you know what I mean.

      And, I agree! I love Calcifer! He’s an amazing character, and I love the way he supplied Sophie with so many hints, so subtly. All in all, I think Diana Wynne Jones was an amazing writer, and I’ll always remember her fondly.

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