Howl's Moving Castle Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-06 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

I talk about this book in this video wrap-up.

This was my first read of 2016, and it was a lovely and enchanting way to start my reading year. Howl's Moving Castle is so much of what I love in books: whimsy, a vivid setting, bright characters and found families.

Wynne Jones' is told in such a clean and straightforward way that it makes the fantastical elements and setting stand out all the more. In turn, the brightness of those elements really help to balance and at times highlight the darker elements of the story. Yes, this book is about a moving castle, a young girl turned old and a moody wizard, but it's set up against a war and curses and imprisonment, both physical and the kind that comes from the expectations of others.

I really loved Sophie as a main character and I loved the way she handles having this curse on her. She kind of just rolls with it, but also uses the costume to her advantage, freeing herself in a way she probably hadn't experience before when she was stuck in a life pre-planned for her. I love that she doesn't take Howl's crap. She cleans and mends and goes about doing what she thinks is right, regardless of his moods. I only ended up liking Howl because he becomes part of Sophie's family, or rather, Sophie becomes part of his. He softens a lot and I can at least appreciate that.

Definitely a recommended read for anyone who likes children's or middle grade fantasy. If you watched the movie and loved it, it would be interesting to read this as well because it is so much MORE. It's more plot, more of the characters and it just makes so much more sense when you have the full story.
" said.

"I don't get what's so great about this book. I found it boring, the characters are meh and tbh how Wynne Jones draws out a storyline over 200 pages when they could cover 100 is completely pointless, and did I mention, boring.

I was interested in the introduction of Sophie and her sisters, but then the Witch of the Waste turns Sophie into a 90-year old lady and it just becomes boring. She joins Howl's Moving Castle and become a "cleaner" there after making a contract with the fire demon that powers the castle, Calcifer. And then, nothing interesting happens for ages - just descriptions of the castle, some banal talk and Howl himself who is just one big drama queen.

Seriously, one of the worst popular books I have ever read. It was just dull. I have no comprehension for the fans of this novel - nothing appeals.

" said.

" My all-time favourite movie had a book it was based off first?! :O :O :OThis newfound knowledge pleases me immensely. " said.

"This is the first book that I read to my daughter.

She may not be a captive audience...actually, scrap that. She's still brewing. Still in the womb. She was captive! Captivated, well that's harder to say. The general feedback was wiggles. Her mother reported that she wiggled as I read to her, a chapter a night for the last few weeks. It was either "Hey I like this sound" or "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? STOP TORTURING ME!" I'm assuming it was the former.

This book was chosen because it is one of my wife's favourites. And what better book to read to your child than my wife's favourite. I've been meaning to read it for years, egged on by equal parts nagging and curiosity. And my wife enjoyed my reading "to the baby". And I enjoyed reading "to the baby" too.

The story is a fantasy, not a simple fantasy, but many familiar fantasy tropes turned around, viewed from a skewed angle and reinvented. Howl is an evil wizard who steals young girls souls. Sophie is a cinderella-lite stuck working in a hat shop. Their worlds collide and you meet many wonderful characters and there are many twists and turns. The book is enjoyable and it has a strong female lead. This is a book you'd want to read to your daughter. The daughters who are not princesses and don't put up with that kind of bullshit.

So this book is wonderful, but it will hold many wonderful memories. It will be reread often I feel. Until nest time. When she is in my arms.
" said.

" Quite different from the movie but no less fantastic.Needless to say, I loved it. " said.

"An annoying 3 Stars

While I had no recollection of the plot, I remember absolutely loving the Howl's Moving Castle Studio Ghibli film as a kid, so I went into this expecting to escape into a world of feel-good nostalgia. And I was for the first 100 pages, but then everything changed with the reading slump attacked... It took me over 2 weeks to get through the next 200 pages, but it wasn't even the book's fault, just me being a big dumb dumb D:

As to the book itself, I really like how imaginative this world is and how ridiculous everything was! Just the idea of having a moving castle itself is super fun to me... I mean, what more could you want in life?! Well a dragon would be pretty cool but anyway...

I also really liked how the story was introduced. The first few chapters were definitely my favorites, as it was entertaining to learn about everyone's wacky personalities and the randomness of the magic. Seriously, the magic is just completely crazy, but that's what I loved about it! Sometimes it's nice not to have a really in depth and detailed, scientific magic system... Sometimes I just want a living scarecrow and a cursed fireplace... is that so wrong?

I know for a fact that I would have continued to love this book after the first 100 pages, if I had read it at a different time, which is why is why it's an annoying 3 stars... It deserves so much more but I simply didn't enjoy reading it and it became a chore :( There was nothing I didn't like about it, but I just kept losing concentration and then losing track on the plot and eventually I just had no idea what was going on because I kept zoning out. Like I said though, this wasn't even the book's fault, just me and the pesky little reading slump! *Shakes fist to the sky*

I'm really hoping to get out of it soon though and get back into reading again! :D

" said.

" One of the best fantasies, and a clever mystery besides. Read it, for probably the 10th time, but this time I read it aloud to my 7yo. He loved it, though I did have to explain a few things. I would love a Calcifer of my own. " said.

" Howl's lingers with me because of the humor, because of the perfectly executed twisting plot, because of the snapping dialog. Diana is possibly the best writer of her generation but because she wrote mainly YA in a time before HP she was disregarded. You want to know what I think a book should be like? Read this one. " said.

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