Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones is Awesome.

Today, I am going to talk about books.
Or, more specifically, I am going to talk about one book.

Have any of you read Howl's Moving Castle?

Howl's Moving Castle

I love this book, and not just because Christian Bale does the voice of Howl in the Anime movie (which, I'll be honest, doesn't quite follow the book but is still worth two hours of any free afternoon).

Howl's Moving Castle centers on Sophie, a cranky eighteen year old who is suddenly transformed into a cranky eighty year old by a mysterious woman who enters her family's hat shop one afternoon while Sophie works alone. Afterwards, Sophie looks at herself, grimaces at her advanced state, and walks out the door, leaving home in the dust behind her. Realizing that she has nowhere to go, Sophie sets up camp in Howl's castle- a castle that moves- posing as a cleaning woman, all while secretly hoping that Howl, a powerful wizard, will realize that she is, in fact, a teenager, not an old woman, and that he will know how to cure her. The only problem? Sophie can't tell anyone that she's a young woman trapped in an old lady's body. And the second problem? Word on the street is that Howl eats the hearts of beautiful young women and he's got his eye set on Lettie, Sophie's younger sister.

Howl's Moving Castle

I was assigned this book when I was taking a Young Adult Literature class at BYU and, when I first saw it, I wasn't too sure I would like it that much. I have always loved reading fairy tales but, aside from Harry Potter, I rarely love fantasy novels. Howl's Moving Castle isn't high fantasy by any means, but it is still quite fantastic. The novel is extremely imaginative and hilarious and I love that it's something I would have loved as young as seven or eight but it's something I'll still love when I'm fifty.

Seriously, it's delicious.

Howl's Moving Castle

And if that's enough to sell you, then I'll also tell you that Diana Wynne Jones is the author of this novel. Don't know who Diana Wynne Jones is? I didn't, either, but she studied underneath JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and (from what I've heard but could be wrong) was close enough to them to sit on some of their discussions. And even if that's an urban legend, the lady knows her stuff and, better yet, knows how to twist it in a lighthearted, slightly mocking way. Which is fabulous.

P.S. I write personal reviews for books all the time and I've recently decided to make this a regular feature on my blog because, if you're nerdy like me, you LOVE to read book reviews so that you can constantly add to your to-be-read pile.

P.P.S. Next Tuesday, I will be posting about Water for Elephants.