Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
[Audiobook Purchased from Audible]
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
Though this isn’t my typical go-to genre, I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time and I wasn’t disappointed. I enjoyed my time in Sophie and Howl’s magical world.
I related way too much with Howl on many occasions. Two prime examples in which Howl is me:
- When Howl gets sick with a cold and becomes a giant baby about it, moaning and groaning and acting like his world is ending. This is me every time I get sick. Ask my husband. In fact, I’m pretty sure my husband is Sophie and I am Howl in so many ways it is frightening.
- When Howl tells Sophie his truth: “I’m a coward. Only way I can do something this frightening is to tell myself I’m not doing it.”
This is the backwards tactic I’ve been known to use when I need to convince myself to do scary things — I tell myself and others that I’m not going to do it (or at least find a million “outs”) and then I usually end up doing it. Both Howl and I know ourselves well enough to know that if we have to commit to something, the pressure becomes too great and we give up. I’m not proud of it, but I’ve embraced it. And I loved that he did, too.
So, basically, I related exceptionally well to Howl and I was thoroughly entertained by how Sophie dealt with things. Particularly turning into an old woman. She was just like, “Eh, it is what it is,” and kind of went on with life, only vaguely inconvenienced. I found this hilarious for some reason.
The writing was perfectly middle-grade fantasy and British. At least it was to me, coming from someone who rarely reads this particular genre.
It was nice to roam outside of the norm for a bit with this book. Now I’m off to find out how I can get my hands on the movie!
Audiobook Performance: 5 Stars
Jenny Sterlin had the absolute perfect voice for this book. Her voice acting is impeccable. I was completely in the story the entire time thanks to her.
Butterfly Rating: 1 Star
Not gonna lie, I read this book because someone referenced it in relation to A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and while I did get some Rhys vibes from Howl, this book wasn’t a romance, though it did have very little romance in the end. Therefore there were no real butterflies.
Re-read Worthiness: 1 Star
I likely won’t reread this one, but I will definitely watch the movie!
Bookshelf Placement: Yes
I’d love to have a copy of this one in my collection, mostly so that my kids can read it when they are old enough.
New Book Boyfriend: Yes
This is totally going to reveal just how egomaniacal I am, but Howl is totally one of my new book boyfriends mostly because he was unintentionally hilarious and also he’s basically me.