Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
I cannot review the book Howl’s Moving Castle without reviewing the movie as well. They compliment each other so nicely it is as if they are two parts of a whole, or two alternative versions…
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (Book)
Series: Howl’s Moving Castle Trilogy, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Paperback, Audiobook, narrated by Jenny Sterlin
Rating: 4.5 stars
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.
Howl’s Moving Castle directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Movie)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Producer: Toshio Suzuki, Studio Ghibli
Book and Movie Review:
I cannot review the book Howl’s Moving Castle without reviewing the movie as well. They compliment each other so nicely it is as if they are two parts of a whole, or two alternative versions (the AP Statistics side of me wants to say they are like a null hypothesis and an alternate hypothesis, and each person must individually do their own testing to decide if they want to reject the null in favor of the alternate or not).
Oddly enough, while the animated movie is an adaptation of the book, I personally find that the movie handles the characterization and romance better than the book. However, the book provides more side-stories and deeper intrigue, and has a slightly different ending from the movie due to the wider character cast and more intricate plot. The movie in fact drops many characters and scenes, making the plot much simpler but also more focused and precise.
To add to the uniqueness of this duo, they can easily be enjoyed in any order. I watched the movie twice before even realizing that it was based off a book at all! Personally, I prefer the movie to the book (scandalous I know, but I assure you this is the only case), because the animation is just so beautiful and I did fall in love with the movie first.
I recommend reading the book and watching the movie! Either order works in this case since they are so different. I really see them as companions instead of the original and a movie adaptation, since they have different strengths and weaknesses. But both are very very highly recommended by both of us!
(This book counts for the School YA Bingo Challenge in the category of “A Book with a Lion, a Witch, or a Wardrobe.”)