Diana Wynne Jones
I can’t even think about this book without hearing the music from Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film. This book as been sitting on my shelf since I bought it after Margo and I watched the movie and she informed me it was actually a book. And since I love the movie and I love Margo, I finally decided to read it. Also, it won the poll, but I swear that wasn’t a big influence.
Anyway, this book is going to cause me to say something I thought I would never say–I liked the movie better. Phew, okay, now that I got that out of my system, here’s why:
The book slowed down quite a bit after the first quarter. I was interested in the beginning, but once Sophie reaches the castle, it gets pointless for a few chapters. Then, we start to see hints of where the story is going, and it starts getting good again. The movie does a much better job of filling out the characters (especially Howl) and also skips over all the terribly boring bits. The book, on the other hand, explains the missing wizard and prince better. Well, I shouldn’t say “better” since aside from one sentence said by a character who isn’t even given screen-time, the movie doesn’t explain it at all.
Now that I sound like I hate the book, let me say it was a good read! Sophie is a strong female, who doesn’t take any orders from anyone. Love and romance don’t distract her (unlike many other books) and in the end, she saves the day just by being her–she doesn’t need magical powers or a super knight to scoop her out of danger. I really liked this, and I think young girls should read more stuff like this. If you can power through the dry bits, then I highly suggest you pick up a copy (and grab one for a pre-teen too).