Howl’s Moving Castle (Book) Review

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I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until last year that I even knew Howl’s Moving Castle was not only a fantastic animated film, but also a book! I found a copy in a 2nd and Charles Free Book Bin and snatched that baby up immediately, and I’m so glad that I did! This book was pure magic. ❀ I feel like if you’re a fan of the Miyazaki film, or if you enjoy light-hearted whimsical stories like The Last Unicorn or Stardust, that Howl’s Moving Castle might just be right up your alley. πŸ˜‰

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β€œIn the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.”

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Having grown up in a small hat shop and expecting a very uneventful life due to the social stigma of being the eldest, Sophie has her world turned upside down due to a witch’s curse that transforms her into an old woman. But perhaps the Witch of the Waste’s curse is just what Sophie needs to push herself out of the dull fate she had previously accepted for herself. Setting off to find a cure for the curse inflicted upon her, Sophie winds up finding much more than that. Witches and wizards, shapeshifters and fire demons are only a sample of the strange characters she’ll meet as she is forced out of her comfort zone. She’ll venture to moving castles and palaces and more in an effort to undo the Witch of the Waste’s magic, and she’ll do it with a sassy attitude to boot!

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The characters in this story are all so quirky and fun, and the book has a lovely light and humorous tone to it. I think the whimsy of it really made this book one of those special sort of “Feel Good” reads for me. πŸ™‚ I’m not usually a re-read sort of person (only due to there being SO MANY books out there to be read) but this is one I would consider re-reading in the future.

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β€œIt is quite a risk to spank a wizard for getting hysterical about his hair.”

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Diana Wynne Jones weaved quite the enchanting story, so I would definitely like to read more of her work in the future. She was very imaginative and created a lovely fantasy world with entertaining characters to fill it. Apparently there are two other books related to this one, so I plan to check those out one day, too!

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Spread the Love: The One Lovely Blog Award

I was so pleasantly surprised to see that I was nominated by none other than The Shameful Narcissist for The One Lovely Blog Award! πŸ™‚ Special thanks for the nomination. I really do appreciate it. πŸ™‚ Her blog is a fun and well-worded medley of her love for retro video games, fantasy, books, her own reviews/fan fiction, and more! Her passion for these things shines through in her well-worded posts. I highly recommend checking her blog out!

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Although I had never heard of The One Lovely Blog Award until I was nominated for it, I can really get behind what it stands for. Those nominated share a few interesting facts about themselves and then nominate others to do so as well. As said by The Shameful Narcissist: “It creates a potentially never ending cycle of sharing and positivity, something there can never be enough of in the world.” I couldn’t agree more. With all the negativity out there, we could use a little more fun and love out there for one another.

The Official Rules of this Award go as such:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

  • List the rules and display the award.

  • Nominate 6-10 bloggers to receive this award.

  • State 7 facts about yourself.

So, without further ado, here are 7 random tidbits about yours truly.

Fact #1: I have what is often described as a “young” sounding voice. It makes doing most vocal impressions difficult for me, but I have a couple that I am quite proud of. One is the titular character of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo when she gets excited and screams “HAM!” and the other is that I can do a mean impression of a Murloc from World of Warcraft. It isn’t much, but you work with whatcha got! πŸ˜›

Fact #2: When I was a kid my first little girl crush was on David Bowie in Labyrinth. I regret nothing!!

Fact #3: I have a cat who is my furry little minion. Her name is Bailey and I love her beyond measure. I call her by like a thousand nicknames. Some are plays on her name like “Bailbo Baggins” or “Peter Bail-ish”. Others are things like “Chub Cat”, “Pound Cake”, or “Chubkins”. She is a cheeseburger cat.

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Fact #4: I love learning. My favorite subjects are history, mythology and folklore, anatomy and physiology, and marine biology, but I love to research a wide variety of different subjects. I adore museums and libraries. If schooling was more affordable I would probably be enrolled in classes until the day I die.

Fact #5: My favorite holiday is Halloween! What’s not to love? The spooky fun, costumes, candy, scary stories and movies, pumpkin carving, apple orchards for cider and donuts, the list just goes on and on and on for me. It’s also the highlight of my favorite season: autumn.

Fact #6: I love sharks. There are so many kinds and so many interesting things to learn about them all. They truly are amazing creatures. They’re just fascinating. My favorite species is probably the whale shark. They’re gentle giants.

Fact #7: I am very passionate about people learning first aid and CPR. Sounds weird, I know, but these are easy things to learn that can literally save a life. I took my first CPR and First Aid class in 2009 and I remember as we learned the Heimlich maneuver thinking, I’ll probably never use this, but I guess it’s good to know. I kid you not, the following weekend I was out to dinner with my ex and his family and his great uncle began choking on his dinner. And I don’t mean he was coughing like crazy kind of choking, I mean his windpipe was completely blocked off and he could not breathe or even make a sound because of the food lodged in his throat. My ex’s step-mother noticed his situation just before I did and saved him by preforming the Heimlich on him at the table. A couple years ago, I myself was choking but there was no on there who could help me, so using a chair, I performed it on myself and saved myself. That was empowering to say the least. If I hadn’t known how to do it, I can say with almost certainty that I would not be here today. It’s a humbling thought how easily things can end if you are not able to take matters into your own hands when needed. I feel like these are things students should learn in school and that should be much more widely taught to the public.

So, there’s my 7 facts about me! πŸ™‚ I tried to think a little outside the box with these since I’ve covered other more general facts about myself already in my blog. Thanks again to The Shameful Narcissist for the nomination. If you hadn’t already just completed this fact challenge I would have your blog on my list of nominees as well. πŸ˜€

I nominate:

Cupcakes and Machetes

The Mighty Castle

Forged From Reverie

Unbolt

Crumble Cult

Agatha Chocolats