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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Nimona (No-Spoiler) Review

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I’d heard good things regarding the graphic novel Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, and I did not feel let down one bit upon reading it. The story was so sassy, cute and fun. I really enjoyed the characters, and how the story developed from humble beginnings to an increasingly dramatic plot with ever-growing stakes.

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Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

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I think this story would definitely be of interest to people who enjoyed the cartoon Adventure Time. It has that same sort of charm in my opinion, all while doing its own thing. Definitely worth checking out, in my opinion!

Werewolf Movies

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Werewolves just may be my favorite sort of monster. I’ve been a fan of these primal shapeshifting beasties for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, even I must admit that not all werewolf movies are up to snuff. In fact, there are many more bad ones than good ones it would seem. I decided to share some of my faves with you guys, though. These of course aren’t ALL the good werewolf movies out there, but they’re just a few of the ones I find myself watching again and again.

Dog Soldiers (2002)

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A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness.Dog Soldiers is basically an action film blended with a horror movie with a touch of comedy thrown in just for kicks, and it’s fantastic. Also, I just love the design of the werewolves in this film! Holed up in a Scottish farmhouse, the military trained characters must do everything they can to survive the flesh-hungry pack of werewolves roaming the surrounding forest.

Ginger Snaps (2000)

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I actually really like all three movies in the Ginger Snaps trilogy, but we’re just gonna talk about the first one here because it’s my absolute favorite. πŸ™‚ The story follows two incredibly close (and very morbid) teenage sisters, Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald. Most werewolf movies involve the characters undergoing major physical and emotional transformations, but Ginger Snaps takes that concept and effortlessly weaves in the parallels between lycanthropy and puberty in a way that brings both horror and humor to the table. The movie’s got a lot of snark and angst to it, but it’s one I’ll always love watching. Katherine Isabelle (Ginger) and Emily Perkins (Brigitte) are fantastic as the Fitzgerald sisters.

The Company of Wolves (1984)

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Okay, I’ll be the first to admit: this movie is weird as hell. But something about the eerie dreamlike quality of it appeals to me. It’s basically a surreal retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with lots of extra werewolf goodness thrown in. Some moments seem very much a fairy tale, others like something out of Hellraiser.

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

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How could I make this list and NOT include An American Werewolf in London? πŸ™‚ It’s a great werewolf movie, and one of the most notorious. The makeup and practical effects are a real treat, and like most of the werewolf movies on this list I like the humor that accompanies the horror.

So, there’s some of MY favorite werewolf movies. How about you guys? I wanna hear what ones you personally enjoy, or even the ones you think are terrible or cheesy.

TBT Paintings

TBT now2Throwback Thursday time. Time to post some old art projects! Pretty sure I painted these two in 2004 or 2005 if I remember properly.

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Top one is just a girl and her giraffe. Bottom is some fan art I did of the horror film Ginger Snaps. Can’t go wrong with giraffes and werewolves. I imagine transforming into a wolfish beast would be painful, but can you imagine transforming into a were-giraffe?? Talk about having a stiff neck the next morning. 0.o