It’s really really hard for me to write a review because I was inundated with so much to say about every page,Nothing less than 5 stars for this gem.
It’s really really hard for me to write a review because I was inundated with so much to say about every page, every line.
This is a wonderful and completely ingenious new fairy tale.
I was chortling from page 1 and 2 and... It’s wickedly funny, and unusually smart. There is something brilliant, funny, touching, quotable on nearly every page.
I appreciated the lack of sentimentality and yet the ability to keep me emotionally engaged.
I’d been a tad worried as I’ve seen this compared to Alice & Oz and I’m not a big fan of either. But, if anything, this reminded me of The Phantom Tollbooth, a book I adore; and to those other books too but in ways I thoroughly enjoyed.
There are fabulous chapter titles and sub-titles that give hints of what’s going to happen. And I loved the cover illustration and each picture that’s at the beginning of every chapter.
What to say about this story? I am not even going to try. Just a few little things: I love September; she’s an amazing character. I particularly appreciated her kindheartedness when she had to eat and had to kill a fish in order to do so. I love the many original characters, and particularly got a kick of the everyday normally inanimate objects that here are alive and sentient. There is a fun twist near the end, which perhaps I should have seen coming but which came as a complete surprise to me.
Most enjoyable for me is that while with many books in this sub-genre I usually feel that “it was all a dream or fantasy” with this story I believed everything really happened.
This screams loudly that this book is destined to be a classic.
There are so many quotes I wanted to include because so much of the book is quotable so here’s just one of many, many memorable passages:
“It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.”
This book fits that bill.
If I’d been in the right frame of mind, this could have been a two day read for me, but though it took me many days to finish, I don’t mind because there was so much to savor....more
Despite all the good things I’d heard about this book and other books by this author, I can’t say I was particularly enthusiastic to start it. HoweverDespite all the good things I’d heard about this book and other books by this author, I can’t say I was particularly enthusiastic to start it. However, right away I was charmed by its humor. It’s very funny, and the humor is especially rich in its twisted fairy tale aspects, which permeate the whole book.
I loved the mistaken identities, the characters, especially Sophie, Calicifer, and Howl, and the setting(s).
However, while I assume there’s a 99% chance it was my mood, a little of this went a long, long way for me. At times, I got a bit weary as I was reading. Perhaps I’d have enjoyed it more as a short story.
It’s brilliant, but I think I’d have appreciated it more had I read it at age 12 or 10 or 14. While along with being highly amusing, there was real heart to this story, at times things got so outrageous, it lost me emotionally, and that’s a shame because I think a lot of good things were said in a touching way.
3 ½ stars, upped ½ star for the wonderful premise...more
Since I’ve been a kid, I’ve had what I consider a practically obscene interest in reading about cancer patients, particularly young cancer patients. MSince I’ve been a kid, I’ve had what I consider a practically obscene interest in reading about cancer patients, particularly young cancer patients. My interest apparently continues.
This is one of the good ones. For me that means it feels as if it’s an honest account about what it’s like to have cancer and what it might be like to have someone close to you have cancer. It’s the story of two girls, who narrate alternating chapters. They’re in high school and have been best friends for nearly half their lives. They met in dance class and dance is a passion for both of them. One of them is diagnosed with stage four lymphoma, and her illness is a major focus in this story.
I inhaled the book in one day. (It was a welcome break from my book club group and a good book in which to immerse myself before I dive into various group books, non-fiction and fiction books I want to read for just me, and my last 2011 continuing ed class.) I got invested in the characters. They were so frustrating, but they seemed authentic and the various situations and arc of the story seemed, for the most part, authentic.
This was published in 1995 and parts do seem like a period piece; for instance, there are no cell phones, but this is a character driven story so I just noticed such things in passing. It’s not a perfect book but the fact that I read it in one day, didn’t want to put it down, and was completely engrossed earns it four stars from me. According to my book there was a sequel being written; I might check it out although I suspect I won’t rush to read it....more