Cara's Reviews > Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
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Jan 13, 14

bookshelves: to-re-read, favorites, fantasy, books-made-into-movies, books-i-own
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
Read in December, 2008

Honestly what made me want to read this book was the movie. *gasp* I know, I know shouldn't do that. The movie was good (I am a fan of Hayo Miyazaki's films) and I wasn't disappointed in the book. As always much of the book wasn't put into the movie, but it was understandable because I imagine it would be hard to piece together a movie with all the components this story has.

To really grasp and understand the book I would suggest that it be read twice I think. Since I did watch the movie I wasn't as shocked at things, but I was so impressed about how the author intertwined all the strands of the story together. If you have a chance definitely read the book first. The author did an impeccable job of piecing things together to get a wham-bam of an ending.

Ok quick summary: Our main character is Sophie. She is the oldest of three girls and works in a hat shop. Things change when the Witch of the Waste (evil bad women) puts a spell on her that makes her old. She meets the infamous wizard Howl (great character) and it takes off from there. Make sure to pay attention to ALL DETAILS to get the ending.

(Sorry if the review isn't that great. It's the first time I'm trying something like this, so I'll apologize now for all the confusion I may have caused, and the errors in the review.)
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Quotes Cara Liked

Diana Wynne Jones
“Really, these wizards! You'd think no one had ever had a cold before! Well, what is it?" she asked, hobbling through the bedroom door onto the filthy carpet.
"I'm dying of boredom," Howl said pathetically. "Or maybe just dying.”
Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle

Diana Wynne Jones
“You've no right to walk into people's castles and take their guitars.”
Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle


Comments (showing 1-41 of 41) (41 new)

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Julie I agree, same here. it was the movie that made me curious about the book. So after like five times of watching the movie, I started looking for the book, to understand further the story also to make a comparison. hayao's movies are simply the best and most of them are my top favorite animated movies, and I'm so in love with the movie that is why I read the book.
Yes, the characters were given justification but some important parts are lacking in the movie, and what makes the story complicated was the roller-coaster-like love story between the Hatter sisters(Lettie becoming Martha, then vice-versa) with Howl and Michael. Also, the contract between Howl and Calcifer, made me read the story twice to have a clear view and understanding of the events.
All in all, after reading the book, I am still a fan of the movie and never was disappointed of it after reading the book.


Cara Yeah I feel the same way. I still love the movie and is probably one of my most favorite animated films. I think because I watched the movie first it didn't bother me. The book is definitely one of my favorites and one of the few books that I actually own.
It's just an awesome story. Now I feel the urge to re-read it and give it a more proper review.
Thanks for the comment Julie:D


message 3: by Julie (last edited Oct 20, 2010 12:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Julie Welcome Cara :) Same here, I also own a few. I only buy those that I think are worth my money, some of the books I read were downloaded.
But Howl's Moving Castle is different, downloading it isn't enough. I really had this urge to buy it, luckily I found a copy of the book and bought it without further hesitation.


Jphollis I didn't realize you had read this, Cara! This is definitely one of my favorite books. Unlike others, I read the book before I saw the movie. This book is a masterpiece of giving tiny clues that add up to a perfect ending. Not to mention that all of the characters are just impeccable in their developmpment and quirks. The two sequels, though not up to the snuff of the original, are worth a read as well.


Emily I read it twice because it was driving me crazy i couldn't remember it well anymore :P This is a good book that you have to pay attention to the little details to understand it.


Cara Yeah I know! I think that may be why some people are so put off by it, but I love this story so much. I need to do a better review for it. I did this one when I just started the site. I keep saying that, I'll have to do it someday...


Emily Haha we all have a habit of doing that. I'll just do it later... :P
i think some people probably don't like this book because the story plot is pretty laid back. Some people probably don't like that there's not really any action to it but i think it honestly fits the story and the characters. I wouldn't change it.


Cara I totally agree Emily:D


LowDown will definitely read the whole series because I am, honest-to-goodreads, in love with Howl! for 3years now since I watched the beautiful movie! I was just too blind to find the book! :)


Christine Schulze I agree; I too read the book after seeing the movie and am now a major Diana Wynne Jones fan. Have you read the sequel, Castle in the Air? It's really great too. Haven't gotten around to Door of Many Ways yet though.


message 11: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara @Low- Haha well I'm glad you ened up liking it as much as I did.

@Christine- No, I actually haven't read the sequel! I should but so many books so little time... same excuse;)


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I read the book after falling in love with Howl after watching the movie. The book and the movie are very different, but they are both awesomely wonderful in their own way. I love the series! :D I've read all the books and I would recommend them to anyone.


Christine Schulze Christina wrote: "I read the book after falling in love with Howl after watching the movie. The book and the movie are very different, but they are both awesomely wonderful in their own way. I love the series! :D I'..."

Jealous! Must get around to finishing "The Door of Many Ways" sometime... ^_^


message 14: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara What Christine said:)


message 15: by Sonia (last edited Apr 13, 2012 04:07AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sonia I watched the movie of Howl's Moving Castle yesterday night. It's actually a re-watch. And I bought the book online immediately. (Not immediately actually... when I woke up.) It's unbelievable that I haven't read the book! Cause I love the movie very much! I'm really looking forward to reading this. :-D

By the way, I am a fan of Hayao Miyazaki's films as well! I should re-watch them soon. :-D


message 16: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara This is one of my favorite books and i keep meaning to re-read it and give it a better review well...someday. Which Miyazaki film is your favorite? I think I honestly love all of them but my first one was My Neighbor Totorro:)


Sonia Yes, I love that as well! Totorro is so cute! :-D When Spirited Away is released, I was around 7 years old. And I haven't rewatched it. So I have little memory to this. All I remembered was that it scared me when I saw her parents turned into a pig. Haha. This is high on my rewatch list. It deserves a better impression. haha.


message 18: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara You should give it a re-watch. I remember the pigs freaked me out the first time too! But it's one of the films that was harder for me to understand at first. But like I said I love all of them. I need to go on a Miyazaki marathon now:D


Sonia Haha. We can go on a Miyazaki marathon together ;-)


message 20: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara Haha I know we should:)


Mihoriel Garcia Before reading this review and it's comments, I was unaware that there was a sequel!! I look forward to rereading this to visit those clues and see what happens next in Howl's adventure! Thanks for the well written review!


message 22: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara Thanks Mihoriel:D I think the sequel doesn't center around Howl and Sophie, though I have heard they do make an appearance.


message 23: by Lily (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lily Db I love your recomendation. " Make sure pay attention to all details to get the ending" but is so true...my heart warm everytime that i see the clues that Howl was in love... awww


message 24: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara I know, it makes me melt too Lily:)


message 25: by Kyra (new)

Kyra I've read the book, and it was beautiful! I truly love how the book makes my mind wander into the world of howl and sophie. I've also seen the film. The animation is great! Truly one of hayao miyazaki's many masterpieces, alongside spirited away, totoro and princess mononoke. :)


message 26: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara I'm a big fan of almost all his films too:) I actually haven't seen all of them yet but I will one day. Isn't it so great that both the movie and book were done excellently? It's usually one of the other (usually the book) but sometimes they both are great and that's just awesome:D


message 27: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Hilarious - I'm amazed that you could make anything out of the film without having read the book :D


message 28: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara Ha:) It's the way Hayo Miyazaki rolls. I think he likes some ambiguity. Thanks for commenting!


message 29: by Caragh (new)

Caragh O ' Toole I love the movies too I watched Howl's Moving Castle like a million time
Those movie are brilliant


message 30: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna I never realised that Hayo Miyazaki had such a huge fan club!


message 31: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara He really does:) I have to actually once and for all buy this movie!


Zaira I think I've read this book every year since the ninth grade. I always get randomly attached to things. hehe.


message 33: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara That's awesome Zaira! I need to give this one I reread;)


message 34: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle Raven I'm watching the movie right now for the 50th time XD I really want to read the book!


message 35: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara You should! I really enjoyed both of them so much:D


message 36: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle Raven Awesome :)


Marcus Yamamoto I just watched the movie so I started reading these reviews to see what people thought of the book, I'm definitely going to read it!


message 38: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara Hope you end up loving it Marcus:)


Marcus Yamamoto I did!


message 40: by Rana (new) - added it

Rana Mohamad I actually watched the movie before I even discovered there was a book. I loved the film, and can't wait to read it!


message 41: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara Awesomeness! Hope you love the book just as much or even more:D


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