wow, so i'm really feeling the pressure to come up with good reads for my weekly review since some of you actually take my advice! (yikes!)
but i have a book here that i feel 100% confident endorsing.
Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones.
"In 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 three." Which is exactly what Sophie Hatter is. She grows up knowing that no matter how hard she tries, fate will always conspire against her. She decides to accept her misfortune and takes up work in her father's hat shop--until one day, the Witch of the Waste pays Sophie a visit and sets off Sophie's quirky and amusing adventure. An adventure that leads her to the strange, 'moving' castle of Wizard Howl--a man rumored to be a menace to every young girl in the land of Ingary.
there. i think that was spoiler-free!
i honestly can't think of anything i don't like about this book--but there are plenty of things i adore! i love the quaint atmosphere of Ingary, the humor, the characters--and Sophie's rather unique plight (which i won't mention and spoil for you). ALA Booklist calls Howl's Moving Castle "witty" and "rollicking", and Publishers Weekly sums it up as "a wonderful blend of humor, magic, and romance".
these description are accurate--even good--but they just can't capture the way the story never fails to make me laugh or the way the characters linger in my mind long after i set the book down. this was one of those rare books that i devoured and that i am always looking for in the pages of every other novel.
i even own two copies of it (because my first one is literally falling apart from over-use). i never buy two copies of one book--partly because i am so careful with my precious novels that i don't damage them in the first place! if that isn't evidence of a great book, i don't know what is.