Thursday, April 22, 2010

Short reviews

Very short reviews of Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

Howl's Moving Castle first.
How have I never read Wynne Jones before? I feel, suddenly, like there's a massive gap in my reading and I need to fix that right quick - lol.

Sophie is the eldest of three sisters, and is somewhat resigned to her fate - she knows that - as the eldest - she's not destined to marry a prince, or have adventures. So she goes to work in her stepmother's hat shop and seems fairly content with her lot.

The only shadow over the town is the wizard Howl; well-known to eat the souls of young girls.

Apart from that little niggle, life for Sophie goes on as normal. Until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself living in Howl's moving castle. And it turns out that Howl's not actually evil - vain and self-centred, but not evil.

Sophie has her work cut out for her with Howl, and with his apprentice Michael - and her sisters.

Howl's Moving Castle is lovely - entertaining and creative; it's a well-written tale that takes fairytale conventions, turns them on their heads and shakes out their pockets.

8/10 That movie that you've watched 100 times and you never get tired of

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Book two of The Hunger Games, so if you haven't read that, there may be spoilers.

The Hunger Games are over, and Peeta and Katniss - having outwitted the system - are back in District 12, trying to adjust to their new lives of privilege.

It's not easy for anyone, and there are rumours and rumblings of unrest from the other Districts, that the Capitol tries to shut down - by initiating another Hunger Games, featuring past winners.

As the rumblings get louder, Katniss and Peeta find themselves back in the arena, fighting for their lives.

I liked Catching Fire, I think, a little better than The Hunger Games. It felt faster-paced and I loved the storyline with the resistance coming together.

I will never, ever understand the compulsion in YA literature for love triangles, but I remain on #teamboyskissing - it's easier that way - lol.

Now to wait for Mockingjay ...

8/10 That movie that you've watched 100 times and you never get tired of

NB: I realised a couple of days ago that these short reviews meant I had finished the Once Upon a Time Challenge as I joined up for the journey. So I'm editing on May 4 to add the logo and add it to the book reviews site. :D


Eva said...

I haven't read any Diane Wynne Jones either! It sounds like I need to fix that. :)

Robin said...

I just finished reading The Hunger Games and thought it was incredible! I can't wait to read Catching Fire, and then Mockingjay!

Nymeth said...

I was sure you were going to join the DWJ fan club :D Welcome"

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Diana Wynne Jones fold. :) She's written loads of other books, so you're in for a lot of lovely bookish treats from here on in. Can I recommend The Homeward Bounders as another good one? It's very, very different to Howl's Moving Castle, but extremely wonderful.

Aarti said...

I LOVE Howl's Moving Castle! Though I know he would drive me absolutely insane in real life, I adore Howl and think he and Sophie are lovely. I also think Sophie, though she can sometimes be a bit shrill, is a great example of a girl learning about inner beauty.