Home       About Me       Review Index

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Stefanie's Thoughts: Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon

When Molly shows up on Castle Hangnail's doorstep to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the castle's minions are understandably dubious. After all, she is twelve years old, barely five feet tall, and quite polite. (The minions are used to tall, demanding evil sorceresses with razor-sharp cheekbones.) But the castle desperately needs a master or else the Board of Magic will decommission it, leaving all the minions without the home they love. So when Molly assures them she is quite wicked indeed (So wicked! REALLY wicked!) and begins completing the tasks required by the Board of Magic for approval, everyone feels hopeful. Unfortunately, it turns out that Molly has quite a few secrets, including the biggest one of all: that she isn't who she says she is.

Happy November! I've had Castle Hangnail on my shelf since last year when I discovered it through Chapters, but never got around to reading it in 2015, so I figured October would be the perfect month to read this. Then I discovered Disney is making it into a movie, so naturally I knew I had to read it immediately.

I found this book to be adorable. Even though it's targeted to more of a middle grade audience, I feel anyone could read it. The length might be a problem for a younger audience as it's 384 pages, but throughout, the story is illustrated with the occasional full page illustration, which I guess cuts down on the text.

The story is about Molly a witch who has come to fill the vacancy of Castle Hangnail's wicked witch. At first the castle's minions: Cook the cook and her son Angus, Pins a pincushion and resident tailor, Pin's talking goldfish, Minotaurs, Edward the suit of armor, and Serenissima, a part genie type creature. I had the best time trying to pronounce her name. Of the minions Pins was my favorite because who wouldn't love a talking pin cushion with a love for fashion equipped with a talking goldfish. I mean Pins makes outfits for the fish! Followed closely for favorite character is Cook because you don't cross Cook (at one point scones are baked out of vengeance) and when a character asks for a sandwich Cook quickly cuts them off saying there's cheese and crackers on the table.

Together the minions and Molly come together to save the failing castle and try to raise enough money so the castle isn't sold. They go through some rather funny tasks to raise money, some involving moles, a spell changing an animal into another animal and digging up a garden hoping to find something worthwhile to sell. Also you won't find the letter Q anywhere in the castle (read it to find out why) and the castle also comes equipped with a fabulous library filled with spell books galore.

The ending was fantastic and I can easily picture this being made into a movie. I hope Disney does a good job at keeping the charm Ursula Vernon has created and the fun atmosphere where magic flies freely and anything is possible. This was a great way to end October and I can only hope I read another great book like this one in November.

This was a five star read for me.


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments! So please leave them and I will make every attempt to return the favor!

"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl