This book was quite enjoyable. I'd even have given it five stars, except that it got rather confusing at parts and I felt like the love relationship between the main characters was just kind of tacked on at the end. I had heard some other reviews say the cast of characters got confusing, so while I was reading it, I tried to pay special attention to each of the names, but even then, I still got a little turned around. I'm guessing that middle grade readers would too. As for the love story, I know this is middle grade reading level, which means that love stories aren't often developed fully, but even so, I didn't really see much of the attraction between Sophie and Howl and yet somehow they're betrothed in the end. The magic and whimsy of the world was very original. The whole book was very fun and humorous. I think this book would be even better the second time around (since you'd know everything that was going on and could easily make sense of it all).