Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith

Title: I Capture The Castle
Author: Dodie Smith
Source: Purchased
Genre: Classic Young Adult
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers


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I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

~synopsis from Goodreads

My Thoughts:

What can I say, this story was pretty amazing. It was so vivid and compelling, and it had gorgeous storytelling and background detailing. Cassandra, our narrator and guide to her life, is charming and sweet. She was so likable, I don’t know how someone could not like her. She so… REAL. Her speed writing book, novel, journal (or whatever you’d like to call it) is brilliant.

I loved the way she would tell the story. It would always be so humorous and serious all at the same time. The chapters were long though… very long. That’s the one thing that made it a little harder for me to read, especially when I needed to find a spot to stop. There’s so much going on you don’t want to lose your place and get confused.

There are numerous stories contained in this one novel. It’s one big story, of course, but the side stories make the whole thing even better. I wish I could talk about some of them but it would give away too much.

Cassandra’s dealings with her family and friends, and new-found friends, are very interesting. She and her sister, Rose, have this imaginary friend (a mannequin they call Miss Blossom that they pretend is real) that they have talk to each other. It’s pretty cute. The potential love part of the story is intriguing. I know that I was guessing and second guessing who would be with who, who should be with who, who the author would probably put together. It was a whirlwind. In the end, I believe it turned out as I expected. And it wasn’t bad how it ended. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was the way you would think it should end, given the circumstances.

I Capture The Castle definitely captured my heart. Cassandra’s story us one I will not soon forget. It was filled with all sorts of charms and character. Dodie Smith knows how to tell a story. She also wrote 101 Dalmatians (the book behind the movie, which is VERY different in detail compared to the movie), and I adored that story too. I’m glad I took the time to read this, even though it took me longer to read.


My Rating:

Exceptional: Stay up until at least 1 AM

12 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you read and loved this, Jess! This is one of my favourite books of all time (and Cassandra is one of my favourite heroines), so I want everybody to love it as much as I do. You should watch the movie; it's a decent adaptation.

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    1. She is a pretty amazing heroine! I do need to see the movie now. I've gotta go see if my library has it. :)

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  2. This book sounds so sweet. I've been meaning to give it a go. Who can resist a story written in journal form about a girl who lives in a castle? I always get worried with books like this that there will be a sad ending but I don't think I will be disappointed with this one.

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    1. I don't think you would be, you'll enjoy it. It has an innocence slash coming of age feel to it. The whole castle thing is probably the coolest part, you want to live in it! :)

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  3. It sounds interesting but complicated, like one of those books that needs to be read when you aren't reading anything else. I may have to give it a shot some time in the future.

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    1. Whenever I would go back to it, I did have to remind myself where I was. I'm pretty good at juggling multiple stories at once though. :P

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  4. I'm glad you liked this one. I liked the ending because it was just slightly left open so you could sort of choose in your own mind how you wanted it to end. I read it for my book club and there were some people that weren't happy with who she ended up with, so that ending offered them a little choice.

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    1. Exactly! It could continue in any direction and you could be happy with it. I can see where people would be unhappy, but it really isn't a sad/upsetting ending. It's a good one. :)

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  5. Exceptional, huh? It does sound like it would be different and highly enjoyable. I've heard the title in passing but haven't read any reviews of it. But the way you describe the main character's "voice" and such really makes me want to give it a try!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

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    1. That's what's nice about about it, being different and enjoyable. I hope you can! :)

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  6. I'd never heard of this book, but it sounds really good. I always like stories where the main character is a writer, because (obviously) I can relate, and it always gets me thinking about my own writing, you know? I'm definitely going to check this one out now...and as if your review wasn't enough, it was blurbed by JK Rowling?! I don't think I've ever seen her do a blurb before!

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    1. That was definitely one of my favorite aspects of this book, and it does get you to thinking about your own writing. :) I was surprised to see the blurb too!

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