My rating: 1 of 5 stars
The idea that you could literally jump in to a book and interact with the characters was really attractive to this bibliophile, but unfortunately, this story managed to fall flat for me.
It’s not long after Amy Lennox and her mother Alexis leave Germany for Alexis’ childhood home in rural Scotland, that it is revealed Amy is a book jumper, as her mother had been, as well as the grandmother Amy had never before met, Lady Mairead.
For reasons I will not mention, Alexis had fled Scotland before Amy was born, therefore Amy had no idea her mother used to live in a castle, and never knew of the gift her prestigious family had either.
Being a book jumper, Amy is tasked (along with fellow jumpers, the Macalister cousins, Betsy and Will) with the job of protecting literature, basically making sure that a story plays out as it is supposed to, and not interfering unless an emergency situation should arise.
All appears to be going as it should, until Amy realizes ideas and key points are being stolen from the books she visits, and to top it off, her own life appears to be in danger as well! With Will’s help, Amy sets out to figure who is behind the missing items, and hopefully do so before entire stories are destroyed, or before she herself ends up a victim.
Okay, so I wanted to expand on my earlier mention of book jumpers being able to interact with the characters from the books they jump in to.
A book jumper must stay in the background of a story and not bring attention to oneself when observing. But when a character’s scene concludes, and if not needed for the next, the book jumper is allowed to interact with the character. At times, Amy even brings a friend (named Werther, who belongs to some nondescript book) along to an area called The Margins, which was a no-man’s land where book characters liked to go and hang out with each other when not not currently appearing in a plot. So if I’m getting it right, the characters were only needed when their stories were currently being read by a reader, which otherwise left them free to roam, and free to chill with our MC.
Now, for our MC.
Amy is portrayed as the awkward, homely girl, yet she’s “special”. She’s able to do things unique to her, when it comes to book jumping, and therefore we have the stereotypical YA MC. I’ll admit that I can be a sucker for the stereotypes and most of the time, I am, but when it came to Amy, I just couldn’t be convinced. I think because this story progressed so quickly, and we didn’t really get to see much in regards of world-building or character-building, I felt she was pretty one-dimensional. She’d left behind a horrible incident in Germany, but though it’s mentioned a few times throughout the book, it seemed to only be included to show again how awkward and homely she is. You’re never given much time to really build any sympathy for her, and you’re never told how the situation came to be…it just happened. And honestly, even as the story progressed, I didn’t like her any more than before, which really ended up being a bummer.
Let’s Talk About Love
The romance was bleh. When Amy first shows up, Will is pretty indifferent towards her, but of course, Amy does, or says something that’s “special”, drawing his eye, and soon after, his heart. Will plays the part of the love-interest who has just experienced a tragic loss, so though he’s quite tortured and doesn’t want to book jump because of it, he agrees to help in the real world, because that’s what the main love-interest is supposed to do! He’s supposed to show that even when something horrible has happened, he’ll do whatever he can to show his girl how much he loves her! Bleh. Sorry, but no. I did not find their relationship to be interesting at all, and thought Amy could have had better chemistry with Shere Khan from The Jungle Book for all I cared…
Anyway, this book just didn’t do it for me. Story progression was strange, world-building pretty much non-existent, and the characters were just too dull and unlikable for me. Don’t even get me started again on that romance…
Sorry, but this is not one I’m going to personally recommend.