The Devil Makes Three – Tori Bovalino

Spoilers Ahead! (marked in purple)

“I think we summoned the devil”

One of the most important things I can tell you about this book is that most of it takes place in a library. Sure, there’s a resident devil, but don’t let that put you off. This is a library with seven floors of books, including countless grimoires, and a secret passageway. I’m pretty much ready to move in.

I liked Tess’ ability to come up with creative insults and her dedication to her younger sister. I was really looking forward to seeing how her experience with ghosts, having “grown up under the watchful presence of a host of ghosts that haunted her family’s central Pennsylvania farmhouse”, was going to come into play. Unfortunately, while I definitely saw opportunities for some helpful chats with the recently deceased, this remained firmly in fun fact territory.

I also liked Eliot, who made an indelible impression on me when he requested 147 books from the library at once. My kind of bookworm. His love for his mother made me like him even more. It also didn’t hurt that he smells like pages and vanilla.

While I liked both Tess and Eliot, I never really connected with either of them. The emotion wasn’t there for me and the one scene that I was expecting would ramp it up happened off page.

There is an actual devil in this book but the Big Bad for me was Eliot’s father. He’s absolutely detestable.

I liked the story and wanted to know what was going to happen but this wasn’t the compulsive read I had expected.

Content warnings include mention of bullying, emotional abuse, physical abuse and self harm (either unintentional or for blood magic). Readers with emetophobia may have trouble with one scene.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Titan Books for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

When Tess and Eliot stumble upon an ancient book hidden in a secret tunnel beneath the school library, they accidentally release a devil from his book-bound prison, and he’ll stop at nothing to stay free. He’ll manipulate all the ink in the library books to do his bidding, he’ll murder in the stacks, and he’ll bleed into every inch of Tess’s life until his freedom is permanent. Forced to work together, Tess and Eliot have to find a way to re-trap the devil before he kills everyone they know and love, including, increasingly, each other. And compared to what the devil has in store for them, school stress suddenly doesn’t seem so bad after all.

The Madman’s Library – Edward Brooke-Hitching

I’ve always loved books about books. As someone with a bit of an eclectic taste in books, who’s more likely to pick up a book from a shelf if it has a weird title, this is basically my idea of the perfect coffee table book.

There are so many fun facts and strange bits and pieces I want to remember about this book. So rather than writing a normal review, I’m going to share some of the oddities and curiosities that stood out to me in each chapter.

Books that aren’t books

  • Oracle bones – “animal bones and shells, often from oxen and turtles, upon which questions were written and anointed with blood by fortune-tellers. A heated poker was then pressed against the bone until it cracked, and in these patterns of splits and marks the client’s future was divined.”
  • Quipu – “As far as we can tell, the primary function of these knotted strings, which could consist of anything from four cords to more than 2000, was storing and communicating numerical information in a decimal system used for documenting census and calendrical data, tax obligations, and managing accounts and trades.”
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  • Francesco Morosini’s custom-made Italian prayer-book pistol. “The gun, likely for personal protection, can only fire when the book is closed. The trigger is a pin concealed in silk thread to look like a bookmark.”
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  • A secret poison cabinet disguised as a book, made in 1692. Sold at auction in 2008, you can find the details here.
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Books made of flesh and blood

  • The practice of binding books with human skin is called ‘anthropodermic bibliopegy’.
  • Chief surgeon of the British Royal Infirmary, Richard Smith, bound a book of papers relating to the murder of Eliza Balsom in the skin of the murderer. Never mind that John Horwood, the convicted murderer, threw a pebble at her temple and it was likely Smith’s “trepanation, an ancient practice that involved drilling a hole into the skull to relieve pressure” that killed her.
  • A practice known as xieshu in Chinese Buddhism, where scribes wrote holy text using their blood, was considered “an ascetic form of sacrifice to prove one’s piety and earn merit to be transferred to one’s relatives after death.” The lighter the blood’s colour was, the more pure the writer was deemed to be.

Cryptic books

  • In order to pass on messages to his friends who were imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition, Giambattista della Porta wrote secret messages on eggs. “He concocted an ink from one ounce of alum (a colourless compound using in dying and tanning) and a pint of vinegar. Written directly onto the shell, the chemical mixture soaked through the porous shell to the egg albumen beneath. Boiling the egg caused the chemical to react, and when the shell was peeled away the message was revealed on the hardened egg white.”

Literary hoaxes

  • George Shepard Chappell’s exotic travel journal hoax, The Cruise of the Kawa: Wanderings in the South Seas by ‘Walter E. Traprock’, included a photo of the eggs of the native Fatu-liva bird.
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Fatu-liva eggs, which look suspiciously like dice…

Curious collections

  • Pedro Carolino’s The New Guide to Conversation in Portuguese and English was published in 1855. The problem was that Pedro didn’t know how to speak English so he used a Portuguese-to-French phrasebook and then a French-to-English dictionary. Obviously this led to some interesting phrases. My favourite of those listed is ‘You make grins’.
  • The first commercially produced typewriter, the Hansen Writing Ball, was invented in Denmark in 1865. “The distinctive design features fifty-two keys on a large brass hemisphere, with the vowels to the left and consonants to the right.”
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Works of the supernatural

  • The Egyptian Book of the Dead was originally called ‘Book of Emerging Forth into the Light’.
  • The earliest record of crop circles is from a pamphlet published in 1678, ‘The Mowing-Devil: Or, Strange News out of Hartford-Shire’.
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Religious oddities

  • In the mid 1600’s, a Sephardic ordained rabbi called Sabbatai Zevi married the Torah. There was even a wedding ceremony, although the rabbis of Salonica then banished the groom from the city. Zevi also claimed to be able to fly but refused to do so in public because apparently his followers “weren’t worthy of witnessing it”.

Curiosities of science

  • Galen, a Greek physician (AD C. 129-216), believed hair was made when the “skin’s pores became blocked with sooty smoke particles generated by warm blood, until so much pressure built up that the soot erupted out of the skin in a solid string”. Darker hair indicates a higher soot level and higher temperature.

Books of spectacular size

  • Miniature books are called ‘Lilliputiana’ and huge books are called ‘Brobdingnagiana’.

Strange titles

  • “Bill Hillman, the American author of the 2014 guide Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona, was gored by the bulls of Pamplona that same year – and again the next year.”
  • A literary award called the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year began in 1978.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

From the author of the critically acclaimed bestsellers The Phantom Atlas and The Sky Atlas comes a unique and beautifully illustrated journey through the history of literature. The Madman’s Library delves into its darkest territories to hunt down the oddest books and manuscripts ever written, uncovering the intriguing stories behind their creation.

From the Qur’an written in the blood of Saddam Hussein, to the gorgeously decorated fifteenth-century lawsuit filed by the Devil against Jesus, to the most enormous book ever created, The Madman’s Library features many long forgotten, eccentric, and extraordinary volumes gathered from around the world.

Books written in blood and books that kill, books of the insane and books that hoaxed the globe, books invisible to the naked eye and books so long they could destroy the Universe, books worn into battle and books of code and cypher whose secrets remain undiscovered. Spell books, alchemist scrolls, wearable books, edible books, books to summon demons, books written by ghosts, and more all come together in the most curiously strange library imaginable.

Featuring hundreds of remarkable images and packed with entertaining facts and stories to discover, The Madman’s Library is a captivating compendium perfect for bibliophiles, literature enthusiasts, and collectors intrigued by bizarre oddities, obscure history, and the macabre.

So You Want to Build a Library – Lindsay Leslie

Illustrations – Aviel Basil

I’ve loved libraries for as long as I can remember. They provide access to books that you’re allowed to take home with you for free (!), whose pages allow you to explore infinite worlds, learn and escape from reality for a while. Any building whose primary purpose is to help facilitate reading is already a magical place, so what could possibly make it better? If a child had the opportunity to build the library of their dreams.

One young reader shows us how they would go about creating the “most MIRACULOUS library ever!” From the location to the types of books that would fill the shelves and the inclusion of pretty much everything you’d need so you’ll never have to leave, including a sundae bar and trampolines, this book encourages you to let your imagination go wild.

I loved the dragons and pie-baking snail but my favourite illustrations included the roller-skating sloth, who seemed to be having the time of their life.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Capstone Editions, an imprint of Capstone, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

There is no better place in the world than a library. Especially a library that kids create! A million stories high? Sure. Bathtubs? Absolutely. A full-service sundae bar? Of course. Everything is possible in this library – just like in books! 

We Are Inevitable – Gayle Forman

Spoilers Ahead! (marked in purple)

“Twenty-six letters and some punctuation marks and you have infinite words in infinite worlds.”

The author calls this book a “love letter to books, and to booksellers” and there are so many bookish delights:

📖 I got to read about other people who love books as much as I do.

📖 The chapter headings are book titles! Why didn’t I think of that?! [Must steal borrow this idea if I ever write a book…]

📖 Bookish references in abundance! Books within books are one of my top five favourite bookish things. Book titles are casually scattered throughout the book. Storylines of well known books are mentioned. Movies that began their lives as books are discussed (the book was better).

“Seriously? It was also a book first?”

“Seriously.”

“Are all movies books first?”

“Just the best ones.”

If you’re like me and likely to panic around the halfway point when you wish you’d been making a list of all of the books that have been mentioned, don’t worry; there’s a bibliography at the end.

📖 Independent bookstores! We get to hang out in not one, but two of them! With booksellers who desperately love books and about making sure the book the reader needs finds its way to them.

“Tell me: What’s the last book you read that you loved?”

📖 The main bookstore has genres grouped together in a way that makes so much sense.

I could happily spend my entire review talking about the books, bookstores and booksellers but there’s more to this book than books. We also come face to face with some pretty difficult topics. Multiple characters are dealing with addiction, either their own or a loved one’s. Likewise, multiple characters are grieving. Chad, my favourite character, is living with a spinal cord injury.

I adore Chad, although I expect I wouldn’t have been a huge fan of him before his accident. He’s had some pretty impressive post traumatic growth and his attitude is amazing. I could have done without him saying “dawg” and “son” all the time but I guess no one’s perfect.

Speaking of not being perfect, Aaron (our main character) is definitely a work in progress. I really didn’t like him at all for a good portion of the book, during which he basically treats everyone around him like garbage. He did begin to make more sense to me as I got to know him but until then, ugh!

I loved Aaron’s father, Ira, because he loves books so much. The fact that he’s still so passionate about them, despite grief, anxiety and depression, made me love him even more. He truly comes alive when he talks books and that resonated with me.

I liked the Lumberjacks, getting to know Ike the best. He came up with my favourite line (pardon his French):

“Fudge a duck on a hot sidewalk!”

You might be interested in this book because of the romance, which is pretty insta, but it’s not the main focus of the book. Aaron, a young man who doesn’t like music, falls for a young woman who’s in a band.

Every time I see her, I feel that thing: the inevitable.

The thing is: I don’t trust the inevitable.

I mean, what has inevitable done for me?

Ruined my life is what.

I was ready to love Hannah but never formed an emotional connection with her. Her purpose seemed to be to act as a mirror for Aaron. I didn’t feel like I got to know Hannah that well and her bandmates are even more of a mystery to me. I really wanted to find out more about Jax, especially when it looked as though they were going to become more integral to the story, but pretty much all I know for sure about them is their pronouns (they/them).

A few things didn’t make sense to me. If Aaron’s brother’s addiction cost their family so much (and right now I’m only talking about the cost to their finances), how did he ever manage to collect such an extensive collection of rare vinyls? Wouldn’t he have spent that money on drugs? Even if he did manage to accumulate so many, in the grips of addiction, wouldn’t he have sold them? I know he gave them to Aaron but that only explains the final five months of his life.

Also, early in the story we learn that Ike’s wife’s fibromyalgia symptoms stopped her from being able to come to the bookstore years ago. Towards the end of the book she’s at the bookstore several times. It is mentioned once that she has a walker but it didn’t ring true to me. If she‘s well enough to be at the bookstore now, wouldn’t she have already been there before the renovations began?

“Are the answers to all life’s questions in books?”

“Of course,” he says. “That’s what makes them miracles.”

Content warnings include mention of addiction, disability, grief, mental health and suicidal ideation.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster UK, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

‘I got this whole-body feeling … it was like a message from future me to present me, telling me that in some way we weren’t just bound to happen, that we had, in some sense, already happened. It felt … inevitable.’

So far, the inevitable hasn’t worked out so well for Aaron Stein. While his friends have gone to college and moved on with their lives, Aaron’s been left behind in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, running a failing bookshop with his dad, Ira. What he needs is a lucky break, the good kind of inevitable.

And then he meets Hannah. Incredible Hannah – magical, musical, brave and clever. Could she be the answer? And could they – their relationship, their meeting – possibly be the inevitable Aaron’s been waiting for?

Boo Loves Books – Kaye Baillie

Illustrations – Tracie Grimwood

‘Every place is a place to read books,’ said Miss Spinelli.

Phoebe is a reluctant reader and is anxious about making mistakes when she reads aloud. When her teacher tells the class they will not be reading at school tomorrow, Phoebe is relieved – until she finds out they will be reading somewhere else instead.

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Magic happens when this young girl who is scared of reading meets Big Boo, a dog who is so used to people leaving him that he doesn’t expect anyone to stay.

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It’s such a lovely story but, because I could easily imagine Big Boo not trusting that any human will stay with him, I’ve found myself tearing up each time I’ve read this book. I loved that by accepting each other as they are, Phoebe and Big Boo are able to face and ultimately overcome their fears.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Phoebe is nervous about reading. She is embarrassed that she will say things wrong, so she just doesn’t read at all. When Miss Spinelli’s class goes on a field trip to the animal shelter to practice reading there, Phoebe is paired with Big Boo, who is scared of her like she’s scared of reading. When she starts reading, Big Boo and Phoebe warm up to each other and the two turn their fears into a positive experience.

Unwritten #2: Rewritten – Tara Gilboy

“Writing has brought me so much trouble.”

In the six months since they returned to the real world, Gracie and some other characters from Bondoff, their storybook world, have been living with Gertrude Winters, the story’s author. They’re all in hiding from the story’s villain, Cassandra. Cassandra still has the Vademecum, a magical book that can generate portals between the real world and the world of the author’s imagination.

Gracie is struggling to distance herself from the character Gertrude created for her. This isn’t easy when everyone remembers what happened while they were in Bondoff.

She wished she didn’t have to keep being reminded of the past.

Gracie meets siblings Mina and Bryant when she travels to Blackwood Hall. Their world is nothing like Gracie’s storybook dimension; they are characters in a “feminist gothic horror novel”.

“Don’t read that one. It’s too scary for children.”

Rewritten tackles fractured mother-daughter relationships, the difficulty of forgiveness and the struggle to rewrite our stories. A number of themes from the first book continue to play out here. Running through both books is the difficulty of breaking out of roles that others place upon you. A couple of characters battle both the urge to run away from the past and the desire to confront it.

The lines between good and evil remain somewhat fuzzy. The villains aren’t always immediately obvious and their actions aren’t always intended to have dastardly consequences. One character who has been written as a villain is desperately trying to prove to themselves and those around them that that’s not who they are. Even those who appear to be heroes can have selfish motivations and make questionable choices.

Gracie, who I loved without reservation in Unwritten, started to annoy me when her recaps and ruminations became repetitive. I didn’t always agree with the decisions she made in this book but I have to give Gracie credit for her imaginative decorating choices. Her bedroom ceiling features quotes from books in glow in the dark paint! Why didn’t I think of that?!

While you could read Unwritten and Rewritten as standalones, I’d recommend reading them in order. Given how this story ends I’m definitely expecting this series to become a trilogy. I haven’t had enough page time with Cassandra yet and am crossing my fingers that she’ll wind up with a happy ending. Yes, I know she’s supposed to be the villain so technically she shouldn’t get one, but I’m still holding out hope. I’m also looking forward to Walter being given the opportunity to shine.

It was Jomike Tejido’s cover illustration that originally drew me to Unwritten and, even though I was unaware a sequel was in the works, as soon as I saw the cover of this book I had no doubt that this was it. Just like last time, I decided I needed to read this book before I knew what it was about.

“You can’t stop reading the stories. It’s your destiny.”

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Jolly Fish Press, an imprint of North Star Editions, for the opportunity to read this book.

Review originally posted on 6 April 2020.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

After learning the truth about her own fairy tale, twelve-year-old Gracie wants nothing more than to move past the terrible things author Gertrude Winters wrote about her and begin a new chapter in the real world. If only things were going as planned. On the run from the evil Queen Cassandra, the characters from Gracie’s story have all been forced to start over, but some of them cannot forget Gracie’s checkered past. 

Even worse, Gracie discovers that as long as Cassandra has her magical book, the Vademecum, Gracie’s story is still being written and none of the characters are safe, including her mum and dad. In a desperate attempt to set things right, Gracie finds herself transported into another one of Gertrude’s stories – but this one is a horror story. Can Gracie face her destiny and the wild beast roaming the night, to rewrite her own story?

Judy Moody #15: Judy Moody, Super Book Whiz – Megan McDonald

Illustrations – Peter H. Reynolds

“The Bookworms rule!”

Judy and her brother Stink are reading up a storm.

They, along with Frank, Sophie and Jessica, are the Virginia Dare Bookworms. The Bookworms are preparing to beat Braintree Academy’s team, the Bloodsucking Fake-Mustache Defenders, to the buzzer when they compete in the Book Quiz Blowout.

The winning team will not just earn bookish bragging rights. The Book Quiz Wizard’s Cup will be proudly displayed in their school’s library. This is no ordinary trophy – it lights up!

She, Judy Moody, was a book quiz whiz. A book wizard. A quizzard!

Judy is frantically practising her speed reading and Stink has his Cape of Good Answers, but when they learn of the other team’s secret weapon the Bookworms’ confidence is shaken.

“Will the Bookworms take a bite out of the Bloodsuckers? Or will the Bloodsuckers sink their fangs into the Bookworms on their way to the finish and take home the trophy?”

I always enjoy Peter H. Reynolds’ illustrations, in particular how expressive the children are.

In preparation for the upcoming competition, the Bookworms talk about oodles of children’s books, both classics and more recent bestsellers. As someone who has always sought out potential future reads in my current read, I was delighted to find a list of everything the Bookworms read at the end of the book. All six pages of them, with titles and authors, in alphabetical order! Some of my own childhood favourites are there as well – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

N.B. The title of the copy I read is Judy Moody, Super Book Whiz. On Goodreads this is listed as Judy Moody, Book Quiz Whiz.

I won a copy of this book in a giveaway, which was hosted by Tracey at Carpe Librum. Thank you so much to Carpe Librum, Walker Books and HarperCollins Publishers Australia for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Books, books, books! Judy’s got books on the brain as she prepares for a totally RARE trivia competition. Has reading always been this exciting?

Judy Moody is in it to win it. Win the Book Quiz Blowout, that is. Judy and her brother, Stink, are two-fifths of the Virginia Dare Bookworms, and they’ve been reading up a storm to prepare for Saturday’s face-off against second- and third-grade readers from the next town. Judy’s trying out all kinds of tactics, from hanging upside down like Pippi Longstocking to teaching herself to speed read The Princess in Black, and Stink has fashioned a cape of book trivia sticky notes to help him remember all the penguins in Mr. Popper’s Penguins. But when Judy, Stink, and their fellow teammates discover the other group has a fourth-grader (no lie!), they get a bit nervous. Are the Bookworms up to the challenge?

Help Wanted, Must Love Books – Janet Sumner Johnson

Illustrations – Courtney Dawson

Shailey loves reading bedtime stories with her father but since he started his new job he’s been too busy.

Shailey’s solution?

Fire her father and advertise for a new bedtime storyteller.

A host of fairytale characters apply for the job but none of them are quite right. Shailey begins to wonder if she’ll ever be able to find a suitable replacement for her father.

Some of my fondest childhood memories include trips to my local library to find new treasures. I always love books about books! I appreciated the inclusion of fairytale characters as it was a reminder that books are always there for you, even when you feel like you’re alone.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Capstone Editions for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

When Shailey’s dad gets a new job, she loses her bedtime reading partner. She immediately starts interviews to fill the position and is thrilled when her favourite fairy tale characters line up to apply. But Sleeping Beauty can’t stay awake, the Gingerbread Man steals her book, and Snow White brings her whole team. Shailey is running out of options. Is bedtime ruined forever? 

Castle of Books – Alessandro Sanna

A book about books is always going to suck me in. I can’t help it. I’ve been obsessed with books for as long as I can remember, even before I could read myself. I’m so thankful to my mother for introducing me to the magic of reading. Thanks, Mum!

This picture book asks the question:

Why do we need books?

Now if I was going to answer that question you’d likely be reading an essay but Alessandro Sanna has managed to capture the basics in fewer words than I’ve used to write this review so far.

Two children gradually discover some of the wonders that books have to offer.

Would I have wanted to read this book over and over as a child? Probably not. I discovered all of the reasons why I specifically need books as I grew up and I’m still learning new reasons as an adult. As an adult, though, I want to read any book that is essentially a love letter to books.

I’m so happy my library has a copy of this book. I hope it serves as a catalyst for some future bookworms.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Everything starts with a question, like this one: Why do we need books?

In Castle of Books, two children go on a creative journey to discover the answer to the question “Why do we need books?” As they pore over piles and piles of books and discover the incredible worlds and words within, they find lots of answers to this question: to observe, to discover, to imagine, to understand each other, and so much more.

Unwritten – Tara Gilboy

“What if every story ever written is a world in another dimension, waiting for us to find it?”

I was enchanted by this book from the very beginning. It explores the complexities of good and evil, and the power we have to write our own story, regardless of the roles and labels others have placed upon us. There’s action, drama and so much heart.

Gracie may look like a normal 12 year old girl but she’s actually the creation of Gertrude Winters, an author whose unpublished story includes Gracie, her mother and Walter, a boy in her class and an aspiring scientist. Gracie gets story glimmers, glimpses of what her life would have been like in the story, but she doesn’t know the whole story and is frustrated that her mother won’t tell her.

When Gracie learns the story’s author will be coming to her town she can’t resist. Here is the opportunity she’s been waiting for! If only she can speak to the author then she may finally find out who she really is and what her story contains. Things don’t go quite as planned and Gracie, her mother and other characters wind up in the world of the story.

I was captivated the entire time I was reading. I loved the greys in this story; the villains weren’t all bad and the heroes didn’t always make the right choices. I was easily able to imagine the story world and wanted to stay longer to meet more of the people who live there.

While this book works well as a standalone I’m greedily hoping for a sequel and/or spin-off. I’m interested in knowing what happens next for Gracie, Walter and Cassandra in particular. I’d also love to see how Gertrude, the author of Gracie’s story, would react if another of her storybook characters walked into her life and wonder what their story would be about.

I would like to know more about Cassandra, particularly her background and more about her motivations. She was an intriguing character who deserves more page time. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not but Cassandra in this story has some similarities to Cassandra from Greek mythology; although different in so many aspects they were both able to foresee the future.

Jomike Tejido’s cover illustration is absolutely gorgeous and captures the essence of this story so well. I’m not sure I would have read this story’s blurb without that cover sucking me in and I would have missed out on a gem.

Over the course of a single book Tara Gilboy has cemented her place in my ’Have to Read Everything They Ever Write’ Hall of Fame. I can’t wait to read whatever comes next!

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Jolly Fish Press, an imprint of North Star Editions, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Twelve-year-old Gracie Freeman is living a normal life, but she is haunted by the fact that she is actually a character from a story, an unpublished fairy tale she’s never read. When she was a baby, her parents learned that she was supposed to die in the story, and with the help of a magic book, took her out of the story, and into the outside world, where she could be safe.

But Gracie longs to know what the story says about her. Despite her mother’s warnings, Gracie seeks out the story’s author, setting in motion a chain of events that draws herself, her mother, and other former storybook characters back into the forgotten tale. Inside the story, Gracie struggles to navigate the blurred boundary between who she really is and the surprising things the author wrote about her. As the story moves toward its deadly climax, Gracie realises she’ll have to face a dark truth and figure out her own fairy tale ending.