The Book Jumperby Mechthild Gläser
Published by Macmillan, Feiwel and Friends on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Amy Lennox doesn't know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother's childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.
Amy's grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House—but not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy's new power is, it also brings danger: someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts—at whatever cost.
I think this is the very first book I’ve read that’s been translated from it’s original language. I’m not quite sure what to make of it or how to review it. On one hand, it is such an awesomely unique idea for a story but on the other, it’s almost like it was only halfway thought through. It could have been SO much more! Let me explain…
First, a little about the story: Amy and her very young mother, Alexis, live on their own in Germany, far away from any family they know. After Alexis has a particularly heartbreaking breakup with a boyfriend and Amy has trouble in her school, they both decide to go on holiday. Amy chooses for them to go visit Alexis’ childhood home, a tiny island off the coast of Scotland called Stormsay.
This island is home to only two families: the Lennox and the Macalister families. And these two families don’t always get along. Case in point, the Macalisters still have their “castle” home while the Lennox family has had to rebuild a mansion after their castle was burned down. Even though it was an accident, these two families try to get along for the greater good. And what is that?
Book jumping, duh? It’s only in the title of the book so you kind of know what’s going to happen. I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil anything. It really is a great concept, to jump inside the world of a book. I was so entertained and spellbound as Amy traveled in the stories. Ms. Glaser did an outstanding job with that part of the story and how Amy interacted with the stories!! I would give her five stars on that alone!
Where the story disappointed me was the “outside” world. First, the synopsis alludes to a mystery for Amy to solve. With a mystery, you usually get a red herring to throw you off. In the case of this story, the red herring fell flat and really didn’t need to be in the story. At the end, it got explained and then, that’s it! No fanfare. I felt it got in the way and didn’t let the story flow naturally.
Second, the characters were odd and didn’t seem to fit right, probably due to translation. Amy’s mother, for example, was young but you’d think she’d have a little bit of a mother gene in her body. Her character was horrible! At one point, she told her daughter earth shattering news as if she was telling Amy what was for breakfast. Like, are you upset or something?? It’s only breakfast! Some characters showed up out of the blue and I was like, “Where did you come from? I don’t remember you from the beginning!”
Overall, perhaps the problem is that this book is better in it’s original language. I don’t speak German so I’ll never know. But the fantastic idea was there, the perfect ending was there, but it just missed on execution… in my totally humble opinion.