Unwritten by Tara Gilboy

Unwritten.jpg

Expected publication: October 16th 2018

Publisher: Jolly Fish Press

Read Date: July 30th 2018

Genre: Middle Grade / Fantasy

Pages: 200

Stars: 3.75 that sums 4/5

4 star

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Freeman is living a normal life, but she is haunted by the fact that she is actually a character from a story, an unpublished fairy tale she’s never read.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 realizes she’ll have to face a dark truth and figure out her own fairy tale ending. 


review_edited

What will you do if a dark horrible fantasy story comes to life and you find out you are one of the character in the book that eventually dies? Oh I never want to be written in any kind of story after reading this.

Unwritten was a middle grade fantasy story about 12-yr-old Gracie who was desperate find out about her birthplace which was an unusual world a story. The book was mainly about battle of good vs bad within ourselves; finding true self and being what you want to be not what other says.

Characters

Gracie was grumpy, impulsive, and stubborn girl. Gracie and mom’s views looked selfish. I didn’t like the way Gracie kept blaming someone else for her action. Even her mom kept blaming Gertrude for writing a story. I mean how Gertrude could have guessed the story might come to life!! I couldn’t see any development in Gracie’s character till the very end which was a minus point about the book. Do I like her? Not sure! I just liked how she acted in the end.

The secondary characters who were also a part of Gertrude’s story were also complicated. I couldn’t point who to call good or bad till the third half of the book. It seemed like all characters were flawed and there was a touch of suspense to all of them which was plus point.

I pitied Gertrude most. I could imagine how she might have felt for being blamed of writing the story. I found her more sensible and practical person than the characters she has written.

What I liked

The plot was most interesting and instantly dragged me in the story.

Gracie and her mother were the characters from the story written by Gertrude Winters in which they we’re supposed to die. The place in the story called Bondoff was Gracie’s birth place. Gracie was having visions of things that would have happened in the story, if her parents have not taken her out of it. Ever since her mother told about Bondoff and reason of visions, Gracie was desperate to find out more about the story and what was her character in the story. In trying to get the answers, she disobeyed her mother and went to see Gertrude Winters and messed up things terribly.

It was third person narrative written from Gracie POV. I was intrigued to know the story of Gracie and her mother. World and characters were twisted and complex. There was so much unpredictability and uncertainty that hooked me till the end.

I had lot of question in first few chapters only – how the characters of the book can come alive in first place, did someone cast magic on story or something? What were the characters like in the story? How they found a way to the real world? The answers were revealed one by one in first half of the book still I couldn’t help but think what was going on. It was like as soon as the answer to one question was given the new one popped up. Book progressed so fast that it hardly gave a time to think over it.

The second half of the book was fabulously written. The twist was unimaginable. I couldn’t guess a thing. At around climax finally Gertrude revealed things about story she wrote. I so loved what she said in this part. It was utterly mind blowing.  The book became more intriguing at this point and couldn’t put down the book.

Till climax I wasn’t sure what to think about characters, whether they were good or bad. At the end the development in the Gracie was satisfactory and I loved how they all turned out and owned up their mistakes. End was unpredictable and satisfactory.

There were some insightful messages in the book that I loved-

It said about how deeply we get affected by what others say or portrays us or think or write about our character. Do we really need to know what we truly are from someone else perspective?  How having the impulse to know what people think about us, we give them more power over us. Like Gracie’s mother said, we can be what we want to be. To be good or bad depends on us.

The importance of anger management also displayed nicely in the book. The message of having control over the anger and not to let anger control over us was remarkable.

why not 5 stars

Book was too short and had a serious tone. Character development was very late in the book and it became frustrating seeing Gracie asking the same thing ‘how she was written in the story’ and acting based on it rather than finding something within herself. I’m not sure I liked her or not.

More suspense and less drama. For middle grade book I expected a bit of entertainment in the story as well.

 

conclusion

Overall, it was interesting book with dark magical plot, complex characters and insightful messages. I like it. Middle grade readers (age 8-15 yrs) will enjoy it but I cannot say about other readers.


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Author: Tara Gilboy

Tara Gilboy holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, where she specialized in writing for children and young adults. She teaches creative writing in San Diego Community College’s Continuing Education Program and for the PEN Writers in Prisons Program. Her work has appeared in Word Riot, Beloit Fiction Journal, Cricket, and other publications. She lives in San Diego, California.

Book and author details – http://www.northstareditions.com/product/unwritten/

*** Note: I received e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Publisher, author, and NetGalley. ***

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (39)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?’ is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


Hey Book Lover! I hope you all had a great week. Mine in reading was much better. I also bought 3 classics. I guess I have classic fever these days. 😉

Last week I read- 

Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab by Columbkill Noonan

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1) by L.M. Montgomery

Unwritten – I will post review tomorrow.

Currently reading- 

Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables #2) by L.M. Montgomery

77390At sixteen, Anne is grown up…almost. Her gray eyes shine like evening stars, but her red hair is still as peppery as her temper. In the years since she arrived at Green Gables as a freckle-faced orphan, she has earned the love of the people of Avonlea and a reputation for getting into scrapes. But when Anne begins her job as the new schoolteacher, the real test of her character begins. Along with teaching the three Rs, she is learning how complicated life can be when she meddles in someone else’s romance, finds two new orphans at Green Gables, and wonders about the strange behavior of the very handsome Gilbert Blythe. As Anne enters womanhood, her adventures touch the heart and the funny bone.

I so loved first book that I couldn’t help but start this book.

Next this week- 

To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird #1)

2657The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.


How was your last week? What are you reading this week?
Have you read any of these books before or planning to read in future? If so, what do you think about them??

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Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1) by L.M. Montgomery

 

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(I have this combined Wordsworth edition (which was most cheaper) but I’m reviewing only first book)

Publication Date: March 5th 1999 (First published: June 1908)

Publisher: Wordsworth Classics 

Read Date: July 27th 2018

Genre: Classic / Fiction

Stars: 5/5

5 star_crop

Blurb from back cover:

When the Cuthberts send to an orphanage for a boy to help them at Green Gables, their farm in Canada, they are astonished when a talkative little girl steps off the train. Anne, red-headed, pugnacious and incurably romantic, causes chaos at Green Gables and in the village, but her wit and good nature delight the fictional community of Prince Edward Island, Canada, and ensure that Anne of Green Gables continues to be a firm favourite with readers worldwide.

Thoroughly charming and amusing, with a supporting cast of colourful and endearing characters, both books will enchant and entertain readers, guaranteeing that Anne’s adventures capture their affections as well as their imaginations.


review_edited

Anne of Green Gable was a lovely delightful coming -of-age classic fiction. A story of orphan girl, Anne who comes to live at Green Gables with lovely Cuthberts and start a new life with her wonderful imaginations.

Why I waited so long to read this book! I loved this book and Anne more than I expected. It was so refreshing that left me smiling at every page. I can’t think of any other classic book as lovely as this.  

Author narrated the story so remarkably. Description of places and characters created lifelike figure in my mind. The writing was so beautiful, mesmerizing, with big words and if I speak from Anne’s perspective, it was so romantic. The way book started with ‘Rachel is surprised’, ‘Matthew is surprised’ and then Marilla… They were definitely gripping titles with even more captivating start. I was instantly pulled into the story and wanted to know how the story and Anne will turn out. How Cuthberts and neighbors will get along with Anne.  

Anne was the charm of the book. Coming at new place with pitiful past and knowing that Cuthberts wanted a boy not girl was really heart-stirring for Anne. I could feel her pain and anguish. But she never let her readers to be in somber mood longer. She was full of life and imaginations. Oh my, and she never stopped talking. Her amusing style of talking, the way she held herself, behaved and learned from her mistakes just won my heart. The most lovable thing about her was, her apologies and confessions throughout the book. Wow! I could see why everyone loved her so dearly.

My goodness, Anne’s temper was so bad and uncertain. First, Mrs. Lynde and then Gilbert! That scene at school, a first seed of discord between Gilbert and Anne was so hilarious. I couldn’t have imagined word ‘Carrots’ for red hair. She expressed any kind of emotions in full extent. I definitely agreed Marilla on this matter.

There were so many characters in the book and I loved them all. Specifically, Cuthberts, Mrs Lynde, Diana, Gilbert, and Miss Barry. I can’t imagine the book without them. They added their own charm both in book and Anne’s life.  The way Anne’s quirky characteristics eventually thawed Marilla’s heart was most remarkable in the book. Anne’s bond with both Matthew and Marilla was heart-warming.

There was everything a growing girl would love to read in the book- Fashion, school, colorful classmates, teachers, rivalry, best friend, nosy neighbors, local customs, critical comments, getting into all sort of troubles and then rectifying them with confession and learning from it. It was all so dramatic and entertaining. It wasn’t to put down the book.

Looking at the seasons, nature, world, and life with Anne’s eyes gave the story a whole new life. Her ambitions and perspectives were infectious.  I so admire the author for having such wonderful thoughts, displaying women strong and capable during that era.

Climax was sad not surprising, I could see it coming at certain point but not too early. The way Anne developed from here to the end was just perfect. I wouldn’t change a bit in the book. No matter how many ups and downs came in Anne’s life she made most out of it. She knew how to live life fully and that’s what I loved most about her.

Overall, it was refreshing, lovely story. The book had a feel good factor that will put a smile on every reader’s face. I could see why it is loved by so many readers. I’m so excited to read the next book of the series.


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AuthorL.M. Montgomery


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Are you fan of Anne of Green Gables?

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#BookBlitz #Review: Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab by Columbkill Noonan @rararesources @ColumbkillNoon1

Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab

Hey Book Lovers! Today I’m happy to be part of the blog blitz for Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Please find details on the book and my review below.

Book Details:

Barnabas Tew - Cover.jpgBarnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab (1st Book in a series)

Author – Columbkill Noonan

Publication Date – July 26th 2017

Publisher – Crooked Cat Books

Read Date – July 24th 2018

Genre – Historical cozy mystery / Egyptian Mythology

Pages – 275

Stars – 4.5/5

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Blurb:

Barnabas Tew, a detective in Victorian London, is having a hard time making a name for himself, probably because most of his clients end up dead before he can solve their cases. His luck is about to change, though, for better or worse: Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead, notices him and calls him to the Egyptian underworld. A terrible kidnapping has occurred; one that promises to put an end to the status quo and could perhaps even put an end to the entire world. It is up to Barnabas (along with his trusty assistant, Wilfred) to discover the culprit and set things to right. Can he turn his luck around and solve the most important case of his life?


review_edited

Barnabas Tew and The Case Of The Missing Scarab was a humorous cozy mystery set in Victorian London era nicely blended with Egyptian mythology. As the title and blurb suggests it was the story of two British detectives, Barnabas Tew and his assistant Wilfred Colby, and their adventurous journey to the Egyptian underworld for solving the case of missing scarab for which they were hired by none other than Egyptian God of Death- Anubis. The book was quirky and purely entertainment.

Characters_edited

Barnabas Tew– was awkward, clumsy, babbling, not-so-successful private detective who lacked confidence and cleverness contrasting his role model Sherlock Holmes. He had a knack for mess up things more. But he was such a gentleman, kind, and soft-hearted fellow. I bet you will think at some point how this dude is going to solve the case but he definitely surprised me in climax. Wilfred– was better built and even more clever and rational than Barnabas but was too modest to show this to his employer. He knew Barnabas better than anyone else and the way he coped with his moods and blunders was really great.

What I liked_edited

Writing was awesome! It was lighthearted, very British, and entertaining contrary to what I expected from cover and blurb. Characters were the charm of the book. You will notice characters- both British detectives and Gods of Egypt- more than anything else in the book. It was so easy to imagine Barnabas and other characters in my head from the very beginning of the book.

The story was third person narrative with amusing monologues of narrator. Within first few chapter detectives were introduced and the many unfortunate cases were discussed which made it very clear that this book going to be so entertaining that you have to put your logic and mind aside and just enjoy it. The way they were assigned the case by Anubis was unbelievable and so much hilarious. Majority of the story take place in Egyptian underworld.

Ancient Gods and Goddesses in the book were quirky and moody. There isn’t much of a story/myth related to them in the book, just bit of facts about them. But they were described remarkably with those different heads and detectives’ funny comments on that which made it easy to imagine them clearly. The way they pulled legs of detectives was entertaining. Oh God, I laughed so much when detectives got their mouse heads. And their encounter with Hathor’s guards! These two scenes were unforgettable.

I pitied situation of Barnabas and Wilfred. Poor fellows had only little knowledge about Egyptian mythology or Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, they didn’t know their way around the underworld, and they didn’t have much help from people living there. Moreover they didn’t ask enough proper questions regarding the case! No planning, no clue! I was like ‘oh dear, how they are going to investigate the case! They are simply gone cases’. The way they were misled and blunders (yes, plural) they made in finding Khepre was remarkably hilarious. I kept shaking my head and smiling in disbelief like all Egyptian Gods at Barnabas’s stupidity and the way he kept losing the track of the case.

I admit I stopped guessing who was the culprit very early in the book and was just going with flow like I was watching funny TV series. Silliness and headless investigation of the detectives made the book so much unpredictable. I bet, you won’t think what culprit might do next in the story but what these detectives will do. 😀

Conversations between the characters takes the all the stars. I so much enjoyed Barnabas and Wilfred’s worthless discussions and whisperings specifically those in presence of various Gods.

Finally, in the climax, the cogwheels of their brain started turning in right direction. The bit of twist and proper questioning, plan, and help made the climax engaging and entertaining. The end was surprising with another twist that gave the hint of Barnabas’ next adventure in the next book. I signed up for the blog tour for second book without even reading its blurb and I’m glad I did it. The whole Egyptian adventure of Barnabas and his assistant was so much fun to read that I would love to see what they will do in the next book- Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds.

why not 5 stars_edited

Barnabas was annoying in middle part of the book.
I wish there was a bit of myth as well. As mythology lover it wasn’t that much satisfactory to read this Egyptian adventure without myths and stories.

conclusion

Overall, it was purely entertainment, humorous, and enjoyable story with odd characters and lots of Egyptian adventure. I definitely recommend this book to those would like a light humorous mystery book.


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Barnabas Tew - ColumbkillNoonanPhoto.jpgAuthor Bio

Columbkill Noonan lives in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where she teaches yoga and Anatomy and Physiology.  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines. Her first novel, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab” by Crooked Cat Books, was released in 2017, and her latest work, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds”, is set to be released in September 2018.

In her spare time, Columbkill enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, aerial yoga, and riding her rescue horse, Mittens. To learn more about Columbkill please feel free to visit her website (www.columbkill.weebly.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ColumbkillNoonan) or on Twitter (@ColumbkillNoon1).

Social Media Links: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColumbkillNoonan/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/columbkillnoon1?lang=en

Purchase Linkmybook.to/Barnabas

*** Note: Many thanks to Rachel and author for providing review copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. ***

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Have you read this book already or any book by Columbkill Noonan?
Have you read something similar to this before?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (38)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?’ is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


Hello Book Lovers! I hope you all had great week! My week was good.

I watched— pride and prejudice and zombies– which was okay! A movie premier – Geostorm – which was amazing and so I liked Gerard Butler. I went to watch Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation yesterday – it was entertaining and fun, definitely loved it.

I read and reviewed-

Joy of Pregnancy 2nd Edition The Complete, Candid, and Reassuring Companion for Parents-to-Be by Tori Kropp

Currently reading-

Barnabas Tew and The Case Of The Missing Scarab by Columbkill Noonan

35513926Barnabas Tew is a private detective struggling to survive in his trade in Victorian London. Fearing that he is not as clever as he had hoped to be, he is plagued by a lack of confidence brought on in no small part by his failure to prevent the untimely deaths of several of his clients. 

Matters only get worse when Anubis, the Egyptian God of the Dead, is referred to Barnabas by a former client (who perished in a terribly unfortunate incident which was almost certainly not Barnabas’ fault). Anubis sends for Barnabas (in a most uncivilized manner) and tells him that the scarab beetle in charge of rolling the sun across the sky every day has been kidnapped, and perhaps dismembered entirely. 

The Land of the Dead is in chaos, which will soon spill over into the Land of the Living if Barnabas – together with his trusty assistant, Wilfred – cannot set matters to right. Pulled from his predictable (if unremarkable) life in Marylebone, Barnabas must match his wits against the capricious and dangerous Egyptian gods in order to unravel the mystery of the missing beetle and thereby save the world. 

This is funny and entertaining and I’m reading it at super speed. I have tour date on Thursday this week so will post review on that date.

Next this week- 

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1) by L.M. Montgomery

763588As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever . . . but will the Cuthberts send her back to to the orphanage? Anne knows she’s not what they expected—a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she’ll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anyone else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special—a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreams of the day when she can call herself Anne of Green Gables. 

I put aside this book for time being because of other book I needed to finish on priority bases. But now that I have finished books I meant to read this month I will continue this one again.

What are you reading this week? How was your last week? Have you read any of these books before or planning to read in future? What do you think about them?? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

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