Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Forgotten Book

The Forgotten Book
Mechthild Gläser
American Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I wasn't really sure what to think of this one going in. The description on the back is reminiscent of the kinds of books I would pick up in middle school and early high school and I haven't really revisited that genre in a while so I was a tad nervous I'd go in biased and dislike it. While it definitely did carry some of the tropes that I had grown to dislike, it had actually turned many of them into more positive versions and it was a really pleasant read!

This leans closer to paranormal fiction than fantasy so it's rather light on the world building, though I enjoyed what parts and pieces were created to tell the story. From paper cranes, to German poets, to a mad scientists lab, and then a missing sister, it was full of varied images and ideas that still played together very nicely. Sometimes it can feel like a dump of ideas just because they all sounded cool but each really did play an interesting role in the climax and conclusion of the novel and I thought each unique piece worked very nicely.

Like the world building, characters felt very lightly constructed, though they did not feel shallow. We were given just enough information about each to get an idea for them and for them to have a decent role in the plot and then left to fill in the unimportant blanks. I did find myself missing a connection with any of the characters because of this and I would have liked to enjoy more time inside the head of the protagonist, Emma, and getting to know her better. That being said, there is a pretty wide scope of characters both past and present and they were each handled accordingly, so no one felt like they were more or less real than the others.

One of the major tropes that steered me away from paranormal fiction was the insta-love that kept happening, particularly the insta-love with the "bad boy" character who many times came off as creepy. That was my fear of what would happen when Darcy de Winter (I mean, that name!) walked onto the page, but let me rest your fears-- the romance that does arise in this book is actually handled with great care and unfolds slowly. It feels very much like a high school love, and like a high schoolers perception of love, but in that vein it feels very real.

But the meat of the story: the plot. I liked it because it was unconventional but it really was difficult to sink my teeth to far into it. There just wasn't much happening and while it's nice to read a tight story, there's a difference between a tightly written story that still has many interesting things happening at once, and a story with a single minded plot that runs straight through the middle. This is definitely the latter and while that's not inherently bad (and it's particularly not bad when the writing is good, which it was in this case) it does seem to go better with a younger audience just finding themselves getting into YA.

TL;DR? It's a book better suited for a younger audience, and while it's not a stand out because of how light of a read it is, I would recommend it for a certain crowd in a heartbeat. It's not my type of book but if it sounds intriguing to you, pick it up because you will likely enjoy it.
Emma is used to things going her way. Her father is headmaster of her prestigious boarding school, her friends take her advice as gospel, and she's convinced that a relationship with her long-time crush is on the horizon.
As it turns out, Emma hasn't seen anything yet. When she finds an old book in an abandoned library, things really start going Emma's way: anything she writes in the book comes true.
But the power of the book is not without consequences, and Emma soon realizes that she isn't the only one who knows about it. Someone is determined to take it from her--and they'll stop at nothing to succeed.

A new boy in school--the arrogant, aloof, and irritatingly handsome Darcy de Winter--becomes Emma's unlikely ally as secrets are revealed and danger creeps ever closer.
Book cover linked to Goodreads. Book cover and description taken from Goodreads.
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  1. Glad you liked this one well enough. I really tried on The Book Jumper, but it didn't really work for me - maybe I'd have better luck here.

    1. I haven't read the book jumper but I have heard they are similar.


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