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Friday, May 4, 2012

Review: Storybound by Marissa Burt

In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them. 
In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story. 
But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself.... 
With the timeless appeal of books like A Wrinkle in Time and the breathtaking action of Inkheart, Storybound has all the makings of a new classic. Brimming with fantastical creatures, magical adventure, and heart-stopping twists, Storybound will leave readers wishing they too could jump through the pages into this enchanting fairy-tale world.

Fantastic storytelling, a creative premise, and smart dialogue collide in Marissa Burt's Storybound

Una is a captivating main character that any young reader will identify with... and maybe even wish to switch places with. She's is a smart, sassy young girl that fits into the world of Story surprisingly well... though I have a feeling many bookish people would. I liked that Una quickly got over the "this isn't possible!" phase and moved into the "let's kick some butt" phase. Una - and the reader - leave reality entirely behind and welcome the fantastical world of Story with open arms!

Storybound is compared to Inkheart, which I adore, and they do have similarities, but, for me, they had very different pacing and atmosphere. Storybound is a very fast-paced story with slow scenes primarily nonexistent. For readers that dislike wading through unnecessary detail, Storybound is a great fit.

On the downside, I sometimes felt like parts of Storybound were confusing or didn't fit well. I think this was because of the pace... details were either being cut out or I was missing them as the story flew by. There was so much going on and so many new characters popping up that I sometimes struggled to understand why particular twists were necessary. By the end of the novel, I felt that there were many unresolved issues and the author was going to have a lot of explaining to do in subsequent novels. Hopefully young readers won't encounter the same confusion I did.

In Storybound, Una spends most of her time with characters from fairy tales and I'd really like to learn more about the characters-in-training from other types of books as well. While Storybound mentioned many characters, it'd be great be introduced to a few other characters... add more children to Una's motley crew as she goes up against the villainous leaders of Story.

Storybound was a fun read and I'm definitely curious to see what become of Una and the land of Story!

HarperCollins Children's, April 2012, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780062020529, 416 pages.


  1. great review! I'm in the middle of reading this one and think it's very different from Inkheart, too. I really like Una; she is so awesome. Can't wait how to see Storybound turns out!

    Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews.


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