Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.
Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. He can "read" characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie's mother disappeared into the story. This "story within a story" will delight not just fantasy fans, but all readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though I was skeptical at first. I am not usually a fan of fantasy, but being that the characters all turned out to be PEOPLE, I bought into it. A book entirely about other books...what more can you ask for?
I think all of us avid readers have once or twice imagined what would happen if the characters that we read about came out of the book and into real life. What was terribly interesting to me was the idea that the character would be frightened, and have no idea where they were. As a reader I have always thought that since I was so immersed in the character's lives, they MUST feel the same way about me! Geez...
I thought Elinor was a terribly fascinating character - and as a friend put it, " Elinor is a very self-centered woman who lives for her possessions - people matter less to her than her books. She has kept herself in a comfortable cage to avoid the "inconvenient" emotions of others" and "Elinor is more courageous than she seems at first - like many of us "old folks" she has "been there, done that" and seeks peace above all. but when the threat gets too big, she creaks her way to her feet and takes a stand!" Couldn't have said it better myself!
Meggie's name irritated me, and I know that is trivial but I kept thinking "Maggie" and it was a little distracting. I am sure that no one else would worry with such a minor detail!
This novel was a great start to what promises to be a fascinating trilogy...I can't wait to read #2!
One of my favorite passages in this book is on the first two pages...I did a blog post about that passage because it really was that great - read that HERE.
"Some books should be tasted...some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and thoroughly digested."
"It's a good idea to have your own books with you in a strange place," Mo always said.
"You're the one who says that books have to be heavy because the whole world's inside them," Meggie said.
"My darling," she said at last, "are you sure you don't mind being a mouse for the rest of your life?" "I don't mind at all," I said. "It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you." - Roald Dahl, The Witches
"Because fear kills everything," Mo had once told her. "Your mind, your heart, your imagination."
"You know, it's a funny thing about writers. Most people don't stop to think of books being written by people much like themselves. They think that writers are all deal long ago - they don't expect to meet them in the street or out shopping. They knew their stories, but not their names, and certainly not their faces. And most writers like it that way."