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The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser: Excellent Premise… But Characters And Writing Didn’t Work For Me

Hey, all, it’s Alexa! So normally, I don’t like to do taglines that set a negative tone to a review before we even get started… but this was the most honest line I could think of. And to be honest, the book wasn’t all bad. There were just a lot of repeat occurrences that, well, really frustrated me. As I always say though, because reading is subjective, you very well might feel differently. So please read my review, read other reviews, read the book, and make your own opinion.

Back Cover Description:

What if you could jump inside books and experience their stories firsthand?

Amy Lennox doesn’t know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to Lennox House, her mother’s childhood home 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 fanger: 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.

Plot:

I would say the plot was best part of this story. It was exciting, mysterious, suspenseful, much of it was even pretty funny. There were a few plot twists I did predict, so they weren’t mindblowing for me; but for someone who hasn’t read the insane amount of Nancy Drew books I have and isn’t as familiar with these kinds of stories, the twists would probably be more surprising. I especially loved the beginning and the end: the beginning drew me in with all the not-knowings, and the ending was epically and pleasantly surprising in several ways. It’ wa the middle where the characters got involved and caused me so much irritation… but more on that a little later.

All-in-all, it’s really a great premise. I just wish the characters and writing hadn’t bothered me so much.

Plot: 4 stars out of 5.

Characters:

So, I liked Amy the moment she came on the page. She was a reader after my own heart with a literary voice, an adventurous spirit, and just enough insanity to leave the country and visit the grandmother she’d never met, simply on her own mother’s whim (not something I’d appreciate in real life, but hey, it got the story going). I mean, for Pete’s sake, she was even clumsy (very much like me). I thought we would get along splendidly.

Then she took her first book jump, and… I’m not even know what happened to her. But every decision she made after that, every decision, had me yelling in all caps in my notes. I wanted to like her, but she continuously did things that were either illogical, the opposite of something she’d been told to do, or exactly what she’d been told not to do. And I mean, I do understand. I’m a reader. I can only imagine the drunken thrill I would get if I ever had the chance to actually jump in to my favorite fandom. But. The way Amy did it, without ever thinking, could’ve literally eradicated the literary world and/or gotten herself killed. Yet she continued to do it throughout the story.

The others just kind of fell flat to me. Many of them were never fully explained; others did turn out to be slightly more than they originally seemed, but unfortunately, not enough to make them interesting to me. The love interest was nice enough, but he just… he didn’t have much aliveness in and of himself. He lacked notable traits and felt a lot like a two-dimensional caricature rather than a real person.

And finally… there was Alexis. For a mom who was supposed to be her daughter’s best friend, she was rarely even around for Amy and acted pretty self-absorbed when she was. Granted, that was part of the plot—kind of—but it still bothered me. Especially since they were supposedly so close.

In the end, my favorite character was Werther, a cowardly, logical tiny who did the brave thing anyway (BABY <3)—and inevitably got the short end of the stick. Because that’s just who my favorite characters are. :p

Characters: 2 stars out of 5

Writing Style/Setting:

At first, I loved the writing. There was this taste of an old-time-y, literary style to the beginning voice, so different from most YAs yet so perfect for this story, that I was immediately drawn in. I adored the descriptions of the Lennox manor; I could almost see it, the paintings of books, the coat of arms displayed on the walls, the chandelier made of golden letters swinging lightly from the ceiling. I was there, and I was happy to stay.

But as the story went on, the writing fell. The beginning style would occasionally appear in a gorgeous paragraph, but much of the writing became flat, the emotions forced, nearly amateurish in many places. Granted, this was an ARC and I think it may have been translated as well, so it’s possible that such things were fixed in the official version and/or that the original beauty was lost in translation; but in the book I read, there were enough of those problems to seriously restrict my enjoyment of the story.

Writing Style/Setting: 2 stars out of 5.

Overall, we come in at about 2 1/2 stars out of 5. There were parts of this book I really liked and even more that I really wanted to like; but sadly, there were more that I just didn’t and couldn’t. Like I said above though, you very well may feel differently, and if you think you’d like to try it anyway, you can find The Book Jumper on Amazon for $17.99.

So have you read any books about protags who are readers? What was your first read of the year? Can’t wait to hear from you all, and I’ll see you in the comment section!

~ Love, Alexa <3

Notes: I voluntarily reviewed a free print copy.

Content: Cursing. Some violence.

2 Comments


  1. // Reply

    This was interesting to read. I wonder if the author just fell out of love with the book/story and couldn’t recapture the original enthusiasm that had generated such a great start?


    1. // Reply

      Hmm, I wonder. If so, that would be really sad. It had such potential!

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