Unwritten by Tara Gilboy
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Published October, 16th 2018
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*
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Freeman is living a normal life, but she is haunted by the fact that she is actually a character from a story, an unpublished fairy tale she’s never read.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.
Sorry for the delay on this one but I finally got to it!
So, Unwritten is about Gracie. She is just a regular 12yo living with her mom. But unlike many others, she was taken from an unpublished book, just like her mom and family friends. The thing is, she knows nothing about that story, the one Gertrude Winters wrote about her.
Grace is from a world called Bondoff where, according to her mom, who knows part of her tale, Queen Cassandra would do anything to put her hands on Gracie. But, unlike she is told to do, Gracie keeps digging and digging and going against her mom’s will to discover her story. After a meet-up with her writer, nothing will be the same and she embarks on an adventure that will lead her and all the persons she loves back to Bondoff.
Gracie was the typical inquisitive and “rebellious” child. Nothing her mom could say would have made a difference, which annoyed me a bit. And this is one of the things where middle-grade is a hit or miss with me. I much preferred nerdy Walter. Gracie was just a notch too ungrateful for my taste (I guess some 12yo’s might be just that way), but I did like her story development.
As for the story itself, I found it really interesting and it made me think quite a bit. It’s in a sense about figuring out who we are, being ourselves with the knowledge that we can change. As a character, Gracie felt her life pre-destined, but the truth is, there’s always a way and I really liked how that was approached.
From the first 50 pages, I thought I had this book figured out, but it surprised me and I’m pretty sure I would have loved this as a child. As a grown-up tho, I wish it was bigger and more developed. It was a quick and surprising story with a great message and I would recommend it to a young audience.
What did you think of it? Are you excited about this book? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!