Author: TARA GILBOY
Genre: MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY
Age Range: 8 – 12
Grade Level: 4 – 6
Length: 200 PAGES
Publisher: NORTH STAR EDITIONS – JOLLY FISH PRESS
Received From: NETGALLEY
Release Date: OCTOBER 16, 2018
Price: $11.99 USD
Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Freeman is living a normal life, but she is haunted by the fact that she is actually a character from a story, an unpublished fairy tale she’s never read.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 draw 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.
This book is going to be a hit with young girls. The story weaves all the magic of a fairy tale with all of the mystery of a middle-grade story well told.
The idea that the main character, twelve year old Gracie is actually a character from a storybook is interesting and will be unique for the younger generation.
At first Gracie is living a normal life, just like the rest of her schoolmates. As the story continues we learn where she came from and how it came to be that her mother escaped with her into the “real” world.
The Author writes with the perfect mix of preteen angst and magic. What twelve year old girl hasn’t fantasized about discovering that she is really a Princess?
Imagine discovering that you owe your life to an author, rather than to your parents. How bizarre would that be?
After Gracie discovers with where she came from, events quickly speed up. She is desperate to know more about what the story says about her, but her mother will not tell her anything.
With typical youthful exuberance, Gracie decides that if her mother will not give her the information she so desperately wants, she will find answers on her own. This leads to a snowball effect and soon events spiral out of control and Gracie discovers that her life is now in danger.
Will she survive returning to the fairytale she had been rescued from as a baby? Or will she discover too late the power of the fairytale?
Writing Gracie must have brought out the author’s inner child. She does a brilliant job of describing the way young girls often feel. They may think they are on the cusp of adulthood, and be aggravated by the way their parents still treat them “like a child.”
It is only later (and sometimes too late, or not all) that they come to realize that maybe, just maybe, their parents are right and should have been listened to after all.
I enjoyed the mother daughter dynamics and could empathise with both characters. The scenes from inside the fairytale are terrific, as are Gracie’s interactions with the characters.
I don’t want to give too much away, so I will say no more about the plot.
UNWRITTEN is due to hit bookstores on October 16th and it is sure to become a hit. It would be a great Christmas present for the preteen or young adult in your family.
I rate UNWRITTEN as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
**Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.**
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
TARA GILBOY holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, where she specialized in writing for children and young adults.
She teaches creative writing in San Diego Community College’s Continuing Education Program and for the PEN Writers in Prisons Program.
Her work has appeared in Word Riot, Beloit Fiction Journal, Cricket, and other publications.
She lives in San Diego, California.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links: