Publishers Weekly Review
Fifteen-year-old Amy Lennox has grown up in Germany, but after a traumatic spring she talks her mother into taking them back to her birthplace, the island of Stormsay off the coast of Scotland. Amy's family and another clan, the Macalisters, are keepers of a secret library of texts that date back centuries, and they can "jump" into stories, interacting with their characters, so long as they stay "in the margins, between the lines." But a thief is also jumping into books and stealing the authors' ideas, ruining the books. Amy and Will Macalister try to solve the mystery before more stories are destroyed. Amy also learns the identity of her father in a less-developed story line. The lore of the two families and German author Gläser's descriptions of Stormsay and the library are meticulous and moody, creating a gothic atmosphere that serves this star-crossed love story well. Meetings with book characters, like Kipling's Shere Khan and Dickens's Oliver Twist, offer entertaining moments that balance the grimmer elements of the story as it builds to a bittersweet ending. Ages 12-up. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-At the beginning of this fantasy, Amy and her mother leave Germany for Lennox House, their ancestral home on the Scottish island of Stormsay. Amy's mother left long ago when she was pregnant with Amy, and she has recently broken off an affair with a married man. Meanwhile, Amy has endured bullying at her school, and after a picture of her without her bikini top in the locker room is posted on the Internet, she longs even more to get away. Once at Lennox House, Amy makes a startling -realization: she and her family are book jumpers-people who enter books and engage with the characters inside. This should be a delightful discovery for Amy, who adores reading. However, a malevolent monster has awoken, and stories are being destroyed. It is clear that book jumping is no longer safe, but still, the stories must be protected. After Sherlock Holmes washes up dead and a tiny little princess turns out to be much more than she seems, it is up to Amy and her new friend, Will, another book jumper, to defend the stories. With numerous references to classics, from The Jungle Book to Pride and Prejudice, the novel sparks curiosity about literature and, perhaps, will encourage teens to track down the works mentioned here. Some readers may find the quick switches between Amy's perspective and a third-person narrator's point of view occasionally jarring, but many will connect with the tale of family secrets and new powers and will want to race to the end to learn the monster's identity. VERDICT This offering is the first U.S. title from an award-winning German author and would be a good additional purchase for fans of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart or Kristin Kladstrup's The Book of Story Beginnings.-Deanna McDaniel, Genoa Middle School, OH © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
When 15-year-old Amy convinces her mother to take her to their ancestral home on a remote Scottish island, she doesn't understand what that entails. After meeting her formidable grandmother, she learns that young members of her family are book jumpers, magically enabled to enter into any book and then observe and interact with the characters. Introduced to the Secret Library, she begins to explore The Jungle Book and then tries Oliver Twist. Her adventures take a dark turn when fictional objects disappear from their literary worlds, and the body of Sherlock Holmes washes up on shore. While Amy and her allies try to catch the culprit, she wonders whom to trust. A German writer, Gläser populates the island with eccentric characters and creates a centuries-old backstory of two rival families on the island. Amy makes a sympathetic, articulate narrator. Combining fantasy, history, mystery, adventure, and romance, the novel tries to accomplish a great deal in one volume and occasionally falters. Still, the concept is intriguing, particularly for book-lovers, and certain readers will find the story compelling.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist