{Free e-book sale!!! Review Redux!} STORYBOUND by Marissa Burt

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I'm trying to find out if this is FREE today only, or for a while, 
but snag STORYBOUND by Marissa Burt 
on nook, Kindle, etc. while you can!!!

The sequel to STORYBOUND, STORY'S END, comes out today from HarperCollins Children's.
Happy Book Day, STORY'S END!!!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

UNA OFTEN TOLD HERSELF THAT SHE WAS INVISIBLE.  Perhaps that was the reason  people passed her in the halls, their eyes skimming over her slight form as if she were part of the scenery: a desk, a book, a classroom, a girl.
(pg. 1, US Hardcover Edition)

This review was first posted on April 20, 2012 for Fairy Tale Fortnight.

When I first picked up STORYBOUND, I labored under the misconception that a girl from our world finds a book and is sucked into a world full of fairy tales.  I was both right and wrong.  While Una Fairchild is indeed sucked into the world of Story, she doesn't run into any fairy tale characters.  The princes and princesses and villains of the fairy tales we know and love did in fact live and exist at one point in time, but long before Una arrived in Story.  Now, everyone trains to be characters, taking classes such as Villainy and Heroics.  They can train to be heroes, villains, princesses, ladies, sidekicks, etc.  Even animals get to train and go to school to learn how to be characters.  Like in Narnia, there are both smart and dumb animals in the world of Story.

I'd loved this creative spin on storybook characters.  It reminded me a little of the way book characters come to life in the upcoming teen novel BETWEEN THE LINES by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer, which I've reviewed (Along with--SURPRISE!!--An interview with the authors! ).  Having read BETWEEN THE LINES first, the concept of storybook characters coming to life and being different outside the story wasn't a novel concept to me, though the way the two books explore the theme is completely different, and both are captivating in their own way.  STORYBOUND also reminds me a bit of INKHEART, which also shows the interaction between our world and a storybook world.  With STORYBOUND, I loved seeing the way characters attended class and learned how to become a character for a story. I thought that concept was unique, and was eager to see the topics they studied, much as I enjoy sitting in on Spy Classes whenever I read Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls books.  It's always fun to see something so supremely different from our own mundane classes.

Like any good middle-grade novel worth its salt, STORYBOUND isn't all fun and laughter.  From the get-go, the story is fraught with danger.  Upon realizing that Una is from the world of Readers and has been Written In, training hero Peter tries his best to keep the truth from The Talekeepers, who have the  power to wipe a WI out of existence.  Ever since the Muses were overthrown, there have been no newly-written stories, and not Written In characters.  Una's very existence in the world of Story is a dangerous one.  As Una and Peter research how Una came to be in Story, they discover a sinister plot that will change the fundamental world of Story.  The book takes a dark turn that will leave readers surging ahead to see what happens next.  I didn't even realize STORYBOUND wasn't a stand-alone until I hit the last page and realized that the book was over.  I'll be eager to read STORY'S END next year to see how everything pulls together.

I was impressed with the world-building and the way characters aren't always as they seem. I can't wait to see the development of certain characters continue in the next book.  I'm also impressed with the way Marissa Burt reveals how and why Una came to be in Story.  It wasn't anything I expected, and the answer isn't like anything I can recall seeing.  It is, however, impressive that Burt goes where she does to create this answer, and I can't wait to find out what happens next!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Yet again, this book's cover made me intrigued to find out more about the story lying within.  The image is inlaid beautifully, and that HOUSE.  I want to live in a tree if my house can look that amazing.  I want to know more about where they are going, see what lies behind those intricate doors.  This is a cover that makes you so curious!

The only disappointment once I started reading was the fact that that the leafy design is more of a sky blue than it is silver.  When Una finds a book in the library, I thought the book we were reading was designed to look like it!

"There, as if it had fallen behind the front row of books, a scarlet volume lay hidden, its cover interworked with shimmers of silver.  Una brushed off the thin layer of dust that muted the striking color and traced the leafy patter.  She followed the brightness of the silver over to the spine" (pg. 4, US Hardcover Edition).

So to me, the cover wasn't silver enough!  It could have been all embossed and shiny.  But that's me nitpicking!

I love the font choice used for the interior that marks the beginning of each chapter.  I want to know what this font is because it's so, so fabulous.  Look:

Not enough?  Check out the following nested letters that start off three other chapters in the book:

*swoon*  I love a good, scripty, curly, flowy font.  The "t" and "s" and "h" in particular have me captivated.  I also like the way the curves of the letters cross back and forth, entwining together when they write "Chapter 1."  I love the way the swirly underline captures the number and pulls it into the design, creating a united image, with every character touching!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Marissa Burt
Release Date: Out April 03, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's
Received: Borrowed


In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them.

In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story.

But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself....

With the timeless appeal of books like A WRINKLE IN TIME and the breathtaking action of INKHEART, STORYBOUND has all the makings of a new classic. Brimming with fantastical creatures, magical adventure, and heart-stopping twists, Storybound will leave readers wishing they too could jump through the pages into this enchanting fairy-tale world.


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