Expected publication: January 3rd 2017 by Feiwel & Friends (first published February 16th 2015)
Format read: ARC via publisher
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 exciting as Amy's new power is, it also brings danger—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.
(Don’t worry – I’m not going to spoil it for you, since I think that no matter how you feel, you need to experience the ending for yourself.)
But despite the ending, I still think that The Book Jumper is a fast, likable read, which sets up an intriguing mythos that will hopefully be expanded in future books.
In Mechthild Gläser’s translated text, Amy Lennox and her mom leave Germany for Scotland, for Amy’s mother’s childhood home. It’s at this ancestral home, where Amy discovers that she has the power to jump into books and influence literature…
First things first: yes, the book sets itself up in a manner that is typical for YA. Teen girl with struggling mother, ends up moving and discovering that she has magical powers, because… reasons.
But even if the set-up feels familiar, there’s a charm and whimsy in Gläser’s quirky, bizarre world. There are warring families, long-forgotten vendettas, and even the amazing opportunity to visit one’s favorite books which, let’s face it, is something we’ve probably all wanted to do. It’s like Gläser mentally hit on every requirement for an epic, and did so in a way that while isn’t wholly original, is still delightful.
Along the way, there’s also an unfolding mystery, which requires Amy to solve and literally jump from book to book. It’s actually a thrilling ticking clock, and readers will absolutely appreciate how the mystery influences popular literature, and what we know of said literature. Many readers will likely imagine themselves in Amy’s position.
While I’m not the biggest fan of the romance in the book – it seemed a bit shoehorned in – it does help Amy grow as a person, and also understand her legacy better. It also sets up the genuine stakes of this new and complex world, which will hopefully be explored in further books.
All in all, despite the ending – see? I didn’t spoil it! – The Book Jumper is a fun, zippy ride with room for a lot more growth.