Unwritten

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

This book has a really sweet premise and, truth be told, I'm a sucker for all things fairy tales. Gracie is a girl out of place. Her whole life has already been written out in an unpublished story that she's never seen and, seeing as how she is as inquisitive as they come, her only goal is to find out what it says. I loved this premise and, for the most part, I felt like the book stuck true to that idea. It just took a little while to really get going.

On the list of things I loved, is the whole theme throughout this story about finding your true self, regardless of what others want for you. It's a beautiful idea to introduce to young readers. Gracie's whole life has been mapped out, but now she has a chance to be whatever she wants. The question plaguing her becomes which version would be her true self. Watching her war with herself, and grow to understand what was most important in her life, made me smile. It's lovely to see an MG character really dive deep into who they are. I can't say that this whole book had as much depth as Gracie's personal growth, but at the end of the day that was my favorite part anyway.

What made this a bit of a rough read for me was simply what I said above, that it lacks some depth. While Gracie's story is very sweet, and definitely original, it's in such a hurry to get to the climax that it skims over a lot of what I would have loved as a young reader. When I read a book in this age group, I always try to read it from both my current perspective, and from when I was a young reader. This book was a good read, but it didn't quite hit that memorable mark.
Was this review helpful?
It was a really good, easy read, and I really enjoyed it. The characters were fun, as was the storyline, and I was disappointed when the book ended!
Was this review helpful?
This was a good middle grade story.  There are definitely some good messages in it about just being yourself and don’t let others make you someone you’re not.  I liked the aspect of being able to go in and out of a fictional story.  I think that is pretty much every readers dream.  Gracie didn’t always make the best choices but she learned from her mistakes and tried to be a better person.  There were a few spots where the story moved slowly but it would start moving again shortly after.  In some ways this had some similar aspects to Chris Colfer’s middle grade fairytale series so I would recommend this to anyone who liked those books.  It seemed like this left it open for a sequel, without leaving us on a cliffhanger, so I look forward to seeing what happens next for Gracie and her family.

I received an eARC from netgalley.  All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is a great middle grade a story. Gracie seemed a bit bratty at the beginning but now that I've finished I get why she was written that way. There were a lot of "what will happen next" moments and I loved it. I also loved the way they could travel from our world to Bondoff. Overall, I really liked Gracie story.
Was this review helpful?
I love books set within a book. So, this one caught my eye. It's a fun, fairy tale, read that I enjoy. We start out in 'our world' for a while and I enjoyed the push and pull between the lead character and her mother, because it has a really reason behind them. It was great fun, but I enjoyed it so much more once the characters got put into the book within the book. I like how the lead character, Gracie, who fights for what she wants, she's strong headed, and a powerful character. I love the message of believing in yourself and overcoming things, staying true to yourself. The friendship and family is a strong message in this book and I think that's an important thing to have in a book for a younger group. 

This was a great middle grade that I enjoy bunches!



ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.

Unwritten is about Gracie Freeman and her family. Gracie is a normal twelve year old who discovers she is really a character from an unpublished fairy tale. When her parents discovered she was supposed to die in the story, they took her out of the story, and brought her into the outside world. Gracie is desperate to know what the story says about her and, because of a magic book, is pulled back into the story.

Tara Gilboy offers a charming fantasy in which Gracie desires to find out about herself and what the story's author wrote about her. Is she a hero, the villain, or a minor character? Is she supposed to be good or bad? Can she change or is it predetermined?

Unwritten is a short novel with 198 pages, according to Goodreads, but has a lot of depth to it. Authors meeting their characters or characters coming to life is not a new idea but it's unique in the way the author handles the situation. You'll have to trust me. I do not want to spoil anything. 

I would enjoy reading a sequel or from a different character's point of view. Unwritten is Tara GIlboy's debut novel.
Was this review helpful?
Unwritten by Tara Gilboy, 200 pages.  Jolly Fish Press, 2018.  $12.

Content: G ( a little bit scary, but nothing over the top)

BUYING ADVISORY:  EL, MS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Gracie is in the 7thgrade and she knows that her mother and she escaped from the land of Bandoff from within the pages of a book when she was little.  Now the author of that book is coming to Gracie’s town and she wants answers.  Despite her mother’s warnings and threats, Gracie storms off and involves the author, starting a chain reaction involving the evil within the book and pulling all of the characters – and the author – into the story.  But Gracie is not who she thought she was in this world.  She will have to defy her own nature in order to save those she loves and right her wrong.

A nice enough “within these pages” story.  There is no new territory covered here, but it is a good paperback option for those kids who like the Land of Stories and Half Upon a Time series.

Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS
Was this review helpful?
I did not have time to finish because of a busy schedule but I loved what I had read and love the concept of it! If I would have read this as a kid I would have been so in love and inspired!
Was this review helpful?
This is a creative, engaging story. My rating 4.25.

Gracie tries to live her normal life with her loving mother, but she is troubled. Her mother has told her that they are characters from a story until her parents rescued her with the help of a magic book. Gracie wants to know the full story but her mother refuses to tell her. Gracie knows the name of the author and sneaks out to meet her at a book event. Gracie meets the author and challenges her to tell her about story. The author tries to appease Gracie but things go strangely amiss and the characters are drawn back into the book. Once in the book, the characters have to try to remember who they are in the real world. Gracie especially struggles to determine if she can change her character and the story as written.

This is a creative modern day fairy-tale. The characters are well developed, and I enjoyed the comradeship between Gracie and her geeky scientist friend, Walter. There is a wicked queen who controls the magic but she doesn’t control all of the characters. The story is appropriate for middle age girls but a nice, quick read for adults too. I recommend this engaging tale to those who love ‘book’ stories and fairy tales.

I received the ebook through NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
I really liked Unwritten. It reminded me of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. In both books, the main character is a girl who was taken, as a baby, from a second, fairy tale world. There are other similarities, too, but I don't want to spoil Unwritten. If you liked that book, though, you might like this one, as long as you keep in mind that The Hazel Wood is for young adults, while Unwritten is suitable for younger readers. The book did get very dark at certain points, but I've never been one to recommend hiding children from darkness in stories. Overall, I found Unwritten empowering, with its message that we are the writers and directors of our own stories. Gracie can be unlikable, but she tries to be better. I'm not sure if there's going to be a sequel or not, but after that ending, I certainly hope there will be!
Was this review helpful?
What if the life you're living right now know is not what you thought it was? What if you were originated from the imagination of a fictional writer?

That is the story of the main antagonist, Gracie, in this middle-grade book, "Unwritten." She always has odd dreams, especially about the fire, and she has no idea why she always has those visions. Her mother, Elizabeth, told her that they are not ordinary people because they used to be characters from an unpublished fantasy book, Vademecum. But Gracie's mom and the parents of Walter, Gracie's friend, escaped to be able to save their children from the wicked Queen Cassandra. The dreams are called glimmer, a special kind of memory that would have happened to them in the book.

Gracie became a bit obsessed on what happened to her in the book so she grabs the chance to talk to the author, Gertrude Winters, in one of her book signing events. While Winters was in the ladies' room, Gracie sneaked in so she can question her, but things became crazier when the author suddenly disappear after Winters wrote her name in the parchment paper that Gracie has stolen from her mother's trunk. The paper is a portal to go back to Bondoff, the kingdom which was reign by King Jacob and Queen Elizabeth, and it was torn from the pages of the Vademecum book.

According to Gracie's mom, she will die in the story so she tried to save her by bringing her to the real world, but it was far from the truth because she's the villain and the one who kills Walter. Also, they could not be able to control themselves in Bondoff because they will think and act just like how they were written in the story. Her mom always reminds her that they could be whoever they wanted to be and not just want Gertrude wrote.

"Because what does it mean, really, to be labeled a villain? No one actually thinks of herself as a villain. We are all the heroes in our own stories."

Gracie's curiosity and temperament in the story reflect how the usual middle-graders are. Also, the lesson of that it is up to us on how we want to live our lives and that no one should dictate us on how is the message it wants to impart to its target readers. Moreover, the characters and flow of the story of Unwritten were obviously carefully planned, therefore the narrative is solid and quite interesting. Lastly, I hope that this book will be adapted to either in TV or movie because I want to see the characters in motion.
Was this review helpful?
When I first saw this book on NG, I was super excited for it! Unfortunately, it kind of let me down. The plot felt a little rushed, and the world building wasn't the best. Overall, I liked it for the most part, I just wasn't the craziest about it.
Was this review helpful?
Gracie has always dreamt of fire and it scares her.  Her mother has told her that they escaped from a story because Gracie was supposed to die by a fire in the story.  But when Gracie meets the real author of the story she finds out that what she has been told may not actually be true.  The author gets pulled into the story and Gracie, her friend Walter, Walter's parents, her mom, and Jacob (who is her dad, who knew) all go in to rescue the author.  Once in the story though all but Gracie and Jacob lose memory of their other lives.  Can Gracie fight the story life and the truth of who she was written to be?
This had a very Inkspell feel to it and I think that made it difficult for me to truly engage in it.  Overall, I think it was good and it left an opening for a sequel.
Was this review helpful?
My 11 year old nephew read this book on my kindle and he really enjoyed it. He said he especially liked the dark aspects of it and how it didn't try and dumb things down. He got a little annoyed with Gracie as a character but said by the end he was warming to her more. Overall he enjoyed it and would recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Unwritten was a cute story. The cover alone was enough to draw me in! I really liked Gracie and I feel like middle school age girls will be able to identify with her. The whole story was just fun!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book, which I voluntarily chose to review.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a very interesting idea, and I was very excited to read it. Unfortunately, the execution was a little off for me. It was slow in some parts, and Bondoff flat a little flat for me.  I wish the ending had a better wrap up or great moral of the story. Overall it was a good book. Thank you, NetGalley for allowing me to read this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Unwritten is a very good middle grade fantasy book.  I don’t usually take middle grade books, but sometimes if something catches my eye I will pick one up to see if it’s a book I can pass on to my 10 year old girl.  I think she might like this one.  It has definite draw for a kid who likes books and reading, which mine does.

Twelve year old Gracie is a kid with an interesting past.  She is actually a character in a book.  Her parents had run away from the book into our world many years earlier. Gracie knows about her past but she is still so curious about where she came from that she seeks out the author of her story.

I think there are a few things that are quite good about this story. Firstly, it deals a lot with how a young girl can learn to fashion her own sense of self apart from whatever expectations may have been placed on her.  Can we each make our own stories or are we locked into one particular ending?  It gives a girl a lot of autonomy to understand that she is the author of her own fate and I think this is a valuable lesson to learn. Gracie also learns a lot about how to deal with her emotions. Anger and frustration are difficult to manage at that age.  I think it’s hard for kids to know how to experience their anger and not feel like a “bad person”. It’s a confusing time, but the love of her family, friends and her own resilience enables her to overcome the obstacles she finds in the book world.

It’s a quick and easy read. I think I’ll probably pass it on to my daughter and see what she thinks about it.  I have a feeling she’ll like it.  At her age I would have.

Song for this book: Lullaby – Dixie Chicks
Was this review helpful?
3.5 Stars

It's hard when all your early life memories and mementos indicate that you were a character in a book, rescued and brought to life. It's even worse when you confront your reluctant author with the intent of just getting a bit more information and she signs her autograph and disappears in a poof!, leaving you as the last person that saw her. Things can only go downhill from this point on, as Gracie and her author Gertrude Winters try to set things straight with the world of Bondoff.

This is a charming children's story sure to be enjoyed by fans of the Inkheart series.
Was this review helpful?
I do not read much Middle Grade but Unwritten really sounded like a cute little story that I wanted to inhale. And I did. The idea to have characters in a book come to life in the real world was really fun to follow. I also really enjoyed all the characters that we encountered. In the end, I believe that this book is a great lesson ans eye-opener for middle grade kids about good and bad, what makes a person a villain, and how you can take your own destiny in yuor hands and not be stuck in how pre-determined your life is.
It is a fun book with a very important message that I stand behind 100%. Villains are interesting characters and I appreciate this double look at these villains.
And this is the only thing I personally would have liked a little bit more in depth: I would have loved to get to know Cassandra a little bit more and to understand her motivation a little bit more. If the other would have been able to make me fall in love and completely understand her at the end, this would have been a great addition to the message.

Overall I truly recommend this read to middle grade reaeders who like fantastic stories.

Thank you to netgalley/the publisher for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This book has a lovely story and reads so nicely, but it was not for me. Perhaps I was not in the mood for YA, but I couldn't relate to Gracie much, and ended up not finishing the book.
Was this review helpful?