Amy Lennox lives with her hippie mother in Germany along with her closest companions: books, as many of them as she can get her hands on. An avid reader, Amy spends her days adventuring with her favorite characters. When a bad breakup hits at home, Amy and her mother decide to return to their ancestral home, Stormsay, in Scotland for a summer getaway. She'd always been told her mother's family was a little crazy and she soon realizes the truth behind it when they land on the tiny island with almost no inhabitants in the middle of a storm. But what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation takes an unexpected turn when Amy learns that she has inherited her family's gift of book jumping, the ability to jump into a story and interact with the characters while she is of a certain age. Not only that, but the power is stronger in her than other members of the family, allowing her to jump from wherever she desires instead of under the portal required by the others. Soon, she is meeting her favorite characters and seeing her favorite fictional places, but there's a catch to her newfound powers; whatever happens, the plot of the story must continue as normal.
Amy begins attending classes with the two others people on the island that share her powers, and it soon becomes apparent that something is wrong in the literary world. Sherlock Holmes goes missing, and the key ideas behind classic stories are being stolen without warning. Amy, who has been sneaking into books without her instructor's supervision, makes friends with an unlikely literary character who tries to help her uncover the culprit. As Amy learns more about the history of her family's gift and gains more experience with book jumping, she begins to piece together an idea of what's going on. Along the way, she enlists the help of Will, a fellow book jumper who was charged with protecting the Sherlock Holmes story when he went missing. The two become closer as the investigation progresses and it soon becomes apparent that they're up against a more serious and close evil than they could've guessed.
The first thing I thought when I picked up this book was "THIS IS THE GREATEST, MOST BEAUTIFUL COVER I'VE EVER SEEN!" The second thing I thought was "THIS IS THE GREATEST, MOST BESTEST IDEA I'VE EVER SEEN!" What reader doesn't dream of living through their favorite stories? The way the author pulls in classic texts makes you feel like you're the one doing the book jumping and her attention to describing details is stunning.
With that being said, there are some downsides. After Amy's initial jumps, there really isn't a lot of time spent inside the actual stories. It's a little disappointing when you think about that being the premise of the book, but it makes sense not to detract from this novel's plot by spending extensive amounts of time on well-established classics. As far as the actual plot, I felt there could have been a little more complexity; once you hit a certain point fairly early in the book, it becomes less of a mystery and more of a "catch-up-with-the-bad-guy" line. Despite that, the ending actually did manage to surprise me somewhat, so it's not a total loss.
- I'm so sorry, but does the cover count?
- Awesome plot
- Fast-paced, can't-put-it-down read
- Not a lot of depth in the actual book jumping portions
- There's not really any mystery once you reach a certain point in the book, and the point isn't as far in as you'd expect
- Certain plot aspects are a little too fast-paced (*cough cough* romance *cough cough*)