Monday, December 7, 2015

Book Review: Cornelia Funke's "Inkheart"

Book magic, adventure, mystery – Inkheart has all the pieces you need for a fun read.

This little brick is a middle grade novel, but it deals with some pretty intense issues. Twelve year-old Meggie lives with her dad, Mo, who repairs books. One of Mo’s old “friends” appears and they all travel to Italy to safeguard a book with mysterious contents. 

I wish I could say it was amazing and phenomenal, but I honestly wasn’t invested in the story until I was more than halfway done.  And when you’re reading a book that’s over 500 pages, halfway takes a looooooooong time to get to. While I enjoyed seeing things from the perspective of Meggie, her father, her aunt, random characters, the bad guys…it was a little too much. I spent so much time jumping into and then being pulled out of the points of view that I didn’t really connect to any one character.

The plot was fine – the beginning was dark and mysterious (yay), yet I found myself annoyed (not yay) that Mo wasn’t telling his aunt or Meggie things that literally could have saved their lives and/or prevented all the dire circumstances that followed.
I know that all makes it sound like I hated the book, but I really didn’t! Funke’s worldbuilding and scenery are lovely. I’m sure part of this is also due to the great job the translator did on the text (Funke wrote it in German). There’s something to be said for a writer who can recreate such a vast, modern world and make it seem like a fantasy land. I love the story seed and the twists and turns of the plot. Looking back on it, I think the novel works better for me in hindsight than it did when I was in the thick of it.

I have a feeling this book would be great for a long roadtrip (there’s a lot of travelling in it). Meggie is a very brave character and I think she’d make a great literary figure for kids to look to for inspiration.

Michelle's only 12 days away from her own travels, and she already has room set aside to bring back books as souvenirs. 

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