“The idea was ridiculous and at the same time…tantalizing. Until now I’d only ever visited the world of stories, that world that held such fascination for me, in my imagination. But if there was a way of entering it for real…”- The Book Jumper
July was a great month. Not only has summer been in full swing with hot temps and blue skies, but I got to take a week-long summer vacay to visit some family in the scorching southwest. Vacation time for me usually equals reading time, so I was thrilled to catch up on some reads that I’ve been meaning to get to for some time. One of those reads was The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser.
I’ll be honest, I totally judged this book by its cover! I first saw this book in a bookstagram post. In case you’re not familiar with bookstagram, it’s a popular hashtag used on Instagram for book-related posts. I follow hundreds of bookstagram accounts, and I love checking out what others are reading. So when I saw a book titled The Book Jumper with cover art of a young woman standing on an open book and what appeared to be a book character rising out of the pages, I knew I had to check it out!
This book was very creative and is basically a bibliophile’s dream. What book lover hasn’t wished at some point that he or she could jump into the book of his or her choice? (A trip to Hogwarts anyone?)
Mechthild’s protagonist is a teenager named Amy. Anyone who ever had a rough time in high school will relate to Amy and her adolescent woes. Add a mansion on an island, an ancient hidden library, distant relatives who seem to be guarding family secrets, oh and the ability to jump inside books, and I was hooked!
The story centers around Amy after she and her mother, Alexis, return to Alexis’s hometown on the island of Stormsay which she had run away from years before while pregnant with Amy. Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead, welcomes the two but with one rule: that Amy must read while she visits. Amy has no problem with this rule…until she learns that as a Lennox, reading is no ordinary task for her!
Also featured of course are the love interest, Will, and the mean girl, Betsy. All of these characters’ lives intertwine in what starts out to be an adventure for Amy but quickly turns into a matter of life or death. There is a mystery woven throughout the story, which I enjoyed unraveling. I also loved all of the classic stories and characters that Mechthild wove into the story by combining the “real” world with the literary world.
Several classic stories and famous book characters are mentioned throughout this book, and I think readers will enjoy the book more if they are familiar with at least some of them. Some stories and characters that make an appearance include:
The Jungle Book
The Wizard of Oz
The Little Prince
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Sorrows of Young Werther
Shakespeare including Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream
These are just a few that make an appearance. There are many, many more, and while I think it would be helpful and a bit more of an enjoyable read if you are familiar with these writers, stories, and characters, I think you can enjoy the book even if you are not.
All in all, I enjoyed it, and I look forward to picking up Mechthild’s latest story, The Forgotten Book.