The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Gläser
The Forgotten Book
by Mechthild Gläser
Feiwel & Friends
Published January 2nd, 2018
Emma is used to things going her way. Her father is headmaster of her prestigious boarding school, her friends take her advice as gospel, and she’s convinced that a relationship with her long-time crush is on the horizon.
As it turns out, Emma hasn’t seen anything yet. When she finds an old book in an abandoned library, things really start going Emma’s way: anything she writes in the book comes true.
But the power of the book is not without consequences, and Emma soon realizes that she isn’t the only one who knows about it. Someone is determined to take it from her—and they’ll stop at nothing to succeed.
A new boy in school—the arrogant, aloof, and irritatingly handsome Darcy de Winter—becomes Emma’s unlikely ally as secrets are revealed and danger creeps ever closer.
Before going any further, I’d like to say thanks to Macmillan Publishers, Feiwel and Friends, and Raincoast Books for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this book.
I liked this book way more than I thought I was going to. It was the ‘magic book’ that drew me to it. And though I’m not exactly the right demographic for the whole ‘high-school girl drama’ stuff, it was written well enough to keep my interest throughout. Which means I just might be a high-school girl disguised as a thirty-something man… or vice versa.
Like I said, what originally drew me to this story was a magical book. A book which turns written words into reality. How much fun could you have with a book like that? Real-life zombies. Talking dogs. A house actually made of candy. I feel like I’d run out of paper in the first month! Also, Gläser handled the magic book very well throughout. I expected some lead-up before the book was getting used on a regular basis, but Gläser was always throwing in little reminders to keep me excited about it. Lines like, “and that’s when we found the book.”
The book wasn’t just full of blank pages, either. There were plenty of journal entries from earlier people that had found the same book, some dating back 100s of years. Each chapter of the novel was capped off with one of these journal entries. Which was a really nice way to get glimpses into the past. So much smoother than getting into an entire scene or chapter which, if not handled properly, can be very info dumpy.
Another element that was handled very well was the elements of mystery. This wasn’t strictly a mystery story, but there was some instances of ‘who did that?’ and ‘I wonder who this person will end up being.’ I’m the type of reader that can usually pick these things out. It’s actually the reason I don’t read mysteries very often. I’m usually right.
But not only was Gläser able to surprise me, she did something very interesting. Anytime I started to put together a theory in my head, a character would casually mention my exact theory. Example: As I’m reading, I start to think that this one dude, did this one thing. Within a moment, Emma thinks to herself, I wonder if that one dude, did that one thing. I’m paraphrasing a little.
These little threads of mystery were also the reasons I found it hard to trust any of the characters. At one time or another, I looked at each character and said to myself, they could be the one causing all this trouble. And then, of course, Emma or someone else would say, they could be the one causing all this trouble.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable book. When I started it, I was going through the motions, but the deeper I got, the harder I found it was to put down.