Rewritten (Unwritten #2) by Tara Gilboy
Expected publication Date: April 7th 2020
Publisher: North Star Editions/Jolly Fish Press
Genre: Middle Grade / Fantasy
“After learning the truth about her own fairy tale, twelve-year-old Gracie wants nothing more than to move past the terrible things author Gertrude Winters wrote about her and begin a new chapter in the real world. If only things were going as planned. On the run from the evil Queen Cassandra, the characters from Gracie’s story have all been forced to start over, but some of them cannot forget Gracie’s checkered past.
Even worse, Gracie discovers that as long as Cassandra has her magical book, the Vademecum, Gracie’s story is still being written and none of the characters are safe, including her mom and dad. In a desperate attempt to set things right, Gracie finds herself transported into another one of Gertrude’s stories—but this one is a horror story. Can Gracie face her destiny and the wild beast roaming the night, to rewrite her own story?”
*** Note: I received e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Publisher and NetGalley. ***
Previous book I read in series-
Rewritten was strong sequel of Middle Grade Fantasy series Unwritten. It revolved around story characters and author of the story who created them and gave them life. It was about forgiveness, accepting the way you’re, being yourself, freedom to live your dream, consequences of restraints and lack of appreciation, and good vs bad.
Writing was intriguing, compelling and fast paced. All characters, setting and plot was well written and well described. I didn’t remember most of the things from first book because of 2 years gap between books but there was bits of first book here and there that helped me to recall important details. To know characters, their journey and world better, this should be read in order.
Plot was interesting. It was third person narrative from Gracie’s perspective. That synopsis perfectly said what was going on and how the book started so I’m not repeating those things.
First half of the book (actually 40% of the book) was about Gracie’s feelings, her frustration and desperation to prove herself; her life with all characters from her story along with her story’s writer and creator Gertrude Winters; how she discovered other stories written by Gertrude and why she wrote them; how evil Queen Cassandra of her story came back in her life; some interesting and most important discoveries about the magical book- Vademecum- how it was still writing Gracie’s story and was creating portal to other stories. And why and how Gracie entered one of Gertrude’s stories, The Beast of Blackwood Hall, where terrifying beast roamed at night and its ending was even worse than her story.
It was interesting to see how Gracie will save Walter in this horror story, if she can get away from Cassandra or steal Vademecum from her, how she and Walter will escape this horror story world or if something terrible will happen.
Characters were interesting. It was good to meet old characters once again but this time they were well written. Gracie was still grumpy, impulsive and stubborn girl in the beginning. Her feeling was genuine. Other characters looked at her like she was a trigger that might explode a bomb any time, bound to do something bad as she was a villain of her story… even though she changed the end of her story and saved characters. She was desperate to prove she was not what Gertrude has written. As story progressed she developed eventually.
I didn’t like the way Walter’s parents talked to Gracie. They were also spiteful towards Gertrude and banned her from writing any kind of fiction. It was not fair when they tried to blame her on discovering her past stories and forced her to throw them. Shouldn’t they be more mature and little forgiving after what she did for them? If I was in place of Gertrude, I would have thrown them out of my house. They made me think if I ever become writer and my stories came alive, I better write happy ending and pleasant character.
I really felt bad for Gertrude. Gertrude was expressing her guilt and feeling by letting them in her life and house. It was not her fault her story literally came to life or mean to hurt people in stories. I liked to know her and her life story in this book. It explained why she wrote such tragic stories and why characters of Bondoff only could travel to real world and not any of her other stories. This cleared many things that I couldn’t get in first book. She was wonderful character, she understood Gracie more and helped her grow by letting her know about her own faults and stories.
Story still focused on Gracie but I liked how her development depended on new characters Bryant and Mina and their story in The Beast of Blackwood Hall, which was rest of the book. This part was filled with Victorian horror world- the graveyard, old mansion, cold weather, Blackwood Hall, and beast. It all gave the story spooky feel. I loved Mina but didn’t like her brother Bryant. I could understand Gertrude’s mind and pain through this story.
We know Walter even more in this part. He was nerdy kid who unlike his parents liked story world and Gracie. His character was not explored much in first book but along with Gracie, we also learn about his feeling. How terrible he felt being under his parent’s watch all the time, for being hapless character of the story who didn’t contribute much and how he too wanted to feel important by changing the end of the horror story.
I liked the message in the book– How criticism from people you love affects your dream and make you feel shackled; respecting other’s privacy is important and some mistakes are less forgivable but at the same time all deserves second chance; how people are complicated and act based on situation, they can’t be boxed in just good or bad, bad behavior doesn’t mean person is bad or bad choice or act doesn’t mean you can’t ever be good.
Suspense of the beast was interesting. I could solve the half mystery by that first line Gracie remembered but what happened in the climax and later was uncertain. At some point I thought Gracie was going to get in so much trouble and wouldn’t able to get out of it. Walter shocked me more than anything else in this part. I was glad for the change of events and how Gracie understood to accept what she was rather than running away from it and got motive in life through this story. End was great. I can’t wait to see how she was going to change Lila’s story.
Overall, it was wonderful fantasy set in story world with a good message. I sure recommend this book and previous one to middle grade readers.
What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already or previous book in series?
Are you going to add it to TBR?
Which is your favorite book in which characters could travel through portals?
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