Book Review: Inkheart

30.11.10

Image taken from bookeg
You might remember me moaning about Inkheart last week…..well the good news is, I finally finished it!

This was a book with a great concept - that characters from a book can be brought to life when read out loud by certain people. As a self-confessed bookworm I loved this idea and that’s what really drew me to this book. A number of the characters in the story are major book lovers which is something that I can really relate to as books are, and always have been, a big part of my life. So with the main focus of this book being, well…books, I happily sat down to read it.

My first gripe is that this is a book for children. But at over 400 pages long, I’m not sure whether this is actually the case. In fact, I attempted to read it with several of the children at work and not one of them stuck around for too long. Not because they didn’t like the story mind; whenever I gave them updates of what was happening they were enthralled and asked me to tell them more. Rather, I think that the language used just wasn’t suitable for a children’s book. As you might of guessed, even I got bored of reading it at some points!

Perhaps the intended audience was older children you might say. You could be right, with themes of wife-stealing, murder, arson and sexual undertones running throughout. Yet on the other hand, the foundation of this story is effectively a fantasy world where books come to life which I’m not entirely sure will appeal to many teens today.

Now for another little niggle - the character’s names. For me, they were either just too cutesy or didn’t roll off the tongue. We’ve ascertained that this was aimed at children and so twee names might be par for the course, but when this book was so adult in so many ways the names just annoyed me. Let me give you an example….Meggie. Tell me if you think I’m being overly picky, but this hybrid version of Megan/Maggie was just plain irritating. And as for the villains - Capricorn and Basta - whilst reading aloud these just made me cringe and didn’t sound at all villainous.

On the other hand, I really appreciated the author’s genuine love for books which you can feel throughout. The little touch of beginning each chapter with a quote from a classic book scored bonus points with me as well.

By reading this review you may come to the conclusion that I didn’t enjoy this book. On the contrary, I did. But more towards the end, where it became exhilarating, exciting and I raced to the finish without wanting to put it down. This is more of a book to persevere with, so I’m not unhappy that it’s finished and I can move on to reading less time-consuming things!

Is this a book for you? Not if you don’t like children’s books (however loosely that genre fits) and not, I’d say, if you don’t have a real passion for books and the magical worlds they hide within their pages. Inkheart transported me to a place where characters become flesh and blood and their stories come to life; something I’ve always felt when I snuggle down with a good book on a cold day, and perhaps the main reason why I appreciated this book. Not necessarily for the way it was told, but for the idea it tackled.

Has anyone seen the film?

T x

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