Storybound by Marissa Burt is one of those books that has all the right elements (it’s even about the Power of Story), but just doesn’t grab me for some reason. Reading the reviews of this book and its sequel, Story’s End, on Amazon, I found several other people who felt the same way. The writing just falls flat here – enough that I am not going to bother reading the sequel, though I assume it ends on a typical GU note since the rest of the story follows the plot points fairly well.
Una, 12, is a foster kid who’s never known her parents, and is an outcast at school. One day in the library basement, she finds a book with her own name in the title, and by reading it is transported to another world (specifically, she begins her journey in some underground tunnels). This place is Story, where all the characters from our favorite tales live. She immediately meets a boy, Peter, and a talking cat, Sam, who figure out that she’s been “Written-In” and is in terrible danger from the powers that be, who have closed off Story to anyone from the outside. Together, they start uncovering a web of lies about Story’s recent past, and pinpoint a set of increasingly dangerous Adversaries – the Tale Master, the mysterious Sorceress he’s working for, and the evil (and inexplicably male) Muse whom she loves, who is trying to come back to Story and take over.
There is no final confrontation with the major Adversary for now, since the story is continued in a sequel. But Una does battle the Tale Master alone, and reveals something important about who she really is.