While I’d watched the movie a few years ago, I had never read the book Inkheart by Cornelia Funke until just now. As I suspected, it is indeed closer to the GU archetype than the movie was (which didn’t focus as much on the girl).
Meggie, 12, never knew her mother, who disappeared when she was three years old. She lives with her bookbinder father until one day a mysterious man named Dustfinger shows up and they are suddenly on the run, protecting a book she has never seen before. While staying with her great-aunt, they are betrayed by Dustfinger (and off and on companion of sorts throughout the story, but an untrustworthy one to the end) and Meggie’s father is captured by the evil Capricorn’s henchmen. She goes off to rescue him, and discovers that he has a secret and special talent – when he reads from a book aloud, things and people can come out of the book into this world… but there is always an exchange, and Meggie’s mother disappeared into the book he is now trying to protect (so that one day he might get her out again).
They all escape (along with a new companion, a boy who was read out of Arabian Nights, and who has a crush on Meggie) and go to find the book’s author, in hopes he has another copy, but are captured again. Meggie discovers that she too possesses this magical ability – exciting for her, but also dangerous as Capricorn turns his attention to her (he wants a reader to provide treasure, and more henchmen, and ultimately an evil being from his world called the Shadow). With the help of the author, Meggie tricks Capricorn in the final showdown, and manages to annihilate everyone who threatens her, rescuing her mother along the way.