Good morning my doves!
I hope you’ve had a good week. I’m posting this review way earlier than planned, but I just needed to talk about it immediately…. Can you believe it? It’s Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August… It’ll be Christmas before we know it! Talking about Christmas….. you get gifts a Christmas…. guess what I have for you today? That’s right A RUDDY BRILLIANT GIFT!
I was actually lucky enough to be sent a proof copy of Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James from the wonderful people at Harper Collins (thank you Jo-Anna, I will be eternally grateful). I know just how limited and sought after these were and I feel incredibly fortuitous to have been able to get my mitts on one!
“Since her mother’s disappearance, eleven-year-old Tilly has found comfort in stories at Pages & Co., her grandparents’ bookshop. But when her favourite characters, Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Wonderland, appear in the shop, Tilly’s adventures become very real. Not only can she follow Anne and Alice into their thrilling worlds, she discovers she can bookwander into any story she chooses. Tilly’s new ability could even help her solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago. But danger may be lurking on the very next page.”
Pages & Co tells the story of Matilda (Tilly) Pages. Tilly doesn’t really know anything about her dad, and her mum disappeared when she was very small, so she lives with her grandparents, Elisabeth and Archie, in the family bookstore, Pages & Co..
Tilly, as someone with few friends, often finds comfort in the pages of books. That is, until Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Wonderland wander out of their books to join her in the bookstore.Everything is turned upside down when Tilly realises that not only can characters from her favourite book jump out of their stories and land right in her bookshop, but that she can wander into any story that she choses!
She, along with her real-life best friend Oksar, go on an adventure that not even they thought was possible. They visit Avonlea, Wonderland, India and even wind up on a pirate ship!
But as with all magical stories, there is a bad guy. Does Tilly have the courage to enter into a world that is not her own to solve a mystery, and possibly find something she thought had been lost forever?
I can honestly say I haven’t read a book that made me this happy since reading Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland for the first time. It is almost as if Anna James just leaped inside my head, worked out what my idea of a perfect story was, and then went ahead and wrote it. As I type this, it has been hours since I finished the book and I still find myself filling up when I think about how it makes me feel. There are plenty of books that I have loved in the past, but none that made me feel as nostalgic as this one did. I felt like a child again, and was transported to a place where both Alice and Anne were my friends too. The thought I had whilst finishing this was was this. “Well, I never need to read another book again. I’ve found it, the one. I’ve I can only read this book for the rest of my life, I will be happy”. I did wonder afterwards, how on earth I was ever going to be able to enjoy another book!
Really now, I cannot find a single flaw with it. The characters are adorable, loveable, well thought out and each have their own distinctive voice. Tilly reminded me an awful lot of me as a child. A child that loved reading so much she was never without a pile of books at hand, a child that had an exceptional relationship with her grandparents and a child that was always longing for an adventure.
The setting is just wonderful. I bet you couldn’t find me a single person in the bookish community that wouldn’t love to visit Pages & Co., with its nooks and crannies, bean bags and wing-backed chairs, and the ever delightful smell of freshly baked cakes and hot chocolate coming from the cafe. I bet that is the perfect place for so many of us. I mean, imagine that on a blustery autumn day! Then we have the Underlibrary. What an exceptionally imaginative creation. I truly wish that it existed. I would love to go there, please?! If anyone is listening!
I totally agree when Stephen King said that “books are uniquely portable magic”. This one transported me back to being a child. To being that kid who always had her nose in a book. Who found that sometimes fictional friends were better than real ones. It filled me with love, joy and happiness. It took me from my current life, where admittedly, my own mental health isn’t top notch, to a place where I had a permanent grin attached to my face. I have had that smile all day and people are dying to know what has made me so happy!
This is a book for me.
This is a book for you.
This is a book for you son or daughter.
This is a book for you mum and dad.
This is a book for your siblings.
This is a book for your cousins.
This is a book for your friends.
This is a book for anyone that loves books.
This is even a book for those who do not love books.
This is a book for anyone that has ever gotten lost in a story.
This is a book for everyone.
This will be the book that I read to my children. This will be the ones that inspires them, just as Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter did me. I can see this being a treasured childhood favourite for generations to come. I can also see this book being translated into so many languages and being read across the world.
Yes, I’m trying really hard not to cry all over my keyboard at this point, still.
I can tell you know that not only will this be my favourite book of 2018 but it will be up there with my favourite books of all time. It will be a book that will always have a place in my heart and one that I will always treasure.
I would honestly eat my hat if this book isn’t turned into a TV series or is adapted into a film. IMAGINE HOW AMAZING IT WOULD LOOK ON THE BIG SCREEN!
I do feel like I have made a bit of a booboo on this occasion, however. Having been lucky enough to get my mitts on an early copy, I now have to wait even longer before the next one comes out! (Yes, Anna has signed a three book deal, try not to scream too loud!).
I IMPLORE YOU, go and pre-order it, right now. I promise you will not regret it. This magical book will be released on the 18th of September. Me on the other hand, I’ve already ordered my finished hardback copy and will be watching the postman like a hawk until it arrives! Only 32 days to go…
I’m going to have to stop now before I leak too many tears in between my keys…
Peace and pages (I feel super special now because I’ve singed my blog like this since it started, and now it has a link to one of my favourite books of all time!)