Tilly and the Bookwanderers, Anna James (Pages & Co #1) (2018)
Themes: Fantasy, Books about Books, Children, Middle Grade
Reading Format: Hardback
I loooooveeedd this book so much! The concept that you can actually walk into a book and explore the stories and meet the characters, oh how I would love to do that! This is the kind of book I needed as a child, but as an adult it suits me just fine too.
Tilly’s grandparents own a bookshop, so already I’m in love, could you ask for a more perfect setting? This book is constantly cosy, Tilly finds the best reading nooks and is always references the Autumn time. Tilly’s favourite book characters start presenting themselves to her, which would be a little confusing for anyone, but also very awesome. I love how easily Tilly goes with it, like yeah okay they should be fictional but here they are. I’d like to think I’d be this chill about jumping into a book, but I think I’d freak out with both worry and excitement.
I loved the references to different books, it really felt like there was something for everything. And it’s exciting to see this is book one in a series, I’m looking forward to seeing what novels Tilly jumps into in future additions. Tilly herself is a very easy character to love, as are her family and friends. She has the kind of life you’d observe from a far and find comfort in. She’s a smart girl and I like that she sticks with that and her interests, no matter what those around her are doing. She offers inspiration for girls her age to be themselves.
I found the language a tiny bit wooden, I know this is a book aimed for children, but I felt like there were very obvious writing styles used at times. Wider language and description could have been used. But then I suppose as we’re being thrown into book worlds we already know and imagine in a certain way, it’s hard to break that imagery. But the story was so good and immersive that this didn’t bother me at all and I loved every page. I loved the design of the book too, including the occasionally illustrations and change in typography.
Generally I really enjoyed this book and I will certainly be carrying on with the series as they are released.