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Story Thieves

(Story Thieves #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  8,576 ratings  ·  936 reviews
Life is boring when you live in the real world, instead of starring in your own book series. Owen knows that better than anyone, what with the real world’s homework and chores.

But everything changes the day Owen sees the impossible happen—his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. It turns out Bethany’s half-fictional and has been searching every book she ca
Hardcover, 383 pages
Published January 20th 2015 by Aladdin
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  8,576 ratings  ·  936 reviews

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Tina ➹ the girl who lives in Fandoms
4.5 Golden Stars

10th best of 2020

I didn't want to read this book, wrong quick implication by seeing the word, "thieves" in the title & because it was middle grade, but then, one day earlier, it hit me like "you should read this!" beeb, beeb, beeb. middle grades are the best! (indeed they are, for my taste) & I immediately found the ebook & started reading it & I couldn't put it down.
& I saw how WrOnG I was, what I would loss if I hadn't read it, this was brilliant & NOT at all the story I'd expe
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
This is my first review!

This book is AMAZING! I knew that I wasn't going to be disappointed with this book. James Riley is my favorite author and when I heard this book was coming out, I was so pumped and excited! Story Thieves is so funny, it will have you laughing at many parts.
I feel I can relate to all the characters in some way. There were so many quotes that I loved from this book.
I was reading in the bus and there was a really funny part, so I started laughing. I didn't realize that
Jan 10, 2016 marked it as to-read
My daughter just read this and made it sound pretty good...think I might sneak it off her shelf ;)
Stuti Rai

And then everything exploded into fire and chaos and awesome.

Ha! is all I want to say to my 2014 self. HA! With Story Thieves, I've come to fully embrace the new year. I think. See, last year I picked up my kindle to read the book, only to put it down in favor of reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. AGAIN. Which I don't regret but later on, and blah blah blah, you don't care, I don't.


What do I say? Ummm... this is totally an awesome book! I haven't fangirled so hard about a
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, uplifting
I have no words for this.

Oh, wait, I do.

My thanks to Aladdin & Edelweiss

Point of View: Dual (Owen & Bethany)
Writing: Third Person | Past Tense
Setting: N/A
Genre: Middle Grade | Fantasy

It was a wonderful book right from the start until the very end. The storyline was refreshing and so full of action that it kept me on the edge of the seat. I loved how the story progress, from such a measly simple thing
Took turns reading this with my son. This middle grades (4th to 8th) genre book was like OK for me as an adult, but 10 stars out of 5 stars for my son. When I asked him why? He said the ACTION was constant! He said every time for a second he thought they were safe or just for a moment thought they were going to rest finally, something else always happened. He said he also liked the references to real life children's, middle grades, and teen/YA books throughout that he himself or he knows his cla ...more
Leah Waters
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is pure joy!

I love Story Thieves--I love every book by James Riley. It's so light-hearted and fun, but there's also high stakes and suspense and I can't stop reading.

James Riley pokes fun at book tropes and stereotypes--he plays with them to craft a thrilling adventure where a fanboy reader must live out his favorite character's story. There's twists and reveals and so much action...I don't care that I'm probably too old for this, it makes me so happy.

(And I have never enjoyed reading
Ms. Yingling
Feb 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Owen loves the fantasy books series about Kiel Gnomenfoot and is looking forward to the last book in the series. When he starts to notice that a girl in his class, Bethany, is acting very suspiciously in class and at the public library, where his mother works, he watches her closely and discovers that she can leap in to stories! When he confronts her, she admits that her father was fictional, and that she jumped into a story given to her at a birthday party when she was very young, and manages t ...more
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For Owen, life is boring. He longs for something exciting to happen, like his favourite character Kiel Gnomenfoot, well he is in for a big surprise! When he is in the library helping his mother, he sees a book on the floor. Just as he goes to pick it up he sees the book moving and then, impossibly, a hand coming out of it. Next thing he knows, his classmate, Bethany pops out.

He learns that Bethany is half fictional, her father popped out of a book and fell in love with her mother. When Bethany
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
To be quite honest, I have NO idea where to start. I'm not entirely exactly certain if I even LIKED the book or not. I'll probably read the next one just to see? Maybe that means I did like it? Don't know. I can see some middle-graders loving it.

First of all, I don't understand what exactly the title is referring to. I thought it meant that the MCs would be stealing parts of stories for some purpose. There was a little character thievery going on, but it's a bit of a stretch to call it "Story Th
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jaina Rose
Jan 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: blogged
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

Hmm. I'm not really sure what to say about this one. Did I love it? Did I hate it? Well, neither. Not yet, anyway.

The plot seems all over the place at times, but it actually comes together pretty cohesively by the end of the book. My main trouble, when I really come down to it, is the characters. Bethany especially just isn't particularly realistic. She's more of a stock character: she's got magical powers, one of her parents is missing/de
STORY THIEVES by James Riley is an action-packed fantasy that blurs the line between real life and fictional worlds.

What if you could literally dive into a good book? Bethany can. As the child of a real mother and fictional father, she’s able to disappear into any paper book. Bethany has spent years carefully exploring library books for her lost father. When Owen discovers her secret, they begin an adventure that breaks the “fourth wall” mixing the real world with fantasy universes.

This clever
✨Emily✨{marauders version}
The best children’s books series I have ever read. I’m legit 💯serious, if someone told me I could choose to only read this series or HP series for the rest of my life I would choose Story Thieves! Not even kidding. And I’m a HUGE potterhead!!! So yea HIGH praise if I say I love something more than HP!!!!!! I actually own a paperback version of this book and it might be the most worn book in my bookshelf 😅 now onto the characters

Eh, she wasn’t my favvvv, but in the end I liked her ok. I
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
I understand why Owen was so excited to have a life that is not consist of school, home and TV because I actually feel the same and if an opportunity presented itself to me just like how Bethany was presented to Owen, I would definitely grab it! My goodness I've been imagining myself inside Hogwarts for like three years now, the smell of strawberries inside the Camp Half-Blood and the feel of Aslan's hide on my fingers. This book made me want to have the things that I couldn't, like travel throu ...more
Prince William Public Libraries
STORY THIEVES is SUCH a good book. It is completely original in the way it sets the fictional and nonfictional worlds up next to each other. And it has a girl that can jump into books! AWESOME. One of the best parts is when Owen gets to play a character in a series that everyone loves: the Kiel Gnomenfoot books. This creates more chaos than you could predict. The author is so good at fooling your mind, that by the end of the book, your understanding of what is happening is completely changed. It ...more
✨ f i o n a ✨
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked the plot of this story but the way the author wrote it made it seem like a 'meh' book. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
This was one hell of an adventure and it's only starting, I really liked the characters, their sense of humor and their bravery. The next book is on my list! ...more
Frank Chillura
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales
When reading the synopsis for this book, I was a little hesitant in starting it. It sounds an awful lot like the premise of Inkheart. Well, in Inkheart, the main character can read characters into or out of a book, where as in Story Thieves, the main character can pull people or characters into or out of the book with her. Seeing as how I am a huge fan of Inkheart, I didn't want to be comparing the two stories the entire time I was reading. Sometimes I find that when I see a similarity, comparin ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, fantasy, juvenile
Story Thieves was an impulse buy, something I found on the shelves at Target and figured it was worth a shot. It sounded a little like a kids' version of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, and as much as I like that series, it was a no-brainer. Maybe I should have recognized that I would see the book as derivative, and left it alone.

It's about Owen, an avid reader who finds the regular world boring. He wishes his life were more like Kiel Gnomenfoot, the central character of his favorite serie
Avery (ThePagemaster)
A solid 4 Stars

Who doesn't want the magical ability to jump into a story and hang out, albeit in the background, in your favorite fictional world? Hogwarts? (Yes!) Narnia? (Not really, but sure.) Idris? (YES!) Rivendell or the Shire? (Fuck Yes!)

I will say that some things outside of my control (Irma and depression) made me not read it as fast as I wanted to, but I still enjoyed myself. Strongly thinking about continuing the series. If anyone has, let me know how the other installments are and yo
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, audio
3.5 stars

Every readers dream! This started out a bit slow and then characters were making stupid decisions (I had to keep reminding myself that they were kids and trying not to judge them too harshly). But once we got to them trying to fix their mistakes, I was on board and enjoyed it. I really liked Owen's relationship with Charm, and Bethany's relationship with Kiel. I'm happy that most of the same characters will be back for book 2.

Kirby Heyborne does a great job with the audio version.
Maria Camp
Mar 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
Interesting premise. Catchy title and cover art. Thin plot with poor characterization.

I had to force myself to keep reading. Too predictable and uninteresting. Not enough tension. Insufficiently developed characters.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was cute and funny and I enjoyed most of it. Found some parts a little bland. Will read the next one to see if I will continue with the series or not.
Mark Baker
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, middle-grade
Owen lives in the world of his favorite books – at least in his mind. But when he meets Bethany emerging from a book, he realizes he might be able to do that for real. Despite Bethany’s strict rules, Owen tricks her into going and changing the outcome of the sixth Kiel Gnomefoot book. However, the consequences are more than he bargained for. Will he and Bethany be able to return things to the way they should be?

Having dreamed of jumping into books myself, I loved the premise of this book even be
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
This was a fun book but I found it a little confusing. I did like the idea of going in and out of books (who wouldn't want to do that?!) but think it may be a little hard for some kids to follow. Second half was better with more action scenes which would probably entice some kids. Loved the librarian school rules (chapter 9).

Favorite quote - "We read about you to be with you, to walk in someone else's shoes, to experience another life. Some of those lives are hard, and others are easy, but we'r
Oh my. This book was so good, I could have read it in a day-but due to school
(and parents who want you to get a good night's sleep), I had to finish this book at the beginning of school.

Five complete, total, brilliant stars for Story Thieves.


At first: This is interesting, I guess, but--WHAT?! I finished 20% of the book already?! Maybe it's a short book.

Middle: *turns pages at lightning speed*

End: Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. BOOK TWO!! HERE I COME!!!!

Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it

True rating: 4.5 stars.

A terrific read. Riley makes fun of the 'Harry Potter' genre, and I mean, he MAKES FUN! Winning characters, tongue-in-cheek jokes, a rollicking plot, and much more, add up to a heap o' reading pleasure. Though, thankfully, this was not one of those series starters that leave you with a cliffhanger, enough threads remain dangling to make the reader long for the next book. Very well done!
Allen Central
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the most part, I loved this book. I mean love with a capital L! I actually feel super jealous of Owen right now, but that just makes me love it more! Then there's my honest opinion which is that I did find some parts confusing like how book travelling worked and the transition between Owen and Bethany's situations. ...more
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Other books in the series

Story Thieves (5 books)
  • The Stolen Chapters (Story Thieves, #2)
  • Secret Origins (Story Thieves #3)
  • Pick the Plot (Story Thieves #4)
  • Worlds Apart (Story Thieves #5)

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39 likes · 2 comments
“Why imagine a world in your head when you could just go visit another one in a book?” 12 likes
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