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Twelve-year-old Gracie Freeman is living a normal life, but she is haunted by the fact that she is actually a character from a story, an unpublished fairy tale she’s never read. When she was a baby, her parents learned that she was supposed to die in the story, and with the help of a magic book, took her out of the story, and into the outside world, where she could be safe.

But Gracie longs to know what the story says about her. Despite her mother’s warnings, Gracie seeks out the story’s author, setting in motion a chain of events that draws herself, her mother, and other former storybook characters back into the forgotten tale. Inside the story, Gracie struggles to navigate the blurred boundary between who she really is and the surprising things the author wrote about her. As the story moves toward its deadly climax, Gracie realizes she’ll have to face a dark truth and figure out her own fairy tale ending.

198 pages, Paperback

First published November 16, 2018

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Tara Gilboy

2 books46 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 179 reviews
Profile Image for jv poore.
612 reviews204 followers
July 13, 2020
Gracie is basically a good girl. Inquisitive and tenacious, maybe she sometimes skirts the rules. Not so unique for a twelve-year-old, and really, it is only one of Mom’s orders that Gracie disagrees with. She believes that information is knowledge, knowledge is power and she has a burning need to know her own story, in its entirety.

Because, Gracie’s tale has already been told. Well, written.

Of course, neither Gracie, nor her maternal parental unit, had ever actually read the book by Gertrude Winters. At best, they know a fraction of the tale. Gracie was told only that they escaped the fictional Bondoff, ruled by cruel Queen Cassandra, so that Gracie could live a safe life. Here, in the real world.

Not good enough for this curious lass. When Gracie sees that Ms. Winters will be visiting a book-store nearby, she realizes her opportunity to obtain answers, but can’t show up empty-handed. The single parchment page torn from her story will be perfect. Despite specific instructions to the contrary, she unlocks the box.

Ms. Gilboy’s fresh, magical fantasy somehow feels like a cozy classic…but with a kick. Determinedly focused, Gracie can be a bit gruff. But Walter, her fictious friend who is wholly unaware of their parallel lives, is more patient and pragmatic. His approach is practical, in a methodical, kind of way. Whereas Gracie knows just enough to be dangerous and in pursuing answers, she plunges back into the unraveling role written so long ago.

This review was written by jv poore for Buried Under Books, with huge thanks to North Star Editions for the Advance Review Copy.
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,151 reviews241 followers
January 17, 2019
“What if every story ever written is a world in another dimension, waiting for us to find it?”
I was enchanted by this book from the very beginning. It explores the complexities of good and evil, and the power we have to write our own story, regardless of the roles and labels others have placed upon us. There’s action, drama and so much heart.

Gracie may look like a normal 12 year old girl but she’s actually the creation of Gertrude Winters, an author whose unpublished story includes Gracie, her mother and Walter, a boy in her class and an aspiring scientist. Gracie gets story glimmers, glimpses of what her life would have been like in the story, but she doesn’t know the whole story and is frustrated that her mother won’t tell her.

When Gracie learns the story’s author will be coming to her town she can’t resist. Here is the opportunity she’s been waiting for! If only she can speak to the author then she may finally find out who she really is and what her story contains. Things don’t go quite as planned and Gracie, her mother and other characters wind up in the world of the story.

I was captivated the entire time I was reading. I loved the greys in this story; the villains weren’t all bad and the heroes didn’t always make the right choices. I was easily able to imagine the story world and wanted to stay longer to meet more of the people who live there.

While this book works well as a standalone I’m greedily hoping for a sequel and/or spin-off. I’m interested in knowing what happens next for Gracie, Walter and Cassandra in particular. I’d also love to see how Gertrude, the author of Gracie’s story, would react if another of her storybook characters walked into her life and wonder what their story would be about.

I would like to know more about Cassandra, particularly her background and more about her motivations. She was an intriguing character who deserves more page time. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not but Cassandra in this story has some similarities to Cassandra from Greek mythology; although different in so many aspects they were both able to foresee the future.

Jomike Tejido’s cover illustration is absolutely gorgeous and captures the essence of this story so well. I’m not sure I would have read this story’s blurb without that cover sucking me in and I would have missed out on a gem.

Over the course of a single book Tara Gilboy has cemented her place in my ’Have to Read Everything They Ever Write’ Hall of Fame. I can’t wait to read whatever comes next!

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Jolly Fish Press, an imprint of North Star Editions, for the opportunity to read this book.
Profile Image for Brithanie Faith.
262 reviews164 followers
July 10, 2018
5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This title is expected to release on the 16th of October, 2018

“I have always been fascinated with the darkness inside people,” Gertrude Winters said. “We are not all good and bad, and sometimes the villains can be the most fascinating characters.”

Unwritten by Tara Gilboy is the story of Gracie Freeman, a 12-year-old girl who was written out of a storybook and into the real world for her own protection. Throughout this novel Gracie faces several obstacles while trying to figure out who she really is as she learns the truth of the story she was written out of.

Normally I would make a short list of pros and cons while writing my review, but as I couldn't find a single negative thing to say about Unwritten, I'll settle for telling you all about the things that I enjoyed as I was reading this.

First of all, to say this is one of the more magical reads that I've come across this year would be an understatement. Who doesn't love a story where the characters are brought to life, or get sucked into a story within the story? This is categorized as a middle-grade novel, but I honestly believe that this is perfect for readers of all ages. There were plot twists in this that I didn't see coming, the writing was beautiful, and everything came together perfectly in the end. 💗
Profile Image for Silvia .
635 reviews1,402 followers
July 22, 2018
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

I really liked this middle grade novel! The idea of characters taken out of a story was really cool and it was also the ground for some nice reflections about fiction, about why we write it and read it, and about agency.

The book even went kind of dark at times which is something I didn't expect from a MG novel but that pleasantly surprised me, to the point that I had to remind myself this was MG because in some parts it read like lower YA to me.

Anyway, I'm convinced that anyone could read this book and enjoy it! I for one kept thinking that I would have loved it as a kid so that's certainly a win because 10-12 year old me had good taste
Profile Image for Rana⚡ .
82 reviews114 followers
June 26, 2018
“Because what does it mean, really, to be labeled a villain? Nobody really thinks of herself as a villain. We are all the heroes in our own stories.”

Can someone please write a ya version of this 😭 The idea of this book is magical and i wish that it doesn't go unseen like many other great books. It starts with a girl named Gracie who turns out to be a character in a story written by Gertrude Winters but after her mom realized that she was destined to die in the end, she took her out of the story to save her. Many circumstances later on will lead to Gracie going back to the story to save her friends and family.

This is a middle grade book with a simple writing style and a nice few plot twists. It's also very short like 190 pages, so don't hesitate to put it in your ever-growing tbr.

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews.
651 reviews128 followers
August 14, 2018
*** Note: I received e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Publisher, author, and NetGalley. ***

3.75 Stars

What will you do if a dark horrible fantasy story comes to life and you find out you are one of the character in the book that eventually dies? Oh I never want to be written in any kind of story after reading this.

Unwritten was a middle grade fantasy story about 12-yr-old Gracie who was desperate find out about her birthplace which was an unusual world a story. The book was mainly about battle of good vs bad within ourselves; finding true self and being what you want to be not what other says.


Gracie was grumpy, impulsive, and stubborn girl. Gracie and mom’s views looked selfish. I didn’t like the way Gracie kept blaming someone else for her action. Even her mom kept blaming Gertrude for writing a story. I mean how Gertrude could have guessed the story might come to life!! I couldn’t see any development in Gracie’s character till the very end which was a minus point about the book. Do I like her? Not sure! I just liked how she acted in the end.

The secondary characters who were also a part of Gertrude’s story were also complicated. I couldn’t point who to call good or bad till the third half of the book. It seemed like all characters were flawed and there was a touch of suspense to all of them which was plus point.

I pitied Gertrude most. I could imagine how she might have felt for being blamed of writing the story. I found her more sensible and practical person than the characters she has written.

What I liked-

The plot was most interesting and instantly dragged me in the story.

Gracie and her mother were the characters from the story written by Gertrude Winters in which they we’re supposed to die. The place in the story called Bondoff was Gracie’s birth place. Gracie was having visions of things that would have happened in the story, if her parents have not taken her out of it. Ever since her mother told about Bondoff and reason of visions, Gracie was desperate to find out more about the story and what was her character in the story. In trying to get the answers, she disobeyed her mother and went to see Gertrude Winters and messed up things terribly.

It was third person narrative written from Gracie POV. I was intrigued to know the story of Gracie and her mother. World and characters were twisted and complex. There was so much unpredictability and uncertainty that hooked me till the end.

I had lot of question in first few chapters only – how the characters of the book can come alive in first place, did someone cast magic on story or something? What were the characters like in the story? How they found a way to the real world? The answers were revealed one by one in first half of the book still I couldn’t help but think what was going on. It was like as soon as the answer to one question was given the new one popped up. Book progressed so fast that it hardly gave a time to think over it.

The second half of the book was fabulously written. The twist was unimaginable. I couldn’t guess a thing. At around climax finally Gertrude revealed things about story she wrote. I so loved what she said in this part. It was utterly mind blowing. The book became more intriguing at this point and couldn’t put down the book.

Till climax I wasn’t sure what to think about characters, whether they were good or bad. At the end the development in the Gracie was satisfactory and I loved how they all turned out and owned up their mistakes. End was unpredictable and satisfactory.

There were some insightful messages in the book that I loved-

It said about how deeply we get affected by what others say or portrays us or think or write about our character. Do we really need to know what we truly are from someone else perspective? How having the impulse to know what people think about us, we give them more power over us. Like Gracie’s mother said, we can be what we want to be. To be good or bad depends on us.

The importance of anger management also displayed nicely in the book. The message of having control over the anger and not to let anger control over us was remarkable.

why 3.75 stars-

Book was too short and had a serious tone. Character development was very late in the book and it became frustrating seeing Gracie asking the same thing ‘how she was written in the story’ and acting based on it rather than finding something within herself. I’m not sure I liked her or not.

More suspense and less drama. For middle grade book I expected a bit of entertainment in the story as well.

Overall, it was interesting book with dark magical plot, complex characters and insightful messages. I like it. Middle grade readers (age 8-15 yrs) will enjoy it but I cannot say about other readers.

You can read all my review on Blog - Books Teacup and Reviews
September 15, 2018
3,5 stars

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Unwritten is a pretty decent middle grade book about a young girl Gracie who actually comes from an unpublished story. When she confronts the author of her book, things start to go a bit wrong.

I found that for a middle grade book with less than 200 pages it took quite a bit to get going. For a middle grade that can be a bit of a downfall as a lot of kids need a book to grab them immediately. I don’t feel like this book would do that. Even so once it does get truly going it keeps going until the very end.

There are some interesting themes here regarding finding yourself when others want you to be something different, keeping secrets and what makes someone a villain. I am not often taken by plot twists but I wasn’t quite expecting the one we got here and I can only applaud the author for willing to take it in that direction. My only complaint would be that I think it lacked a little bit of depth. But that might be my adult heart talking.

Talking about depth, I think Gracie didn’t come off as strong of the page as the author wanted. There is a lot of talk about what kind of a person Gracie is but I don’t always see it on the page. I think she was fairly mild in some responses to be honest compared to some kids I’ve been around. I don’t think she is quicker to anger than any average child. As for the characters surrounding her they lack a bit of depth, especially Walter for the role that he gets to play.

Overall I think this is a middle grade with a great idea at its core but that lacks a little in execution and for that I think it might not be that memorable to the age group.
Profile Image for Lyn.
401 reviews51 followers
April 19, 2019

Middle Grade Fantasy is one of my favorite genres and I usually enjoy the stories in this genre a lot. However, I found it hard to like Unwritten. I really wanted to like the story but the MC was just too dislikable. She was too selfish, self-absorbed, dismissive of people, an annoying know-it-all at such a young age and prone to abnormal anger episodes for a kid – a spoiled brat. And she stayed that way throughout the book.

I get that she was that way because of how she’d been written as a character in the story from which she and her mother had escaped from. But I hated how she treated her mother, who had sacrificed to protect her. Gracie just dismissed all her mother’s worries and acted as if she knew better. She was too childish and uncaring of anyone but herself. I’m afraid I just didn’t like her.

In addition, there wasn’t much backstory and character to the supposed villain in the story, Cassandra. The scenes were devoid of any humor, not even sarcastic humor that I enjoy in my middle grade books. I was leaning towards 3 stars but the ending with a twist that I didn’t find a good fit to the story made another character that I actually liked, act uncharacteristic to his personality. This lowered my rating to 2 stars.

That said, the story’s plot-line was interesting – story book characters living in the real world, how that happened to be and what that world inside the book was like. The cover is amazing and I did like the writer’s writing for the first half of the book.

***Note: Received from Netgalley for an honest review.

Posted on Blog
Profile Image for Nicole M. Hewitt.
1,420 reviews283 followers
August 26, 2018
A super-cute fairy tale read that had a lot more depth to it than I was expecting. The story follows Gracie, who has always known that she and her mother escaped an evil villain in a fairy tale. Her mother managed to get her out of the fairy tale world and into the real world when Gracie was still a baby, before the awful fate that the author wrote for them could be played out. Gracie’s curiosity gets the best of her, though, and she talks to the author (who has no idea that her characters are alive), sending her to the fairy tale world.

Once she gets there, she realizes that everything she’s been told about the world is not exactly as she’d been led to believe. Her relationships with her family get very complicated and she even has to face some possible ugly truths about herself. The story is full of twists that I didn’t see coming, and quite a bit of character growth. It’s the type of book that you don’t want to put down, and I highly recommend it!

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Profile Image for Caryn Lix.
Author 4 books159 followers
June 9, 2018
This book is seriously just so good. I loved the play between the idea of story and reality, and the idea of being a character from a story (really, what writer or reader hasn't had that dream before???). This is such a well executed tale, full of life, compelling characters, and adventure. It has just the tiniest tang of darkness to it, and I loved every moment!
Profile Image for Becca.
52 reviews5 followers
July 11, 2018
I have always been fascinated with the darkness inside people. We are not all good and bad, and sometimes the villains can be the most fascinating characters.

NOTE: I received a complimentary ARC of this book from North Star Editions through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Ok first of all, I need to preface this review by saying that this book is aimed at middle-grade children and being a grown woman in her 30s, I am definitely not the target audience. However, I’ve enjoyed middle-grade books in the past, which is why I requested this one; the description sounded really promising but unfortunately it fell a little flat for me.

I think most of the issues I had with this book can all be put down to the length of it. 200 pages is probably perfectly fine for the majority of young readers under 12 who don’t want to spend hours reading and don’t care about character development, world building, and pacing. But for anyone who cares about those things, this book is missing pretty much all of that and I feel like that’s mainly due to it being so short and not having enough space to go into detail.


The start of the book was a little confusing to me. I still can’t really put my finger on why but it kind of feels like I opened a book right in the middle and started reading from that point without ever bothered to read the start. While most of what I was confused about at the start was explained later on, some things weren’t and I just couldn’t shake the feeling that a lot of it should have been explained much sooner, or at the very least possibly during an epilogue that goes through Gracie’s mother and father escaping from Bondoff. I was about 62% of the way through the book before things started to be explained properly so literally anything would have been better than spending the entire first half of the book thinking I’d missed something important.

I also felt little-to-no connection to the characters, with the exception of Cassandra. Even though we’re told Cassandra is evil over and over again, and the people of Bondoff seem scared of her, we aren’t really given any reason or proof as to why she’s supposedly evil. The only hint that something might be off about her is that Gracie has a “glimmer” of herself and Cassandra plotting to kill Walter for planning to steal the Vademecum, which could easily not have even been real based on the other glimmers that Gracie has had in the past that were wrong. The Vademecum is the only thing Cassandra has that seems to distinguish her from the rest of the people in the story, apparently it makes her powerful because she knows what's going to happen, but I still don't really understand how that would make people scared of her. Gracie is told by Winters that Cassandra is obsessed with Vademecum because she wants to ensure her own happy ending, which doesn’t seem like an unreasonable desire to me, especially when we haven’t been given any kind of proof that she’s using it for evil. Why is it ok for Gracie to not want to live in Bondoff and not be a villain but it's not ok for Cassandra to want to make sure people aren't conspiring to kill her and to live happily ever after?

Speaking of Gracie, her lack of character growth was peculiar. Usually in these kinds of stories, especially ones meant for younger readers, it’s always about the main character learning a lesson, overcoming obstacles, or discovering something profound that changes the way they think/feel/behave; not Gracie though. She’s the same stubborn, feckless, irresponsible girl from beginning to end. Winters literally says that Gracie is exactly the way she wrote her even after being outside the story for 12 years, meaning she’s still the same girl who, in the story, threw an apple core at a peasant toddler who was just playing in the dirt and laughed when it hit him in the face, kicked a hungry dog and laughed when it yelped, and killed what seems to be her only friend.

The amount of times she does something her mother or father tells her not to, gets everyone dragged into danger because of it, and then blames it on someone else, is astounding. Her mother told her not to go to Winters book signing, she did anyway, Winters ended up being sucked into Bondoff and Gracie blamed her mother for not satisfying her curiosity about the story. Jacob tells her to stay in his camper, she refuses so he gives in and lets Gracie and Walter go back to the house with him but tells her to stay in the car, she doesn’t and Jacob ends up being caught by Cassandra and taken back to Bondoff. After that Gracie convinces Walter to willingly go into the story with her, because apparently two teens are going to be able to do what four adults couldn't? Once there, her father tells her to put distance between herself and Walter, and not plan anything with him in case she ends up doing what she’s supposed to in the story, naturally Gracie doesn’t listen and she ends up nearly killing Walter, just like she’s supposed to in the story. And who gets the blame for all of this? Of course it’s Winters. Because she wrote the story, and she should definitely have known that it was going to become real, and Gracie can’t possibly be held responsible for her own actions because Winters made her that way.

But naturally, all is fine in the end because even though Gracie tried to kill Walter twice, she did try to save him the second time and that’s all that matters right? Doesn’t matter that her father saved him from her the first time or that her parents were the ones who actually saved him the second time. The fact that she’s been mean to him for their entire lives, got him dragged back into a story where she’s supposed to kill him, and tried to kill him twice is irrelevant because in the end she tried to save him after trying to burn him alive, so they’re definitely friends again and Gracie definitely doesn’t need to learn any kind of lesson about taking responsibility for her own actions.

So, it kind of seems like I hate this book based on this review, right? That’s not the case at all; I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it. The premise of the story had a lot of potential and I’d definitely recommend it to younger readers, but for someone like me it fell pretty far short of what I was expecting. I feel like even though I didn't enjoy it as much as I was expecting, younger readers probably will because they're not so focused on the amount of detail that I like to see in the books I read. Which is why I gave this novel three stars; because as I said, I’m not the target audience so it would be unfair of me to rate it anything less than that.

One last side note, I think this story would make an amazing young adult book. Make Gracie a bit older and less irritating, make it a bit more "adult" (because Winters even said her Bondoff story was a fairytale meant for adults), give it 2-300 more pages, flesh out the characters, the world, and story in general a bit and you’d have yourself one hell of a young adult fantasy novel!

Because what does it mean, really, to be labelled as a villain? No one actually thinks of herself as a villain. We are all the heroes in our own stories.
Profile Image for Elentarri.
1,494 reviews11 followers
May 22, 2018
NOTE: I received an Uncorrected Advanced Proof of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.

TITLE: Unwritten

AUTHOR: Tara Gilboy


ISBN-13 (paperback): 978-1-63163-178-8

ISBN-13 (ebook): 978-1-63163-178-8

Unwritten is a beautifully written portal-fantasy/adventure novel written for middle-graders but that is also interesting enough for adults to read. The novel also has an attractive and eye-catching front cover.

The reader follows twelve-year-old Gracie, who is not a normal child. She is actually a character from an unpublished novel that she has never read. She only knows that she was supposed to die in the story. That's why her parents took her (and some other people) out of the story, into this world, to save her. She longs to know more about the story but her mother refuses to talk about it. All that this secret-keeping does is foster Gracie's curiousity about herself and the story she came from. Then the author of Gracie's unpublished story comes to town and things get interesting... and messy.

The main characters are believable (even if I did want to stuff Gracie in a broomcloset for continually ignoring sound parental requests), and the conflicts dealt with are complex. however, the other characters (Walter, Cassandra and Jacob) could all have used a bit more "flesh". The plot line is interesting and slightly twisty, with the setting skipping between our world and the story-world.

There are many themes in this book - keeping secrets, being honest, the detrimental effects of being too stubborn, family - but the main theme is about figuring out who you are in a world that may try to turn you into something else; realizing that your story is not written for you and you can determine your own path.

Being geared for the 8-14 years olds, this novel is rather short and fairly easy to understand, but it is a fantastic story about magic and self-determination that is enjoyable to read.
Profile Image for Amber.
219 reviews10 followers
July 5, 2018
**An e-copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review**

Oh man. I don't know if words can accurately describe how much I loved this book. I managed to read 78% of it in one sitting, and would have read it all had I not fallen asleep in the middle of reading it xD

I am so happy I took a chance at asking for a copy of this book to review. Once I read the description, I knew I had to give this book a chance. I really loved Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult which is a similar premise to this. I wasn't disappointed at all.

I do wish the book had been longer, but I can tell due to the ending that this book will have a sequel if this book does well. EVERYONE GO BUY THIS BOOK!!! I need a sequel.

I loved the element that people aren't always who you think they are, the characters had more depth to them than you originally see. Good and Evil isn't always so cut and dry, and sometimes, the villains are the most interesting characters.

Profile Image for Keeley .
510 reviews12 followers
April 23, 2018
I received this one for review from NetGalley.

Gracie knows that she was rescued from a story by her mom. She had to tell her after she started having incredibly realistic dreams and visions of a beautiful woman and a fire. But all that her mom will tell her is that she saved her because she died in the story. She knows the authors name and that her mom doesn't like the author, but her mom refuses to tell her anything more than that and changes the subject whenever she brings it up. She also knows that her best friend Walter was also saved. But he doesn't know. Now Gracie has a chance to meet the author in person and ask her what really happened in the story. Should she go against her mom's wishes and try to find out the truth or trust that her mom is only keeping her safe?

This one was adorable. I love the idea of the main character being rescued from a story. The two plot lines worked out really well together and I never felt like it was too far fetched of an idea to pull off. I think my only issue is how dark one of the main plot points was. For a middle grade I thought it was a little graphic but I guess if you look at all of the stuff that happens in books like the Harry Potter series that it wasn't too bad. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I read it in one sitting. I really hope we get more books about Gracie!
Profile Image for Kate.
261 reviews52 followers
June 3, 2018
"Because what does it mean, really, to be labeled a villain? Nobody really thinks of herself as a villain. We are all the heroes in our own stories.”
Starting off, I thought the book was kind of childish and cliche. I mean they thought an author was a terrible person because she killed off a child in one of her books (which is what the whole book is about). And they’re escaping a character named Queen Cassandra, because she’s out to kill them. But then the huge plot twist came in, and I was like ok this is getting a lot better. But I do think that the author could do a better job with her magic system. Why is Queen Cassandra so powerful besides the seeing into the future part? I would love to see more world building.
I don’t have very many notes or thoughts on the characters. There wasn’t much depth to Walton at all, he was kind of just there. Now that I come to think of it, none of them did that much. I felt no attachment to them, but it was a little bit fun reading from Gracie’s perspective, and seeing her try to discover her past.
I would recommend this to kids into middle grade books. This book is about defying the odds, and being able to choose your own story, and not letting other people write it for you.

disclaimer: I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alina.
755 reviews253 followers
June 10, 2018
***Note: I received a copy curtesy of Netgalley and North Star Editions in exchange for an honest review.

Gracie is a young girl who was born inside a story, but was saved from it and now lives in the normal world with her mom. Of course she wants to know more about the story she was in, and how could the writer give her, a child, such a cruel fate, so, when one day, the said author comes to town, she goes to meet her and maybe find answers for some of her questions.

The whole novel revolves around Gracie finding out whether she is just this character in a story or a real person, who can make her own choices, have her own feelings, and take decisions noy written by others.
"Because it doesn't matter what she wrote." Mom said. "You're Gracie, my daughter. You can be whoever you want to be"
I really liked this mix between a dark fairytale and a serious middle-grade story; also, the characters are compelling and the writing very good.
Profile Image for T.M. Hall.
32 reviews
April 25, 2018
FIVE STARS: if you’re looking for a book for your child that boasts the gorgeous imagination and authentic characters of Enid Blyton, and in which your child can get lost in the adventures of a world far, far away, then UNWRITTEN is your book. I myself often wondered about characters in a book, and the possibility that somewhere, somehow, they were real. This story answered my questions and wonderings in the most delightful way. On finishing and shutting the book, I had the urge to open it again and start reading because it left me with such a lovely heart-warming feeling. This is what books are about. This is why children read.
Profile Image for Rianna.
364 reviews49 followers
October 30, 2018
25/52 books read in 2018.
Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the story of a book character, Gracie, living in our world, going on an adventure to figure out who she would have been in her original narrative. If you are still with me after that, you know this quest is going to give Gracie some hurdles to overcome. Luckily I can tell you that reading to find out alongside Gracie is definitely worth the journey.

10-year-old me would have LOVED this story and I still really really enjoyed this tale at 25. Of course we are all the main character in our life narratives, but Gracie actually has a story about herself to discover.

The end was slightly unsatisfactory for me, but it definitely leaves room for a second installment or your own daydream endings ;)
Profile Image for VIBookCrate.
69 reviews5 followers
May 17, 2018
This story follows Gracie - a young girl who was born inside of a story - but now lives with her mother in our world. She is plagued by "nightmares" of a fire and woman who beckons her - that are actually "glimmers" of memories of the story that she belongs in.

"The dreams are glimmers," Mom said. "Like a special kind of memory. We're not ordinary people."

She longs to know more about the story that created her but her mother refuses to talk about it. Gracie makes some decisions that go against her mothers wishes and end up putting them all in danger.

"Because it doesn't matter what she wrote." Mom said. "You're Gracie, my daughter. You can be whoever you want to be"

This story is about finding your true self - realizing that your story is not written for you and you can choose who you want to be - a hero or a villain!

This book is perfect for middle grade readers. It is not a long story and it is not difficult to understand. Anyone who is a fan of fairy tales and magic will like it. I was so happy to have a chance to read this book and I will definitely be buying a hard copy of it when it is released.

This book was provided by net galley for review.
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,161 reviews80 followers
December 18, 2018
This book has a really sweet premise and, truth be told, I'm a sucker for all things fairy tales. Gracie is a girl out of place. Her whole life has already been written out in an unpublished story that she's never seen and, seeing as how she is as inquisitive as they come, her only goal is to find out what it says. I loved this premise and, for the most part, I felt like the book stuck true to that idea. It just took a little while to really get going.

On the list of things I loved, is the whole theme throughout this story about finding your true self, regardless of what others want for you. It's a beautiful idea to introduce to young readers. Gracie's whole life has been mapped out, but now she has a chance to be whatever she wants. The question plaguing her becomes which version would be her true self. Watching her war with herself, and grow to understand what was most important in her life, made me smile. It's lovely to see an MG character really dive deep into who they are. I can't say that this whole book had as much depth as Gracie's personal growth, but at the end of the day that was my favorite part anyway.

What made this a bit of a rough read for me was simply what I said above, that it lacks some depth. While Gracie's story is very sweet, and definitely original, it's in such a hurry to get to the climax that it skims over a lot of what I would have loved as a young reader. When I read a book in this age group, I always try to read it from both my current perspective, and from when I was a young reader. This book was a good read, but it didn't quite hit that memorable mark.
Profile Image for Laura.
2,697 reviews81 followers
October 11, 2018
How does it feel to be part of a story written by someone else? And how does it feel to not understand why you were part of a story written by someone else, and who you were before?

This is the problem that is facing Gracie, and it is driving her crazy, until she learned that the author of her original story is in town, and so finds a way to go see her.

There have been other books written where the characters come to life or the author gets to meet the characters written about, but what I liked about this was that the author didn’t really remember the story. It wasn’t one she liked, and never got published.

Well written, with clues, of course, of what is coming. Good fantasy story for middle grade.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Profile Image for Trisha.
156 reviews38 followers
June 29, 2018
So many of us bookworms dreamt to be in a different world, a book world. May it be as a student of Hogwarts, or finding the gateway to Narnia. What if we got to be a part of it only to discover that we are the villain of the story? What if you lead your life only to discover you are the VOLDEMORT, not Harry or Hermione like you hoped to be? What would you do if you find out you can not be anything else, you are supposed to act like the writer made you to be?

Gracie Freeman is a twelve-year-old teenager who lives with her mother. The only not so normal thing in her normal life is when she gets the glimmers of her formal life. Her formal life as in her life as a unpublished fairy tale books character, which she never got to read. Only thing she knew about her book life is that, her parents somehow learnt that she will die in that story, so they fled with her when she was just a baby. With the help of a magic book they took her out of the story to keep her safe. 

In the search of her true identity she seeks out the author and finds herself back in the story. Now that she has got to know who she really is, is that really who she is? Or its the way the author/the story wants her to be? Is there more to her that what the author seemed to portrait? Is she the villain? Or a Hero? Isn't every villain is a hero on her own story?? 

“Because what does it mean, really, to be labeled a villain? No one actually thinks of herself as a villain. We are all the heroes in our own stories.”

I loved the story. It got me thinking so many things! You will feel sad for Gracie, you will get frustrated, you will even hate her.. Than you will see her struggling with who she really is and who she is meant to be, and you will feel lost for her. 

Its a great middle-grade book. Throughly enjoyable, fast pacing and very thought-provoking.. I will definitely purchase a copy for my younger cousins <3 

4.5 out of 5 Stars!!!

**I got this book from NetGalley and North Star Editions in exchange of an honest review. THANK YOU GUYS!!!
Profile Image for Stacie.
Author 13 books55 followers
May 26, 2018
Unwritten, by Tara Gilboy, is a middle-grade story that feels like a dark fairytale. The story’s protagonist is 12 year old Gracie, who dreams of fire and believes what her mother has told her: that she is actually a character who was rescued from a story. The story world is a parallel universe to the real world, and Unwritten takes readers on an adventure that is literally within the pages of a book. This is a trope that may seem overdone to some readers, but will likely still draw many young readers in - and the mystery inside will hold them to this story’s end.

When Gracie and her friend Walter, who is also from the story world, have an encounter with the author of their story at a book signing, the adventure begins. A magical parchment torn from their story sends the author into the storyworld, and Gracie & Walter’s parents soon follow. Now Gracie and Walter must enter the story world to save their parents. Gracie and Walter find themselves navigating an eerily familiar world that is being ruled by Queen Cassandra, the woman whom both have seen in their dreams. Gracie’s mother told her that Cassandra is dangerous, and that in the story both she and Walter die. But is this the truth? And just who is Gracie, really? To find out the truth of who she is, she’ll need to know the whole story, which her mother never told her.

Kids will find plenty to like in this fairytale adventure that steps into the pages of a book. It also prompts powerful questions, about truth, about what makes us who we are or who our friends or family are - and how we might create or change our own stories. For the kid who dreams of stepping inside a story to become a character they have known and loved, or of writing a story of their own - this adventure will be a good read. Thank you to NetGalley, Jolly Fish Press & North Star Editions for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Rosie Rizk.
449 reviews9 followers
March 12, 2020
I thought this would be the usual, somewhat overdone storyline - regular kids go into a storybook, and yadda, yadda, yadda. I've read some in that genre, but never really liked them. Truth is, it is the same idea, but the writing is way better, and the characters and conflicts are way more complex than the ones I've read before. It grabbed my attention from the first sentence, and didn't let me go until the end. I finished it in one sitting.

See full review at: https://tbrnext.com/2020/03/12/unwrit...

First off, the characters felt so real. Their emotions and reactions were fantastically developed. I loved how complex the conflicts were, how Gracie had to fight her fear of becoming her written character, while trying to distinguish reality from false memories. It was very complex, and way better than I expected for a children's book. Of course, the writing is still geared towards children, but this offers a lot to think about, hidden in a beautifully written story.

I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Disclaimer: I received an advance copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (Honestly, this was a great book!)
Profile Image for Katya de Becerra.
Author 10 books190 followers
May 26, 2018
Unwritten offers a fresh new take on the old topics of good-vs-evil and nature-vs-nurture, focusing on that fascinating murky grey area that lies between the two extremes.

From the very first pages of her debut, Gilboy plunges the readers into the strange world of Gracie Freeman, a twelve-year-old protagonist of Unwritten, who lives a quiet 'normal' life with her mom while fully aware they both used to be characters in a fairy-tale story. Having never been allowed to read the story in question, Gracie wonders what has really happened in it, and whether the flashbacks ("story glimmers") she's haunted by daily are true and she was really meant to die in the story. Taking matters into her own hands, Gracie endeavors to find the answers, meet her creator (the story's author) and confront the truth about her character - and herself.

In this clever exploration of human nature, Gilboy masterfully delivers the message of complexity of good and evil, with Gracie learning that she is what she makes herself; in other words, her future is hers to write.
Profile Image for Leann.
127 reviews47 followers
September 1, 2018
Gracie and her mom live her our world. But they haven't always. They traveled from Bondoff, a storybook land when Gracie was just a baby. She'd always wanted answers to why they fled Bondoff so when the author of her story visits a local bookstore she sneaks off to find answers. However things go terribly wrong when the author, Gertrude Winters accidentally gets sent to Bondoff.

This was a super fun story that I think young readers will eat up! Not only will kids be able to relate to Gracie's struggle of trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be, but they'll also be able to relate to her family. As well as her hate/love friendship with Walter. Don't you remember your one friend from childhood you had that kind of relationship with as you both grew?
My only problem with this book was I wanted more story from the storybook. More answers, more background, more of what Bondoff was like and how evil queen, Cassandra came to be seen as evil.
I'm hoping there's more to come for these characters!
Profile Image for Kimmy’s books journey.
198 reviews1 follower
June 21, 2018
I got a copy of this book by Netgalley. It’s the story of Gracie, a character from a book who escaped her story when she was a baby.
I was afraid when I started it it will be cheesy and I wouldn’t be surprise by this story. It’s a little bit under 200 pages and the pace of the story is fast. It’s simple, clear and adapted to young kids. I have to say, it got me hooked right away. Loved the short chapters as well. I didn’t expect the twisted plot and the surprise in the middle of it. Unexpected and I really thought in wouldn’t be surprise. Fast read, cute story and a good reminder about been ourselves.
I really enjoyed Tara’s books and I’m looking forward to read more of hers.
Profile Image for Maria.
176 reviews887 followers
April 28, 2018
I received this from NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

My first thought to this came from the beautiful cover. Judging this is a Middlegrade one, the cover already has a plus point to me! Intriguing and made me curious to read what's inside the book.
Then the summary just hooked me in, a promising story of a character from a book, running away from story to be alive in the real world.
I wish for the other way around now to be honest 😂
Now, Gracie, a twelve-year old girl, has been one little curious, always want to know about where she came from, want to know if she's more than who she was, perhaps. Sometimes, curiousity kills the cat really makes up to it. Gracie's character is a bit annoying, like a spoiled brat kid who is so ungrateful. After even being saved away by her mother and did something wrong, instead of apologizing, she blamed his mother for that

Now, but then again, it's human, if I have to say, that's why as much as she's annoying, I have to give kudos to the author because she made Gracie so 3d, so human, like a real kid that we could see in real life. Perhaps, it's us too, in the past.

The plot, since it's a middle grade, is quite okay to me, although there's a bit of plot hole there, but it doesn't really matter much for me. I enjoy it and the plot twist that the author prepare, is not something unpredictable, but it is still nice. What kills me is actually the ending, it just made me crave for more Gracie! Can't wait if there would be series for this book!
Normally it's a 3.5 stars for me, but the cover made me round it up to 4 so yay!
Profile Image for Jessica (Goldenfurpro).
883 reviews252 followers
January 11, 2020
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

Actual Rating: 3.5

I am always interested in reading books about books, so when this one came to my attention, I immediately wanted to read it!

For most of her life, Gracie has known that she was originally a character from a book. She was originally supposed to die, but, along with a few other characters, her mother pulled her out of the story. Gracie's mother always seems to avoid the topic of the story and what Gracie's role in it was. Gracie always gets glimpses of her story, but all she can see is a fire and a dark queen . When Gracie discovers that the author is coming to town for a signing, she goes in hopes that the author will answer her questions. But this act brings all the storybook characters back to the land that they have avoided. Going into the story may give Gracie the answers that she was wanting, but it will be nothing like what she would have hoped for.

The concept of this book is really intriguing. I love the idea of a character, or multiple characters, escaping their story and living in our world. This is especially interesting because Gracie's story was never published. I liked how the book discusses the idea of books being their own dimensions, even ones that were never published (even though the idea of my some of my unfinished book getting its own universe makes me a little wary). I loved seeing the story's world and the limits of the world.

The book also discusses how an individual can change their own destiny. Gracie's character is not a very good person and she worries in the story if she will become that person and if she will do terrible things. She tries hard to make sure that she will not, but she has a hard time fighting the urges. I could understand why she wanted to know more about her past. Her curiosity puts the adventure in motion, but it came from the fact that no one wanted to tell her the truth of her story so she had to seek it herself. She is a strong character in that she goes out to do what she intends on doing, but she isn't always likable. She does not always think of others in her quest. But, her character grows throughout the book and she comes into terms with what was written about her and the kinds of choices she can make.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I liked the story within a story and seeing Gracie fight against what was written for her. I do want to continue the series and I look forward to the next book!
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