For the PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge, I need to read a book with a book on the cover. Surprisingly, this was a difficult challenge. I scoured my shelves and ended up with the silhouette of a book and called it a day. This one had been recommended to me ages ago, but I never got around to it. So, I was excited to give this one a chance, even though I really knew nothing about it.
The story is set in the 1930s, and after David’s mother dies, his father remarries and has a baby boy with the new woman. David feels like he has pushed to the side and is really struggling with this new family. His only escape is within a book, and, thankfully, his new home is full of them. David begins fainting every now and then, and while he’s out, the books whisper to him. Slowly, David gets drawn into the books, and eventually, he hears his mother’s voice calling to him. David goes into the garden and somehow slips into another world.
This new world is lorded over by a king, and David believes this king can help him get home. Along the way, David meets plenty of people who want to help him, but many who don’t, namely the Crooked Man who tries to get David to tell him the name of his little brother. Clearly, the Crooked Man is evil, but David tries his hardest to escape him. While traveling to the king, David stumbles upon various tales like Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and “The Most Dangerous Game.” I was shocked at how violent this book was. It’s not that I was offended by it, but I thought this book was for kids, so the violence took me aback.
As much as I rooted for David, I really didn’t get sucked into the story. Most days, I just read just to get to the end of the book. That said, it’s probably just a personal preference. This is a really creative book, and David’s a great character, but it just didn’t capture me.