I read this book for the 2015 Reading Challenge. It fulfills the book written in another language as it was originally written in German.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Meggie is a 12-year-old girl who is raised by her dad, whom she calls “Mo.” For the past 5 years, they moved almost every year, but Meggie didn’t seem to be too bothered by this. One night, while looking out her bedroom window, she noticed a man standing in the rain. Frightened, she ran to get Mo. To her surprise, Mo invited the man in and heard some crazy things while she eavesdropped on the conversation. What kind of names are Dustfinger, Silvertongue and Capricorn? And why was Capricorn searching for her father and a book he has? All she knows is the next morning, she was woken up early and they got back into their traveling van and left their home to visit Aunt Elinor.
Meggie eventually learns her father had the power to read things and characters out of books if he read them aloud. The only problem was, for every live being that was read out, a living being from this world had to go into the book to take their place. Her mother hadn’t left them to go off on adventures after all. She had disappeared the night he had read Capricorn, Basta, and Dustfinger out of Inkheart. Her father had been desperately trying to read her back out of it ever since; the very book Capricorn was desperate to get his hands on.
I had high expectations for this book. I had been waiting to read it for years as it was difficult to get my hands on a copy from the library. It had also been turned into a movie, so that means the book should be good right? Not necessarily. While it was an entertaining read, it didn’t hold my attention all the way to the end. I had no problems setting it down for hours, and even days, at a time. I found the scenes with Capricorn (the villian) to be interesting, but repetitive. I also had no problems guessing what was going to happen next.
To me, Dustfinger kept moping along all through the book and refused to accept his circumstances. Not that anyone would like being ripped from what they know and flung into a crazy world like ours, but still. It’s been 9 years. Get over it already! Aunt Elinor was quite the unlikeable woman through 95% of the book. I got to the point I’d flinch any time she’d talk because it was always so rude. One of my favorite characters had to have been Farid. He appeared later on when read out of another story. He accepted everything quite well and never wanted to return. Also, Capricorn’s men were written as being mean and horrible, but you never saw that in the story. Of course, it was written for a younger audience and some of that would be inappropriate, but to constantly imply it without any observable action backing up the words, that’s all they are, just words.
There are definitely other YA books I’d recommend before ‘Inkheart.’ My opinion definitely doesn’t stop this book from being liked by a lot of people though. Not to mention holding its head high in Germany as one of the best books for young adults. It’s competition is the likes of J.K. Rowling and R.L. Stine. That’s high company for a book. So while I might not have particularly liked it, many others do and will enjoy it.