- File Size: 3072 KB
- Print Length: 155 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: North Star Editions (April 7, 2020)
- Publication Date: April 7, 2020
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0851PSD3S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #818,002 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$11.99|
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Rewritten (Unwritten Duology Book 2) Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
Opening Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The problem with real memories, Gracie thought, was that they had actually happened.
She lay in bed, sprawled on her stomach, a blank journal open in front of her. She was supposed to write about her feelings in it. Jacob, Gracie’s father, had given it to her that morning before he and Mom left on their trip, to help her deal with “what had happened in Bondoff.” He’d learned about this technique in one of the self-help books he was always reading. Even though the glimmers had ceased six months ago when Gracie changed the
ending of their story, the memories didn’t fade as easily.
Glimmers. Gracie would never forget the pain of them. Glimmers were those vivid visions of the story world that once plagued her every moment, coming on without warning. They were slippery, mutable, like the shadows that prowled across her ceiling when she lay awake at night. Sharp edges blurred into flashes of what might have been, of what Gertrude, her author, had written. Not what Gracie had done.
Memory, on the other hand, was solid, bulky, heavy as an oil lamp in her hands, jagged as the spraying shards of glass when she had heaved it at the wall. True memory was the scorching stink of burnt fabric, the glare of flames reflected in the lenses of Walter’s glasses, everything she’d done in Bondoff when the story’s power had seized hold of her. Real memory, she’d learned, was every bit as painful as a glimmer.
Gracie would rather forget about her past than write about it in journals.
“What are you doing?” Walter asked.
Gracie slammed the journal closed and turned. “Nothing.”
Walter stood in the doorway in faded cargo shorts and a button-up plaid shirt with a frayed collar. As storybook characters, they didn’t have certain real-world things like birth certificates and social security numbers, which made it difficult for their parents to find jobs. Gertrude Winters, the author of their story, earned some income from the royalties of her dozen published books, but money had been tight lately, and they were all looking a little ragged. This was one of the reasons Jacob and Mom had left that morning. Jacob had gotten a two-day construction job in Arizona, and Mom had gone with him. They had only recently gotten back together after being separated for most of Gracie’s life, and they had decided to turn the trip into a working minihoneymoon.
Walter nudged his glasses up on his nose. “I think Gertrude’s having a crisis.”
“Again?” Ever since she’d quit writing fiction six months ago, the author had been moping around the small house they all shared. Gracie shoved the journal under her mattress and followed Walter downstairs.
Gertrude Winters sat at the kitchen table, surrounded by notepads, scraps of paper, and reference books. Her hair was uncombed, and she wore a T-shirt with a coffee stain across the chest. “There is no drama in vegetables,” she moaned. An ink spot smeared her cheek.
Gracie slid a yellow legal pad out from beneath a stack of books and seed packets. At the top, Gertrude had written “The Science of Beets???” Below that, she’d scrawled “A Cultural History of the Sweet Potato???” No wonder Gertrude was depressed. “Giving up fiction doesn’t mean you have to write a book on gardening,” Gracie said.
Gertrude cradled her head in her hands. “What else is there to write about?”
Walter leaned over Gracie’s shoulder, reading Gertrude’s notes. “Oops, that reminds me! My mom said we’re supposed to start dinner. She wanted us to peel potatoes.”
Gertrude whimpered again but said nothing, and Gracie joined Walter at the counter. He plopped a bag of potatoes in the sink and handed Gracie a peeler. They worked in silence, though they exchanged smirks every time Gertrude let out a muffled moan (muffled because she had plunked her face down on the Formica tabletop). They knew from experience that Gertrude would be fine in a few minutes. She could be dramatic when she was frustrated with her writing, but usually having Gracie and Walter—her very own characters—near was enough to snap her out of her mood.
“You know, potatoes are actually pretty fascinating.” Walter rinsed one under the faucet and examined it. “The acid in a potato can work like a battery. Researchers think maybe someday we could power cell phones with them.”
“With potatoes?” Gracie imagined people holding cell phones to their ears with potatoes strapped to them.
“You’d be amazed at all the things we can make electricity from. Onions, tomatoes, citrus fruits . . .”
“That could be an interesting novel.” Gertrude raised her head from the table. Her forehead was imprinted where she’d been resting it on the corner of a book. “A science-fiction story set in a future where the world is powered by vegetables.”
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In the six months since they returned to the real world, Gracie and some other characters from Bondoff, their storybook world, have been living with Gertrude Winters, the story’s author. They’re all in hiding from the story’s villain, Cassandra. Cassandra still has the Vademecum, a magical book that can generate portals between the real world and the world of the author’s imagination.
Gracie is struggling to distance herself from the character Gertrude created for her. This isn’t easy when everyone remembers what happened while they were in Bondoff.
“She wished she didn’t have to keep being reminded of the past.”
Gracie meets siblings Mina and Bryant when she travels to Blackwood Hall. Their world is nothing like Gracie’s storybook dimension; they are characters in a “feminist gothic horror novel”.
“Don’t read that one. It’s too scary for children.”
‘Rewritten’ tackles fractured mother-daughter relationships, the difficulty of forgiveness and the struggle to rewrite our stories. A number of themes from the first book continue to play out here. Running through both books is the difficulty of breaking out of roles that others place upon you. A couple of characters battle both the urge to run away from the past and the desire to confront it.
The lines between good and evil remain somewhat fuzzy. The villains aren’t always immediately obvious and their actions aren’t always intended to have dastardly consequences. One character who has been written as a villain is desperately trying to prove to themselves and those around them that that’s not who they are. Even those who appear to be heroes can have selfish motivations and make questionable choices.
Gracie, who I loved without reservation in ‘Unwritten’, started to annoy me when her recaps and ruminations became repetitive. I didn’t always agree with the decisions she made in this book but I have to give Gracie credit for her imaginative decorating choices. Her bedroom ceiling features quotes from books in glow in the dark paint! Why didn’t I think of that?!
While you could read ‘Unwritten’ and ‘Rewritten’ as standalones, I’d recommend reading them in order. Given how this story ends I’m definitely expecting this series to become a trilogy. I haven’t had enough page time with Cassandra yet and am crossing my fingers that she’ll wind up with a happy ending. Yes, I know she’s supposed to be the villain so technically she shouldn’t get one, but I’m still holding out hope. I’m also looking forward to Walter being given the opportunity to shine.
It was Jomike Tejido’s cover illustration that originally drew me to ‘Unwritten’ and, even though I was unaware a sequel was in the works, as soon as I saw the cover of this book I had no doubt that this was it. Just like last time, I decided I needed to read this book before I knew what it was about.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Jolly Fish Press, an imprint of North Star Editions, for the opportunity to read this book.
I hoping that as we continue on with this series that Gertrude will have processed all her hurt relationships and as a result she will then be able to write a true child’s story that she will be proud of. One her characters like Gracie would actually want to live in not escape.
This is a unique series that has a lot of heart, it discusses many themes that children sometimes struggle with thinking about. Would make for great discussions with parents. Topics such as Forgiveness, accepting yourself, being confident in who you are, freedom to live your dreams, consequences of holding things in and lack of apprenticing and of course the whole concept of villains and are they truly evil
I absolutely loved traveling with Gracie as she tried to figure out who she is supposed to be now that she’s no longer a villain. Ms. Gilboy has created a wonderful story world where characters come to life and make decisions of their own, apart from their author and story plot. This book is creative, surprising, and a super fun ride for kids and parents alike. I highly recommend Rewritten and I’m looking forward to Ms. Gilboy’s next Gracie book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Gracie has always liked books by Gertrude Winters. This story begins with Gracie living with Gertrude. When Gracie finds some old stories of Gertrude's the action begins! Gertrude doesn't want these stories published and when they get thrown away Gracie is determined to save the stories. Unfortunately, Cassandra (villain) kidnaps Gracie and sends Gracie's friend Walter into one of the old stories. Gracie also ends up in the story, which just happens to be a scary story. Can she save Walter and get them both back home?