The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Gläser
Genre: YA Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance
Publication: January 2, 2018 from Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan USA
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 368 pages
Format: ARC from Fierce Reads
A Jane Austen-inspired YA tale about a sixteen-year-old girl who finds a magical book—and discovers that anything she writes inside it comes true.
Emma is used to things going her way. Her father is headmaster of her prestigious boarding school, her friends take her advice as gospel, and she’s convinced that a relationship with her long-time crush is on the horizon.
As it turns out, Emma hasn’t seen anything yet. When she finds an old book in an abandoned library, things really start going Emma’s way: anything she writes in the book comes true.
But the power of the book is not without consequences, and Emma soon realizes that she isn’t the only one who knows about it. Someone is determined to take it from her—and they’ll stop at nothing to succeed.
A new boy in school—the arrogant, aloof, and irritatingly handsome Darcy de Winter—becomes Emma’s unlikely ally as secrets are revealed and danger creeps ever closer.
Huge thanks to my friends from Macmillan International / Fierce Reads for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.
I started 2018 with lots of review copies on my TBR and before December 2017 ended, I made it my goal to start the upcoming year clean by devouring my January – March ARCs. Up on this shortlist TBR is Mechthild Gläser’s The Forgotten Book. I was all enthusiasm and intrigue upon starting the book. Unfortunately, I wasn’t at all impressed, and I ended up having a confusing reading experience. Read on for my detailed review.
I had a rough time trying to get through the first 100 pages, and I find that it carries on towards the ending. It’s probably just me, though, since I’ve never read a book with a story that takes place in Germany, taking into consideration that dating, drinking, and other social norms are a bit, if not entirely, different should the story take place in more common settings like America, the Philippines, etc. By this, I specifically mean the age difference between Emma and Darcy. There were times that the story felt a little off and inappropriate considering this. But again, maybe it was just me.
Another thing that I didn’t like was the author’s way of transitioning from one scene to another. It wasn’t smooth at all for me, and I mostly found myself re-reading a few scenes just to make sure that I wasn’t confused, and reading the story correctly. Those who know me would pretty much know the fact that I hate unreliable narrators and this book felt exactly that. I’m not entirely sure if I just didn’t understand the story, or the narration and voice of the main character was truly off and confusing.
I honestly believe that there’s little to nothing to love about the characters. I realized this while I was 3/4s done with the book, and it was rather unfortunate that I really didn’t see any remarkable trait in Emma, Darcy, and most especially the minor characters. Everyone of them felt flat and I was waiting for character development for at least one of them but to no avail. I tried rooting for them too, but it was honestly hard to bet on a character that’s easily forgettable and simply unimpressionable.
“It is with a heavy heart that I conclude this review by saying that I didn’t really enjoy reading The Forgotten Book. The concept of the story appealed so much to me and I was looking forward to an awesome reading experience with this. Unfortunately, it honestly fell short with the writing style and a few other aspects such as transitioning, the addition of unnecessary scenes, character development, and the sometimes-inappropriate romance. But don’t just take my word for it. Read it for yourself, and hopefully, you’ll have a better experience with this than I did.”
Have YOU read anything by Mechthild Gläser? What did you think of it? Tell me all about it via the comments section below!
JM is a 21 year old blogger from Manila. He has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Managment mainly because it was too late when he discovered that literature and publishing is his true calling. He enjoys reading contemporary and fantasy novels as much as he enjoys playing video games and baking pastries. You may find him on Twitter, Instagram, and on Goodreads.