She escapes into a world of stories... Unwritten by Alicia J. Novo (Review & #Giveaway) #yalit #yafantasy @xpressotours

Welcome to my tour stop! Read my review and enter the giveaway below...

By Alicia J. Novo
YA Fantasy
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 324 Pages
May 8, 2021 by Intense Publications


Books whisper to Beatrix Alba. But they aren’t the reason she has never fit in. Bullied at home and school, she keeps a secret—a power of violence and darkness.

When the spell that keeps her hidden fails, she’s catapulted into the Zweeshen, a realm where all tales live, and her dream of meeting her favorite characters comes true. But wishes are tricky, and behind its wonder and whimsy, the Zweeshen is under attack. A character is burning bookworlds in pursuit of a weapon to rule both stories and storytellers. To succeed, he needs a riddle in Beatrix’s possession.

Now he’s hunting her down.

Joining forces with William, a cursed conjurer, Beatrix must face an enemy who knows her every weakness in a realm where witches play with time, Egyptian gods roam, and Regency heroines lead covert operations. And with her darkness as the only weapon, she may have to sacrifice everything to save a world that rejects her.

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My Review

UNWRITTEN is a story about a girl who has been neglected by a spiteful father and only has her father left after her grandfather passes. It's about a girl who hears whispers from characters in books and has a special kind of magic, but who must figure out who she is and how tightly she will hold on to her world when faced with a villain who would take it all away. The characters are endearing and the pace steady with bits of intensity here and there.

I really love the cover for this book. It just screams imaginative and the story about a girl who can hear books in her head. That's initially what drew me to reading this. The story starts off well with an attention-grabbing, heartbreaking opening. Then this world begins to open up as the heroine meets new characters and begins to figure things out. She does so slowly as she travels a new world and learns more about herself and her mother. It's an interesting world she explores and plot as she does so. I really loved the idea of characters living outside their books and also finding the authors who will give them stories, and this whole world of stories and Beatrix finding her mother and who she is. Beatrix as a character is also lovely. She's faced with lots of different choices and pulls through.

My issues were with the execution of the story. I honestly felt like this story came across more as middle grade than young adult. Just the characters and how the story was written didn't feel young adult to me. I'm not sure why the author went that direction versus the younger age group (maybe for a hint of romance, but that didn't feel necessary in this story anyway). It also had one of my big pet peeves... where this character had these abilities and there's another world but no one actually told her anything, the least of which, how to survive and use her own magic. Her mother didn't and her grandfather didn't before he went into the nursing home. They put up wards but didn't tell her or teach her how to use them or form them herself. They tried to contain her magic, but didn't teach her how to do it herself or how to actually use it in a useful way. The story also  didn't hold my attention consistently. I had to force myself to continue reading, which isn't ideal. I think if I would have gone in thinking middle grade then the experience might have been a bit better.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Overall, this story has such a unique plot with good characters. It's a sweet, heartfelt story full of an imaginative fantasy worl. I felt it also needed more development, or would have been better in the middle grade genre than YA.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy Xpresso Book Tours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Alicia has a weak spot for happy endings and transformative journeys. She spent her teenage years
in Argentina and Europe, speaks several languages and loves to travel.

An eclectic reader, she grew up on a diet ranging from Lucy M. Montgomery and Jane Austen to Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Raymond Chandler, Hermann Hesse, Jorge Luis Borges, and many classics. She's never been cured of reading a bit of everything and is as likely to geek out about Mr. Darcy as Dr. Who.

She is a history and astronomy aficionado, who walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, completed her Masters in the Netherlands and worked for Google in Ireland. She decided to become a writer at six but took a full, winding road here. Along the way, she learned if there’s one thing that cuts across cultures, one unifying thread that pulls everyone together, it's a good story.

A big-city girl, she now lives in the Midwest, where she occasionally picks apples and pretends witches exist.

Tour Schedule

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Tour-Wide Giveaway

- A physical copy and a box of branded goodies (bookmarks, keychain, enamel pin, character art, candle, tote) (US only) 
- Ebook with digital goodies (character art, background, map) (INT)

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What do you think? Does this sound like something you'd enjoy reading?

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