Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Summary: Imagine it were possible to bring the characters from a book to life. Not like when someone reads a book with such enchantment that the characters seem to jump off the pages and into your bedroom…but for real. Imagine they could actually climb out of the pages and into our world.
Then, imagine if those characters brought their world into ours.
One cruel night, young Meggie’s father, Mo, reads aloud from Inkheart and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books.
Somehow, Meggie and Mo must learn to harness the magic that conjured this nightmare. Somehow they must change the course of the story that has changed their lives forever.
This is Inkheart, a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life.
Dare to read it aloud.

Review: This is a book that I can honestly say I liked every part of. The plot was well-rounded and fast-paced; even slower parts kept my attention so I was never bored. The characters were complex and even the villains were enjoyable to read about. I also didn’t really feel like I was reading a children’s book. Certainly some darker topics were skirted around and parts that were more from Meggie’s POV had a more child-like tone but she is a child and that’s to be expected.
One of my favorite things about this book were the quotes at the beginning of each chapter from all sorts of different books, mostly classics, some that I knew and some I’d never heard of. It just added to everything else that makes this the perfect book for bookworms.
Another thing I loved is simply the way the characters talk about books. I’ve quoted this book before in a Top Ten Tuesday from years ago and even highlighted some of my favorite ones in the book itself. Here are just a few:

“Stacks of books were piled high all over the house – not just arranged in neat rows on bookshelves, the way other people kept them, oh no! The books in Mo and Meggie’s house were stacked under tables, on chairs, in the corners of the rooms. There were books in the kitchen and books in the lavatory. Books on the TV set and books in the closet, small piles of books, tall piles of books, books thick and thin, books old and new. They welcomed Meggie down to breakfast with invitingly opened pages; they kept boredom at bay when the weather was bad. And sometimes you fell over them.” Inkheart, Chapter 1- A Stranger in the Night

“They were her home when she was somewhere strange. They were familiar voices, friends that never quarreled with her, clever, powerful, friends – daring and knowledgeable, tried and tested adventurers who had travelled far and wide.” Inkheart, Chapter 2- Secrets

“Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you security and friendship and didn’t ask anything in return; they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.” Inkheart, Chapter 47- Alone

Now to the plot itself. The idea of characters literally coming out of their books to interact with us is a thought that every bookworm has had. We wish desperately to have adventures with our favorite characters, to become best friends with the protagonists, to defeat the villains and become heroes. This is what happens to Meggie and her father, Mo, but they realize quickly that adventures aren’t as fun in real life as they are to read about. Villains are wonderful on paper but being face-to-face with them is terrifying. I loved the storyline overall. It was relatively realistic (excluding the fantasy aspects, obviously) and had excellent detail without the tediously long descriptions I hate.
The characters were wonderful. Meggie is strong-willed and kind. Thanks to her father, she’s already an avid reader at the age of twelve and I loved all her little bookish quirks. I really admired the way she handled all the traumatic events throughout the story. She’s young and terrified but kept pushing past her fear to try to get through each situation. I also loved her relationship with Mo. They’re friends as well as parent/child and it’s always been just the two of them so they’re constantly looking after one another.
Mo was great, too. He lost his wife when Meggie was just three and has had to cope with that while raising Meggie by herself. He’s compassionate and always tries to do the right thing for everyone.
Dustfinger has always been my favorite. He’s so lost in the real world even after nine years and only ever wants to get back home. He does some less than admirable things to try to get there but I think he steps up enough when it counts. I can’t wait to read more about him in the next books because I just want him to get a happy ending.
Overall this book was amazing. It’s fast-paced, fun, suspenseful, and even a little sad at times. I’d recommend it to all bookworms who love getting lost in the adventures they read about. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

3 thoughts on “Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

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