Storybound by Emily McKay Book Review
Updated: Sep 1, 2022
by Emily McKay
Published by Entangled: Teen
I’ve lived in nine towns in the past six years. I know my mom feels bad about it, but I don’t mind. Who wants friends anyway?
All I’ve ever needed are my books. I’ve lived a thousand lives, had adventures I couldn’t even begin to imagine. To me, the places I discovered between the pages of a book are as real as the world I live in. When I walk into my favorite bookstore, the last thing I expect is to walk out onto the pages of the kingdom of Mithres...or that the book boyfriend I’ve loved more than life, Kane the Traveler, really exists. And he has no clue the fate that awaits him in book five... Now that I know the truth, I have a chance to save Kane. But if I change the story, will I ever find my way home?
RATED: 13+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Foul Language Young Adult Action
Romance Feel Good
There are some mild spoilers below. Please be aware before reading. #ARC #NetGalley
First of all, I would like to thank Entangled: Teens for sending me this ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Storybound by Emily McKay is written from seventeen year old Edie's point-of-view, and she doesn't have the easiest life. She escapes into literary worlds, especially into her favorite series Kane the Traveler. Little does she know, every book is real, a true story from a different dimension, and that when she walks into her favorite bookstore to look at an ARC of the disappointing final book in the series, she walks into the Kingdom of Mithres, and finds herself smack in the center of adventure along with the character Kane, who she has been in love with since starting the series. Her only goal: save Kane from an awful fate in the last book, give him his happy ending, and get back home before her mother finds her missing. But she quickly learns that stories and reality are two very different things.
I was first drawn to this book because of the cover. It reminded me so much of the LUX series, and its from the same publisher. The description had me clicking on the request button pretty fast. I mean, a book about actually meeting your "book boyfriend". That is every book lovers dream! Initially, I wasn't quite sure what to think. The story itself is unique. I was a little worried it would have a "Neverending Story" vibe to it, but I didn't get that impression at all. The story was interesting, and while I think everything started happening a little too quickly, the flow afterwards was really good. At first I was a little annoyed with the excerpts from the Kane books, but after a while, I looked forward to them. It was a clever way of showing us Kane's POV, without going back in forth between Edie and Kane.
The characters are really good. Edie is what you want in a female protagonist. Strong, smart, reliable, kind, and honorable. She doesn't do the easy thing, and there were a lot of moments where it would have been easy for her to do so. Kane is also a great male character. For all the same reasons Edie is great. Their chemistry is apparent, and their conversations fun to read, especially when they argue. I had no problem seeing why she loved him, or him falling for her. Morgan is a fun character, despite his sad backstory. Ro's betrayal was a twist I was not expecting. I assumed that she had a crush on Kane (much like Edie, because of the books), but her quest for more power unhinging her was truly a shock. The main baddie, Smythe, kind of reminded me of Valentine from the Mortal Instruments, except he wasn't Edie's father (which I was suspecting). Her father's story is a sad one, and her mother, keeping this life from her ... well, there is a lot of explaining to do.
The ending was frustrating. How it's written ... will the story continue with a sequel? Or is it written that way, so it ends however we, the reader, imagines it? There are many unanswered questions, and unresolved plot lines that I would love to see tied up in a sequel, so I hope that is the case. If the ending is meant to be left open ended like that, well, I am not sure I like that. It feels unfinished. Despite the questionable ending, it was an interesting read. Some of the more supernatural elements were a bit weird for me (like the arms coming out of backs. Telekinesis would have been a bit cooler.), but the characters and the chemistry between Edie and Kane drew me in, and I am left hoping for a sequel.
1. Kane tending to the injuries on Edie's back
2. Edie breaking out of the cage Kane put her in
3. Morgan's story arc
4. (bonus) Kane saying he will wait for Evie to fulfill her promise to the curator
Where to Buy:
First things first. I google "hallucinations." A quick glance at Web MD is not reassuring. You know it's a shit day when you're pulling for Parkinson's disease. Edie: "Are you going to throw me up against the wall and accuse me of being an assassin again?" Kane: "I'll try not to."
Kane: "Well, aren't you a clever girl. How'd you break out?" Edie: "Shoddy design work at the cage factory. You just can't find a well-designed cage capable of holding a human captive these days, can you? What with us having brains and opposable thumbs and all." Edie: "You're a jerk." Kane: "Are all Dark Worlders this prickly?" Edie: "You tried to kill me and then you locked me in a cage. The fact that I'm upset about that is not my personality flaw." Kane: "I'm sorry." Edie: "No, it's okay. I can take it." Kane: "I'm not used to - *clears his throat* - delicate things." Edie: "It's really okay. I'm tough." He nods, but still, he hesitates before barely trailing his finger across one of the scratches on my shoulder blade. Kane: "I don't think that." Edie: "What?" Kane clears his throat again. Kane: "That you're delicate." Edie snorts Edie: "Obviously. I think the term you used was stubby." Kane: "No. What I meant is, I don't think you're weak." Morgan: "I can tell from your expression that Kane is being annoying. Don't take it personally. It's what he does best." Kane: "You're pretty smart for a Dark Worlder." Edie: "You'd be stupid to follow me if I wasn't." Kane: "If you ever need me again ... I mean, I know you won't." Edie: "Kane, it's not that. It's that -" Kane: "It's that you think I belong with the princess." Edie: "I know you belong with her." Kane: "Why? What makes you so damn sure she's the one?" Edie: "You mean besides the fact that she's gorgeous? And perfect? And -" Kane: "You're gorgeous. You're perfect." Edie: "Did you know how this was going to end?" Morgan: "None of us really know how this is going to end, Cupcake. Not even you." Edie: "So then, I really am part of the story?" Morgan: "My dear, you have always been part of my story." Edie: "I can't choose my own happiness over the safety of this entire world. I just don't have it in me to make that choice. But if there was another way ... if there is another person who can rule..." Kane: "You mean, if the lost Oidrhe is real." Edie: "Yeah." Kane: "If she's real, you'll find her." Edie: "You've never believed she's real. You told the Curator she was a fairy tale." Kane: "True. But you made the binding promise. If she's out there, you will find her." Evie: "Maybe. If she lived, she'd be Lucy's age. Way too young to rule. And who knows how long it will take to find her?" Kane: "I'm patient." Evie: "All I'm saying is ... don't give up on me yet." Kane: "Ah, Cupcake. If you thought I was going to give up on you, you don't know me as well as you think you do."