Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James
As a bookworm (and I presume that you, dear reader, are one too), it has long been a dream of mine to be able to meet some of my favourite characters from books. I'd love to eat waffles with Nina Zenik (from Six of Crows), find butterflies with Ami (from The Island at the End of Everything), and learn how to make potions with Elsie (from Witch for a Week). So you can imagine my reaction (and, spoiler: it was a very positive one) when I discovered that the main character of Anna James' debut novel does, in fact, meet her literary heroines. And no, she's not going mad.
Living with her grandparents in their bookshop, Pages & Co., Tilly has always found solace within the pages of a good book. But since the disappearance of her mother several years ago, books have meant more to Tilly than she had quite realised. So when, one day, she comes face to face with Alice (fresh out of Wonderland) and Anne (of Green Gables fame), she is not entirely sure what is going on — and who can blame her?
Faced with the realisation that life and fiction aren't quite as separate as she once thought, Tilly embraces her new book wandering talent. But with a creepy figure appearing slightly too many times for comfort and danger appearing on every page (pun very much intended), will Tilly manage to unravel the mystery she's suddenly caught up in? Or will she discover that there's a darker side to stepping into a book...?
With a stunning cover and illustrations throughout by Paola Escobar, this book is a sight to behold. Perfect for fans of Jennifer Bell's series The Uncommoners or A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan, and for those who would jump at the chance to meet their favourite fictional characters. A warm and charming read that reminds you just how magical books can be.
After all, "there's nothing like getting lost in a good book... as long as you can find your way out..."