Posted by: montclairlibrary | October 3, 2019

Books Come to Life

As readers, sometimes we fantasize about what it would be like if our favorite book characters were real (in researching this post, two of the top Google suggested searches were “spell to make a fictional character come to life” and “are fictional characters real in another dimension”), but in fiction, crossovers between literature and real life tend to be nothing but — entertaining — trouble.

Here are eight books where characters jump in and out of books within the story.

Bonus: Researchers found that book characters influence readers, even when they don’t actually come to life.

6 Books that Blur the Line Between Fiction & Reality, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (SF FFORDE)
In this mad-cap ode to all things literature, full of corny literary in-jokes, a Special Operative in literary detection must jump into books to try to stop the world’s Third Most Wanted criminal from kidnapping beloved characters like Jane Eyre. If you like Fforde’s quirky sense of humor, there are 6 more books in this series.

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry (SF PARRY) (new 2019)
“For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world…But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing. There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.”

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith (new 2019 – copies on order)
“In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren’t finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.”

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (J FIC FUNKE)
“Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can ‘read’ fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.” While this is technically a children’s book, it’s a totally enjoyable read for adults, too. (Although you might want to skip the movie, which didn’t quite live up to the book’s magic.) If you like Inkheart, you’ll also want to read the sequels, Inkspell and Inkdeath.

Maggie Needs An Alibi by Kasey Michaels (ebook)
“Maggie Kelly writes the best selling St. Just Mystery Series featuring Regency Era amateur sleuth Alexandre Blakely, Viscount St. Just. One day she turns around and her handsome, arrogant fictional character is standing in the middle of her living room.” When she finds herself a suspect in a murder, will her not-quite-fictional hero be able to help?

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer (YA FIC PICOULT)
“Preferring to spend her days in the school library where she reads a fairy tale that feels strangely real to her, loner Delilah is astonished when the story’s brave and handsome prince, Oliver, reaches out to her and reveals his discontent with his predetermined, literary existence, in a young-adult book that will have crossover appeal for older readers.”

Libriomancer by Jim Hines (SF HINES)
“Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror, he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.”

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser (YA FIC GLASER)
A teenage girl “discovers that she is able to jump into books and experience their stories firsthand, but peril arises when she is confronted by a dangerous adversary who is stealing from the books she visits and threatening her life.”

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