I’ve heard people comparing Storybound to books like the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke and I think it’s an apt comparison because like Inkheart, Storybound, too, crosses several boundaries and blurs several lines between fiction and reality. However, unlike the Inkheart series, I found that, as a matter of personal taste, Storybound seems more relatable and accessible. But that’s not really the point. The objective here is to tell you that Storybound is an exciting middlegrade debut by an author with an extremely creative streak.I immediately found myself drawn to Una, like, from the very sentence. She is a foster child with all the issues and feelings that comes with being a child seemingly alone in a world where other children are snug in the middle of families they belong to. Her unplanned sojourn to Storybound, a land where story book characters live, is the impetus to the adventure she has spent her whole like yearning for. The book takes you on a ride, it tosses you in the air and forgets to catch you and then as you flail, it plucks you out of the air and places you on the ground and then you lurch and the ride begins again. What I’m trying to say is that the novel is not predictable. Not in its characters, not in its twists and turns and certainly not in its plot. I liked how Burt keeps me guessing.The world building is off to a great start. Burt knows how to keep the balance between imagery and action – something that is necessary for the younger readers, I believe – and I think she’ll easily keep younger readers’ attentions as Una meets her new friends and goes on an adventure of a lifetime. I also liked the characterization. There is a lot of spunk in Una and Peter is well created too. I especially like Snow because though, initially, I was scared there was going to be an emergence of the Mean Girls, Burt proves me wrong and shows me a complicated character who can exist beyond the pages of the universe she has created.This would make a fantastic movie. I hope Disney is listening. Hee. The mythology is intriguing and I cannot wait to see what other morsels the next book gives us. I also was surprised by the big reveal near the ending. I had not expected it and its existence makes the book and the themes in it interestingly complicated. There are heavy questions asked about being the person you are and how much of the person you are is determined by who you are and the things you do and how much of it depends on who sires you. And as you all know, I love questions like these popping up unexpectedly in books that seem, on the surface, relatively simple.The book ends on the verge of a cliffhanger. Not a cliffhanger but almost a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Now, what I am saying with this overly long review is that you need to put this on your reading list – either buy it as a gift for the middle schooler in your family or buy it for your own self if you like younger characters who kick ass despite their age, adventure and an interesting story.