Book Review by Julia T.
What book combines an eighth-grade girl, the Cheshire cat, and a magic journal? Write Before Your Eyes by Lisa Williams Kline (published in 2008 by Random House) is one full of suspense, fun, and imagination. Though the fantasy does seem to take away from the theme of the book, it certainly is one to recommend. Therefore, the book earns a seven out of ten.
The book is set in a modern-day American town at the beginning of the school year. The happy and exciting mood makes the book an easy, light read, yet it is still packed with adventure. Eighth-grader Gracie, her parents and two siblings, her best friend Dylan (middle-school genius), and the mysterious Cheshire cat are central to the story. When Grace purchased a magical journal at a yard sale, she quickly learned that it controlled the future. After Gracie had tested the journal a few times, she thought, “This could be amazing. Was it possible that what [I] thought was happening was really happening?” Throughout the story, Gracie took advantage of the fact that anything she wrote came true. She was able to fix all her troubles, and even some of her family’s. Soon, however, not everything she hoped for was turning out right.
Later on, Gracie realized what was going on. Her well-meant deeds were ruining everything. Meanwhile, the unexplained Cheshire cat strangely followed Gracie around, and randomly seemed to appear and disappear before her, hoping to somehow steal the magical powers of the journal. The town was suspicious, and when Gracie and Dylan turned invisible (by their own fault), not being able to get back to normal was enough to scare Gracie into ending her magical powers. “She’d found power that she’d never known before she’d gotten the journal, and for that she was very grateful. She was no longer flying-under-the-radar Gracie. But it was time for her to let got of the journal.” Hence, she scribbled, “What Gracie wrote in the journal no longer came true.” This pleasant book’s moral was one of self-honesty and truth. The world can’t always work the way you want it to, but make careful decisions when you do have the power to change something.
In conclusion, we may not all have a magical future-controlling journal, but we do have to be careful when we make choices. Gracie decided to do the right thing, and for that this book is certainly one to pass on to your friends. Though it may be easy to get lost in the fairy-tale fiction of Write Before Your Eyes, search for the inner theme in this book, and you’re sure to enjoy it.