Book Review

THE STORYTELLER by Kathryn Williams

Rating: 4 / 5

I received THE STORYTELLER by Kathryn Williams in my YA Once Upon a Book Club box. I didn’t know anything about this book, but the cover kept catching my eye and the synopsis was intriguing, so it was the first thing that came to mind when I needed a book with settings on multiple continents.

THE STORYTELLER follows Jess, a young woman who is a stranger to nearly everyone she knows. Her mom thinks soccer would be good for her, so even though she hates it, she has played for years. Her boyfriend is an extrovert who loves skiing so she puts an effort into pretending just for him. Her true passion for writing is one she keeps mainly under wraps.

When Jess finds some journals written in Russian in her late aunt Anna’s attic, she is immediately intrigued and brings them home for further. She finds Evan, a local student for hire to help translate the journals. What starts as a paid gig turns into a passion project for them both as the journals seem to imply that aunt Anna was actually Anastasia, the Romanov princess long thought massacred with her entire family.

I found this a really good read and it grabbed me in right away. There were a few places in the middle where the pace lagged a bit for me, but I still kept wanting to know more. Jess is a very interesting character, and very sad too in the way she never feels like she can really be herself. The one person who knows her the best is her best friend, but Jess’ need to be everything to everyone puts a serious strain on that relationship.

It’s a big secret from nearly everyone, but the journals she finds in her aunt’s attic are one of the first things she’s done just for herself. I really enjoyed the relationship that develops between Jess and Evan as they learn more about Anastasia’s past through the journals. I though the character growth in Jess was really well done.

This is another book I likely would not have picked up if it weren’t for the subscription box and I always appreciate the variety that they send. If you’d like to give this box a try for yourself, DGREADS10 will give you 10% off your first order!

Reading Challenge:

#PopsugarReadingChallenge – a book with a reflected image on the cover or “mirror” in the title

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