This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
The book is about Aiden Holmes and his father Don (letter is read about Don’s experience) and how they face this boogeyman named Brunderfold. Let me just say that Brunderfold was extremely creepy and scared the heck out of me in every scene he was in. He reminded me of Smeagle/Gollum except without the 'pity me/lovable' side. Brunderfold is basically a book monster that eats the imagination of children and the book titled 'Brunderfold' grows with each of his actions (self written). He also travels around by coming out of books. So Don trapped Brunderfold in locker 13 when he was a kid. Aiden opened that locker and accidentally released Brunderfold, which is our big dilemma.
I really liked the characters in this book (aside from Brunderfold), which isn't always the case in books I read. The dad was lovable, Aiden was lovable, Ethan was ADORABLE, heck even Ronnie was likable. Chester was by far my favorite <3. One thing I disliked was that there didn't seem to be much character depth to Olivia. There was basically nothing to her and it felt like she was only there to cause tension between Ronnie and Aiden and to be the love interest. It didn't feel like there was any substance to her at all. Aside from that, I felt like all of the character's actions and background were believable (except the ending) <spoiler> You're telling me that this book has been around for who knows how long, and NO ONE thought of ripping up the book? NO ONE??? I also enjoyed the character growth and how the reader doesn’t know about the bad thing Aiden did until later in the story, it gives the reader a chance to like the main character without the bias, which is what all of the other high school kids in the book are going through. I’m a bit disappointed that Olivia ends up with Aiden… Aiden convinces Ronnie to help because Olivia is in danger. The bully puts aside his ego to help someone he cares about and she kisses the other guy!
The detail in the book was great and really captured the characters thoughts, appearances, what was going on around them, etc. Burns told the book in new and interesting ways. This book had extremely creative description, while also not going over the top, which was something I LOVED. Brunderfold was well written, face paced, and unique. I hope to read more from Burns in the future, though maybe not a Brunderfold sequel…
I have a couple critical points I would like to, well, point out. This book ends up leaveing me with more questions than I started out with…. What happens to the other kids!? Carrie and Tricky Dan weren't dead... and how can Brunderfold just create a Volume two for himself? That completely defeats the whole purpose of Aiden and Don's story! Now there basically feels like there was no point to this book. It just starts all over again! Also, does Aiden ever read his dad’s letter? What’s up with that? Most importantly, where did Brunderfold even come from? Don found him in the library, so what was going on before that? Why does Brunderfold need imagination, and if he does so much then how come nothing happened why he was trapped for 30 years?? There were just a lot of loose ends for me and the book obviously didn't leave the reader with a ‘final’ feeling.
For the above reasons I can’t possibly give this book more than 4 stars but I’ve seen some of my concerns in other reviews as well so this will hopefully be avoided in future writing :D