Elizabeth, the new girl in school, doesn't have any friends. When her social studies teacher, Mr. Mauskopf, recommends her for a job at a special library, things start looking up.
During the job interview, she's given a box of buttons and asked to sort them. Elizabeth doesn't know quite what to make it of, but apparently she passes with flying colors. Then she discovers that the library doesn't hold many books, but it circulates a variety of items - including hot chocolate pots.
At first, she's confused, but soon she learns that the library circulates old items, valuable items, and some magic items. The magic items are from the Grimm Collection - as in objects from the fairy tales. However, the items from the Grimm Collection seem to be losing their magic.
Could someone be stealing the magic, and with all the security, could it actually be an inside job?
I love the idea of fairy tale items being available for circulation. While the fantastical elements made the story surprising and enjoyable, the mystery behind the magic moves the story. I simply devoured this book, and I dearly hope this is the start of a new series.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel
on 1 March 2015
Just a heads up if you are thinking of purchasing this........Kindle version text is pale grey and, for me, makes it almost unreadable. Problem is not my Kindle, other books are ok. Have tried restarting Kindle, deleting and redownloading book but this didn't help. I'm told that it is due to the way the book has been formatted by the publisher, would not have purchased had I been aware of this, have given up on the book as it's too unpleasant to try to read.
on 1 November 2012
(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
Elizabeth is living a fairy tale; one in which she lives with her (slightly) evil step-mother, has some annoying high-maintenance step-sisters, and her father pays her little attention.
One day her teacher sends her to the New York Circulating Material Repository for an after-school job. Elizabeth thinks that this is just a regular library, instead though, people are able to borrow all kinds of things, from clothes to fondue sets.
Once Elizabeth has worked there a while and is trusted, she is told about the `special' collections held in the basement. These collections are only accessible using special keys, and are far from normal. One of these collections is the `Grimm Collection'. An assortment of items collected by the Brothers Grimm which have magical powers, for example - the magic mirror from snow white, an invisibility cloak, and loads of worn out slippers from the story of the 12 dancing princesses.
Elizabeth also finds out that items are going missing from the Grimm Collection though, and she is asked to help assist the librarians in finding out who is stealing the artefacts and why.
This was an interesting story, but I have to say that Elizabeth was unbelievably naïve and trusting. Even when she caught someone with a `stolen' item she believed them when they said they'd only `borrowed' it! Amazingly this didn't get her into too much bother, but I did continue to be surprised by just how trusting she really was.
There were loads of interesting ideas in this book, and the number of different magical items in the collection was also impressive. I have to say that I personally would not have been volunteering to try out the shrink-ray though! I would also have been a little wary of leaving a `deposit' to borrow an item from the collection, especially when deposits consisted of things such as your `sense of humour', or more worryingly `your firstborn'!
I did think that the idea of a large bird attacking people inside a library building was a little far-fetched, but then this was a book about fairy tales so fair enough.
The mystery element of who was doing the stealing was a little convoluted, and then sort of got lost a bit at the end. Although a culprit was found, it was quite complicated as to how it was actually being done, and I had lost interest a bit by the time we got to the end of it all.
Overall; an interesting fairy-tale theme book, probably aimed at younger teens.
6.5 out of 10.
on 24 October 2013
Originally published on Serendipity Reviews - UK
Hi, I'm shallow and I buy books with pretty covers... C'mon who could resist this gorgeous cover? Aren't you tempted to search out your old Berol felt tip pens to colour it in? You know the ones, that you used to colour your Doodle Art posters in?
Sorry, I'm going off on a whole different thread I know.
The idea behind this book was a delight. Imagine being able to access the Grimm Collection of Artefacts, that would allow you to converse with the mirror from Snow White, or eat at the table with never ending food. But you have to be the right type of person to use these artefacts, because if they got into the wrong hands, then everything could go really wrong.
The story was quite magical to begin with and I did feel like I was stepping into a mysterious and exciting place, which desperately needed to be explored. Unfortunately, half way through the book, I found that feeling had worn off and I kept losing interest.
The characters let the book down a little for me too. I struggled to warm to them as I always felt they had ulterior motives, so I didn't trust them either. Elizabeth came across as very innocent and naive when it came to her new friends. She was way too trusting of the other characters and believed everything they said.
There appeared to be a lot of loose threads appearing in the story and as the book neared the end, I found myself getting completely confused about what was actually going on, which is a real shame because I really enjoyed the first few chapters.
On the whole, the first part of this book was really good. Unfortunately the second half let it down and probably would have faired better with a little more editing.
on 19 October 2014
Actual Rating: 3.5
Elizabeth is just your usual nerdy schoolgirl, until she lands herself a job at an unusual lending library that deals in objects. Among the antiques and collections of spoons, there is a basement full of exciting and interesting objects. One collection catches Elizabeth's attention though: The Grimm Collection, objects with magical qualities that were collected by the Grimm brothers themselves.
This is a definite teen read, but also one that can be enjoyed by adults who have a vested interest in fairytales. The content is mostly about friendship and romance, but there is a good mystery here as to who is stealing the Grimm Collection and why. You have a feeling about who it is, but really you can't guess for sure until the moment is already on you. As the book surrounds a mystery, I would have liked some more investigation into it, and that is fairly sparse. It would have elongated the book and made it a bit more engaging for me.
This book centres around the objects in the Grimm Collection, so it stand to reason that you must know a little bit about fairy-tales. The research into this is really good, and I liked the way it was not just the well-known fairy-tales that were used. It really made me want to pick up my book of tales and flick through it, because some of the stories sound really interesting to read. Although this story is about fairy-tale magic, there are other collections in the dungeon that interest me, such as The Wells Bequest. This is actually dealt with in the companion book of the same name so I think I shall be reading that at some point.
So with the characters, I thought Elizabeth was great. She is pretty normal and kind of nerdy, reminding me of myself in the way that she is kind of proper in some ways. However, I didn't find myself invested in many of the other characters. Their personalities were good and quite realistic, but I found them also to be bland. This meant that when things did happen to them, I didn't really care. I did fins Aaron intriguing and I definitely enjoyed reading about Jaya the most although she did have a smaller part to play.
There was a little bit in the way of themes, with trust being the most prominent. Friendships and responsibility are also high on the list, but there weren't made too obvious.
I quite liked the way that the items were deposited for. Since the items were magical, instead of money you would deposit a part of yourself; your firstborn child, your sense of humour or smell. It's kind of creepy when this actually happens and it makes the characters realise that even the smallest parts of them are important and it honestly makes you value things you didn't realise you should, like a sense of direction.
This is my kind of book, and I am now even more interested in antiques and workmanship. It's a good read, but needed a bit more guts to it. Perfect for teens and lovers of fairy-tales.
on 26 January 2014
This book happily fits alongside the likes of the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, as well as the Librarian films. Elizabeth is a misfit but her teacher recognises something special in her after she helped a homeless woman and wrote an essay about the Grimm brothers. He arranges a job interview for the 14-year-old at the New York Circulating Material Repository, a slightly unbelievable library-like place full of historic objects, such as Marie Antoinette's wig, which people can borrow - but some things never get returned.
Elizabeth gets to work alongside her school basketball hero, Marc, and Anjali from the local girls' private school, as well as Aaron, a scowling teen her age who doesn't approve of her but has a crush on Anjali. Mix teen angst, an unhappy home life, missing people and goods in a magical place and you've got adventures. I loved the mirror from Snow White which takes great delight in feeding off the teenagers' insecurities.
It's a fun read. I love the setting and it's got room to develop into a long series, complete with a monstrous bird who might be involved in Elizabeth's predecessor's disappearance. You definitely don't have to be a teen to enjoy it!
on 5 March 2014
I did not realise when I purchased this book that it was a children's book, nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed it, similar genre to Harry Potter. I went out for a meal with my 32 year old daughter and told her about the book and she was enthralled with it, as were her children (3 12 year olds and a 13 year old
My son and I read The Wells Bequest, which is the next in the series to this book, first. In some ways I wish we hadn't. We enjoyed the Wells Bequest so much we finished it in a week. This book was slightly less engaging and it has taken us months to finish it. It has flashes of the greatness of the sequel, but is much more long winded and slow, with the action only really kicking off in the last hundred pages. It seemed really uneven and at times quite dull until it got into stride. We say read it because it gives you back story for the second book, but read it quickly and get onto the Wells Bequest as soon as you can. It's much, much better.
on 28 January 2014
I loved this and read it in an impossibly short length of time just because I was enjoying it so very much. It is clearly aimed at a YA audience, but that said, I'm in my 40s and I still loved it. There's quite a bit going on once you get past all the teenage angst, etc, and if you love fairy tales then you will enjoy all the clever references to them in this novel. Elizabeth, the main character, isn't a particularly convincing teenager (she's likeable and far too normal for a start) and all of the references to magic are swallowed far too easily to be credible as well - but if you can overlook that (and in a novel about fairy tales, you really have to suspend disbelief somewhat) then this is a very entertaining read. Not great literature, but easy to read and a bit of entertainment.
on 18 April 2015
I found 'The Grimm Legacy' hugely disappointing. The description was beguiling but the book was such a let down. I'm no more than a third of the way through and doubt that I will ever return to try again. Elizabeth was a right pain, so pleased with herself for having nothing to be pleased about and what seemed to be interesting ideas just fluttered away.