Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Within the Pages: Destiny Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Destiny, Rewritten
by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Published by Katherine Tegen Books,
 imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2013.

     I knew I'd like this book even before I opened it. What book-crazy kid-turned-grown-up, who spent much of his or her childhood roaming the aisles of libraries and bookstores wearing this same look of wonder wouldn't adore this cover? And the back cover sums the cover art perfectly: 'Possibilities, everywhere. It was exactly the kind of place you never wanted to leave.' Cover art aside, Destiny, Rewritten is a charming addition to the middle-grade market. This book makes me want to find my very own volume of Emily Dickinson's poems in a used book store and fill it with personal commentary and anecdotes. Read on to find out more about why you should read Destiny, Rewritten:

     First, the summary from HarperCollins's website: 

     'Eleven-year-old Emily Elizabeth Davis has been told for her entire life that her destiny is to become a poet, just like her famous namesake, Emily Dickinson. But Emily doesn't even really like poetry, and she has a secret career ambition that she suspects her English-professor mother will frown on. Then, just after discovering that it contains an important family secret, she loses the special volume of Emily Dickinson's poetry that was given to her at birth. As Emily and her friends search for the lost book in used bookstores and thrift shops all across town, Emily's understanding of destiny begins to unravel and then rewrite itself in a marvelous new way.'

Character Who Would Have Your Back: Emily, of course. She makes things happen, even if it means embracing acts of deliberate randomness (like sleeping on her left side instead of her right, stepping on sidewalk cracks, etc.) to change the course of her destiny. She's forgiving, too. When someone alters her prized book, it doesn't take her long to admit it was meant to be.

Character Who Makes a Great Sidekick: Emily's best friend, Wavy. She's loyal, smart and doesn't think twice about engaging in the risky business of skipping school when Emily needs her most. And some of the instances when she and Emily add to each other's sentences, creating crazy scenarios in the uncanny way that best friends can, well, they're some of the best parts in the book. 

Character Who's A Tad Annoying Yet Lovable: Emily's live-in cousin, Mortie. When he's not helping Emily and Wavy navigate their way between bookstores, he's nose-deep in his spy book. He's the tag-along little brother type with a good sense of direction and soft spot for stray dogs. 

Why I Read Destiny, Rewritten: Last fall, I went to the Rocky Mountain SCBWI conference where editor Molly O'Neill mentioned this book. Since then, there had been much blog buzz about Destiny so I picked it up shortly after its release. I'm so happy I did!

What are you reading now?


  1. I also adored this cover. And I liked the book, though I felt a little impatient with the mom's secretiveness. I just started The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman.

  2. Yes, I felt a little of that, too. But she was a flake so her actions were true to her character.


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