Maya and The Book of Everything


I was really looking forward to reading Maya and The Book of Everything by Laurie Graves in a way I hadn’t looked forward to reading a fiction book in a long time. Even though it’s a young adult fantasy novel and a gift to my 13-year-old daughter, something about the plot caught my attention. The cover art charmed me also and I ended up reading it before she did.

The story begins in modern times America (coincidentally the same area where I grew up) and it centres around the young heroine Maya and the magical secret Book of Everything. In fulfilling her destiny to protect the book from an evil syndicate that would like to control and alter its purpose, she travels through time and space encountering dangerous situations and tough decisions at every turn. Many other compelling characters are superbly developed and give much to the plot which twists and weaves into such an intriguing storyline, I found it hard to put down. Talking books, a royal toad, a magic forest and Shakespearean references are just a few of the books creative highlights for me. The story grips you right out of the gate and continues straight through to the last page. In fact, the ending caught me by surprise as much as it did Maya and gave me the thought ‘this could easily be a movie’.

Ms Graves has a unique trait to her writing where she summarises some of the happenings in the book by way of revealing a comment or action to be carried out at a future time. She accomplishes this with the introductory phrase, ‘Later he would say…’, cleverly adding depth to the characters as well as the reader’s understanding of the bigger picture, all in a single sentence.

Even though the main character is a young adult, I believe the story would have appeal far beyond that age group. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and eagerly await Book 2 in The Great Library Series.

My daughter Margaret Maeve is a bit uncertain about writing her own book review for Maya and The Book of Everything. I was thinking I could interview her, asking some questions that would draw the review out of her and then publish it here in a Q&A format. What do you think? So I’m asking you, my dear readers, so please give me some suggestions about what questions I might ask her. All ideas will be thoughtfully considered!

Maya and The Book of Everything can be purchased from the following:

Order directly from Hinterland Press
Maya and the Book of Everything
$14.95 Quality Paperback

Get Maya and the Book of Everything from
$14.95 Quality Paperback
or $3.99 Kindle e-book

Get Maya and the Book of Everything
from Barnes & Nobel
$14.99 Quality Paperback

Get Maya and the Book of Everything
£12.20 Quality Paperback

Have a look at Laurie Graves blog, Notes From the Hinterland, or her Facebook page, where she expresses her creativity through her writings about “nature, home, community, books, writing, the environment, food, and rural life”.


    • I enjoyed it so, so much that I really had to share. I’m planning to post to Amazon as well which is where I purchased it through. Is there anything you’d specifically like me to ask Margaret Maeve when interviewing her?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie Graves says:

        Again, many, many thanks! I can’t tell you enough how much your review meant to me. Also, I really appreciate your posting to Amazon. Those reviews really do matter! Here is a question for Margaret Maeve: Andy, Sir John, and Simon all make terrible mistakes. Maya forgives them, but Lord Owen does not. Do you agree with Maya or Lord Owen? Or both?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Great one! I wouldn’t have thought of that. Will be interesting to hear her response. 🙂
          Amazon reviews have sold me (or not) absolutely everything I buy there. Have even googled while in front of an item in a department store. They do matter and I will most definitely submit mine. Cheers darling!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Paula Hendrickson says:

    Lovely, impassioned review, Melissa. I’m going to order this for the young adult inside my older adult self ☺.
    Perhaps you could ask MM this.
    What character trait/traits of Maya’s do you see in yourself?
    Hugs to you all there on Inis Mor.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Another great one. I think she’s much like Maya so I look forward to her answer. She said you always say such nice comments on her Instagram. It means so much to us both, for different reasons obviously. Hugs coming right back at you Paula. Xx


  2. Brenda says:

    What a lovely review Melissa. I still haven’t read it (apologies Laurie!) because I have had other books lined up ahead of it. I will move it up to the head of the list! You may want to ask Margaret Maeve which character(s) she like the best, and why.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I see you really like it! I must add to my list. I love books that make me travel to far away places and through time. I’d ask the author how much research time she put on it? I always imagine the author should read lots of books or know well the places that they writing about.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wonder that too, how much research is required and where does one even begin? I know Laurie Graves knows one of the settings well because it’s where she grew up, me too, although we’ve never met. I really liked that part because so much was familiar to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Laurie Graves says:

    Just saw this last question and it’s certainly set me thinking. As far as actual research, not too much. As Melissa noted, I grew up in central Maine, where the the novel is partially set, and I have lived here for most of my life. I know the area and the Franco-American culture very well. The parts of the novel where I really had to work hard were on the plot and in visualizing the Great Library, which was partially based on actual French castles. I actually had to draw the interior of the Great Library so I would know where things were.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Roz Hill says:

    I am just catching up Melissa, I have a question for both you and Margaret Maive.
    My granddaughter Gertie is now nine and she is a huge book worm, reading several books a week. They have recently moved from the Shropshire Hills to a small town fifteen minutes away from us! ( great) Gerties is so excited to be living 2 minutes away from the local library.
    Back to my question. What age group would you say this book is best suited for?
    And if you could recommend authors or favourite books that your children have read , suitable for a nine year old.
    Lovely reveiw btw Melissa!



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: