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Reviewed by Tina Stanciu for Readers' Favorite
Journey Within a Story by Giovanni Venturi is a short tale about a little boy who is trapped inside a library and is struggling with the real and the imaginary. The story starts by painting the image of the little boy reading a book inside a tiny library, a book that he is more than familiar with, a book with which he has a mystical connection. The story then introduces small elements of surprise, making the reader wonder more and more about the little boy and the realm of his imagination. We later find out that the library world was created by little Daniele as a response to a tragic event that marked his life, an event that he was not ready to deal with. The landscapes, the voices, the other characters, they all seem so real in the mind of the little boy, giving the story a sense of authenticity that not many fantasies have.
Giovanni Venturi does an amazing job in writing this short fantasy. He kept readers interested and engaged all throughout the story; you even feel like you are part of it. You feel what little Daniele is feeling; you ask yourself the same questions that little Daniele is asking and, even if there is a point in the story when you start to understand his world, you still hope that something will happen that will make it all right. Great books have a way of doing this to readers, keeping them in the heart of the plot, making them sympathize with the characters and root for their happy ending.
Journey Within a Story is the type of book that, even though it is short, has a power that some largest novels don’t have until the end; the power to make readers part of the story, to make them feel like they are having their own journey within a story.