The first time fifteen-year-old Maya Hammond sees the man who didn’t smile, she’s on a train on the way to visit her grandparents in Maine, and he’s carefully watching another woman—a woman who looks afraid. Maya has always had intuition no one else does, and when she sees the woman, she knows she must help her. When she walks past, the woman slips a mysterious book into Maya’s bag—and the next time she looks, both the man and the woman have disappeared.
Maya soon discovers that the book is known as the Book of Everything. It can give advice, spirt people through time and space, but most important of all, it tells the truth. The Book of Cinnial, sent long ago to battle the Book of Everything, spreads lies and discord wherever it can. So far, the Book of Everything usually triumphs—but if it falls into the hands of the opposing group, the world would fall apart.
Maya meets Andy, a boy from the 1970s, when the Book of Everything sends her back in time. Then she and Andy are thrown into another world, known as Ilyria, where two dukes are battling for rule, an ancient and magical forest is in danger, and nefarious forces are attempting to make a stand. There, Maya will uncover secrets and gain new powers—but will it be enough to save not one, but two Books of Everything?
Maya and the Book of Everything was an excellent fantasy. Laurie Graves wrote a well-rounded plot which kept surprising me with twists I never would have anticipated. Maya was a clever and interesting heroine who I absolutely loved. The themes on books and reading were also fun, reminding me (although slightly younger than this book) of Finding Serendipity. I would highly recommend Maya and the Book of Everything to lovers of fantasy and complex plots ages twelve and up.