Monday, May 27, 2013
A Corner of White
A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
Arthur A Levine Books, 2013
YA Fantastical Contemporary
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was a book about which I had seen a lot of buzz, hailed as something truly unique and extraordinary. With praise like that, who could resist? Having finished, I see where that stems from but I don't know if this book was quite as special as it was made out to be. The ending in particular where secrets are revealed and everything comes together, though satisfying, was very expected by me. I'm not saying I was able to predict everything but when certain pieces of information were uncovered, I nodded in assent to the turn of events rather than gasping in surprise or clutching the book ever tighter in a frantic effort to discover what comes next.
It is rather difficult to write a plot summary but I'll give it a shot here. We alternate between two worlds: one is ours and the other is Cello, a kingdom plagued by dangerous Colors. In our world we closely follow Madeleine who strikes up a correspondence with Elliott in Cello via letters exchanged through a crack. Although at first they seem very different and separate, as the story progresses, the threads thicken and we can see the connections.
The writing for this book is very free-wheeling with seemingly random digressions into historical figures like Isaac Newton and Lord Byron but again everything does come together in a very pleasing conclusion. It's just that the beginning was a bit of a slog to my mind-it took entirely too long to really gain steam and capture my interest.
Both of the main characters have their commonalities as in their separation from their fathers (although for very different reasons), a longing to leave their setting for somewhere else (something that is largely sated by the end), and of course a certain amount of curiosity that encouraged them in their letter-writing exchange across worlds. Oddly I think I preferred Elliott's sections, enjoying learning about the land of Cello and the town of Bonfire. I consider this odd as I tend to prefer female protagonists in a contemporary setting so one would have thought I'd prefer Madeleine's narrative.
The big test for a first book (as this is the first in a series) is if I would read the second and while I am not craving the next book as I am in other series, it is still something I would like to check out as I feel that all the set-up in this book could pay off in a big way in subsequent books.
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