Monday, May 27, 2013

A Corner of White


A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
4/5 stars
Arthur A Levine Books, 2013
373 pages
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.

Other Opinions:
A Reader of Fictions
Alexa Loves Books
Steph Su Reads
Unforgettable Books

20 comments:

  1. :) I enjoyed Elliot's POV a bit more too. Wonderful review!
    I had a different feeling from the end, the urgent need to see what happens next, yet i understand your different feelings.
    Thanks for linking to my review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, loved seeing your thoughts on this book!

      Delete
  2. Yes, at least you can say you're interested in reading the second book. At least, by the end, you aren't deterred or completely uninspired to go on with it. That does say a lot for this book, or any book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is sometimes the main feeling I have about a book and I think there are worse things to think at the end.

      Delete
  3. Interesting... I actually got this one for review but I had seen only negative reviews so I hadn't picked it up. I had a friend tell me she DNF'd it (two friends actually) cause the beginning was so slow but they'd heard it got better. I certainly don't have patience for a slow start right now, but since you did end up enjoying the book I'll plan to pick it up once I have a bit more patience for books (once I whittle down the TBR).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely need to have a lot of patience to make it through the beginning but then you start seeing it all come together and why it is worth it.

      Delete
  4. I quite enjoyed this one - I loved the blend of contemp with the fantasy :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked the contemp/fantasy blend too-those can be some of my favorite stories!

      Delete
  5. Oooh, yay! I'm glad you reviewed this! I'm reading my first book by this author right now (The Year of Secret Assignments), and I'm liking it so far, so I've been wondering if this newest book is any good. Happy to see you generally enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have read a few of her books but I really want to read the others-summer project!

      Delete
  6. I've seen this one, and I think it is a book that I would like. Gonna have to check my library and see if they carry it. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this is more of a library read too-hope you can find it!

      Delete
  7. I am not sure this one is for me -- not as much of a fan of stuff like magical realism and contemporary blended with fantastic or paranormal elements. But great review!

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think this book is quite enchanting but it takes a while to reach that point. I loved the mix here!

      Delete
  8. I started this one, and couldn't seem to get into it, so I stopped. It does sound really interesting and unique, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a really slow beginning-it does pay off but it takes a long time.

      Delete
  9. I'm looking forward to reading this one, I love the work of all three Moriarty sisters. Must admit from reading other reviews I was expecting a lot but I'll now go in to it with realistic expectations ... good review :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know she had two sisters-now I'm very keen to give all their work a try (if I can find it in the US).

      Delete
  10. Never heard of this before, but ohh. Pretty cover :D Love all the colors. Thank you for sharing your honest review. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed it :) The plot sounds pretty amazing. Might have to check it out ;p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love all the colors too-that's kind of how I dress IRL. I think this was a really interesting read and that you should definitely give it a shot.

      Delete

Thank you for commenting-I love to read your thoughts! Feel free to leave a link to your latest post so I can stop by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...