Review: A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Monday, July 15, 2013

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Author: Jaclyn Moriarty

Release Date: April 1st, 2013
Publisher: Arthur L. Levine Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 373
Source: Borrowed from Library
Series: The Colors of Madeleine #1

Summary ( This is a tale of missing persons. Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life, under mysterious circumstances, and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge (in our world).

Elliot, on the other hand, is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle was found dead. The talk in the town of Bonfire (in the Kingdom of Cello) is that Elliot's dad may have killed his brother and run away with the Physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.

As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds -- through an accidental gap that hasn't appeared in centuries. But even greater mysteries are unfolding on both sides of the gap: dangerous weather phenomena called "color storms;" a strange fascination with Isaac Newton; the myth of the "Butterfly Child," whose appearance could end the droughts of Cello; and some unexpected kisses...

My Review:
I admit the cover of a book usually draws me in. I found this book while at work and I almost didn't pick it up because the cover looked so contemporary and I was in a fantasy kind of mood. I was extremely bored though and it was the only YA book on my truck at the time. Thank goodness for my boredom because it turned out that the cover was misleading, as they usually are. The kingdom of Cello fascinates me. I love how it seems like it could be in our world what with the clothes and the manner of speaking and the types of jobs, but then bam someone starts talking about spells and dragons and I remember that Cello isn't part of our world. I also become quite sad then because they have magic and we don't. I want to add it to my road trip list and am heart broken when I remember that it isn't here in our world.
I loved the letters between Madeleine and Elliot. I loved that she didn't believe he existed, but that he knew all about our world. But it also bothered that she didn't believe Elliot existed. I have spent my whole life waiting for someone to come along and tell me about another world different from my own, so it doesn't seem quite fair that this girl has that and wastes the opportunity by thinking Elliot is some fantasy crazy from our world. I also know that that point of view probably makes me seem a little crazy as well, but I am okay with that. The fact that Elliot knew of our world made me wonder though why the worlds broke apart and what it would be like if they came back together.
I liked that Madeleine's and Jack's narratives alternated while in our world. I liked Jack's more than Madeleine's though. I think that's because I could relate to Jack more than Madeleine. Madeleine spent the whole novel lamenting her past, which was interesting in its own right, whereas Jack spent most of it searching for love. Jack also thought he was Lord Byron the poet though so that little detail reached out at my English Major heart. It's also because I really didn't like Madeleine as much as I liked Jack. Jack really cared about things. It seemed like Madeleine only cared about getting her old lifestyle back, she didn't care who she hurt in the process. Although Madeleine did grow on me and I quite liked her by the end of the novel.
I really liked Moriarty's writing style in A Corner of White. The way she described little actions or feeling were always completely spot on. She literally made colors come alive in Cello with her writing. Her characters were all so alive especially in Cello. The townspeople were all so great and they made the book special. I liked so many of the quirky characters in this novel from the Sheriff to the Princess Sisters. I am really glad I read this book and I am so excited for the next one!

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