Monday, December 7, 2015

#AMonthofFavs: Most Unique or Memorable Read

A Month of Faves

Join hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge in looking back at the year that was, sharing your favs.  Check out the Event Schedule.

Today, the topic is Most Unique or Memorable Read, for good or bad reasons. Luckily, mine was for good reasons.

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

A Corner of White - Jaclyn Moriarty
Other authors: Fiona Hardingham (Reader), Andrew Eiden (Reader), Kate Reinders (Reader), Peter McGowan (Reader)

I've read Jaclyn Moriarty before, wonderful young adult fare set in Australia. Some have different titles in different countries which can make it hard to keep track, but The Year of Secret Assignments and Feeling Sorry for Celia, loosely connected books, were very cute. I tried another book, The Spell Book of Listen Taylor, which didn't work for me and I didn't finish. Witches were too weird. Then, this summer, I got A Corner of White from YA Sync, paired with Dracula by Bram Stoker. Short story long, I didn't know which book to expect.

Two parallel stories. Cambridge, England. Maybe Australia (Cello felt like Australia). Parallel worlds. Lots of science. World-building. Family problems. Colours that attack. Yeah, it got weird there.

While it took a while for me to get into this one, I persevered because the individual stories were interesting. There are two worlds, which have to be developed and set up with characters and back stories which was took a while. One in Cambridge and the other the kingdom of Cello. Once the two worlds connected however, I was hooked. Madeline found a note in a parking meter that was from Elliot in Cello. There is a crack in the space-time continuum connecting Madeline and Elliot. It takes a while for Madeline to understand that there is a real, other land, if she ever does. (Elliot already knows about our world - it's part of the history in Cello.) The pen-pals share their problems of being teenagers in difficult families.

And really, that's the strength. The characters of Madeline and Elliot, although young adult, where very real, and facing tough decisions. Their developing friendship and trust was delightful. Madeline and her mother have run away from her father, so are now living in much reduced circumstances. Elliot's father disappeared in a purple attack, but his uncle also died and the beautiful young teacher also went missing, making the death suspicious. Madeline is making new friends and having difficulty with her new life. Elliot is trying to clear his father's name. The letters between the teens were so good.

Cello was a different world, with colours. Now, me just telling you about them is weird, but the development that happened in the book made them make sense. Good world-building, right? The different 'colours' have different effects, and purples are terrorizing the land. (reminded me somewhat of dementors) There is also a Butterfly Child that comes each year and can be caught, bringing good luck, it taken care of properly. 

The middle part, once I got hooked, so a bit slower, but then wow! The last couple of chapters really took off, connecting some seemingly unrelated events, leaving the reader hunting for the second book. Only down side is that this book is the first in trilogy. The second book is released, Cracks in the Kingdom, and I hope to read it from my library next year. (Actually, I'm secretly hoping the second one will be on next year's YA Sync list, but I doubt it.)

I loved the references to Newton and science a lot.  No surprise that I loved the science references (Newton studied optics and colour, besides his gravity insights, his Laws of Motion, and inventing Calculus - I'm ignoring you, Leibniz fans) 

So many great elements tied together for the reader who is willing to trust that the author knows where she is taking you. I'm glad I was patient enough to be bought under the spell.

Also reviewed at The Book Smugglers (with deeper analysis, and more gushing)