April 21, 2013

Review: A Corner of White

Title: A Corner of White
Author: Jacylyn Moriarty
ISBN: 9780545397360
Pages: 384
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Available: NOW at your local bookstore or library
Source: Netgalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop.

Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello – where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours.

They are worlds apart – until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white – the slim seam of a letter.

A mesmerising story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them.

My Thoughts:

I requested this novel because I was attracted to the cover as well as the storyline. It took me roughly eight days to read it, not because the novel is badly written but because I could not get into it. That changed when my Kindle said I was 66% into the story.

My first piece of advice: do not read this on your Kindle. I was confused from the get-go of the story. It could be because I was running on the treadmill when the story first opened, but once I was lost, it took a while for me to find myself back on track with the story.

Now that I’ve finished reading, I can honestly say I enjoyed the novel as a whole. The plot was clever and interesting; however, it seems as if the author dragged it out too long. At 66% into the story I was hooked, intrigued, and couldn’t put it down until it was down. For the first 65% I was confused, not engaged with the characters, looking for a reason to care.

In other words, the pacing was too slow for 65%. Too, too slow. This can be a risk with a teen audience, but it seems from what I’ve read of others’ thoughts on the novel, I may be on my own with this. And that’s okay. It’s not that the book didn’t work for me. I enjoyed it. The pacing didn’t.

As for the characters, it took me a while to really invest in them. Madeleine and Elliot. Two teens from two worlds, each with a mystery within their own lives to solves. Can they help one another? This element I enjoyed, especially toward the end. It was during their “conversations” that the plot really seemed to move. When we were in their worlds, that is when the plot seemed too slow—for me.

I found myself more invested in Elliot as a character than Madeleine. Maybe it is because I found his mystery a lot more intriguing, especially with the reveals toward the end. He is struggling, simply wanting to know what became of his father, keeping faith that his dad did not run off with that teacher, no matter what anyone else says. His loyalty throughout the story, with his father as well as with communicating with Madeleine, helped move me through the story. He is an honorable character. Until the very last page.

Madeleine’s character was a bit harder for me to grasp. She is homeschooled, has two friends, and is pining for a life that she no longer lives. The problem with her focus on her past life is that she is missing what is right in front of her. Now this is something a lot of people can connect with, but the execution of her character and storyline did not work for me. I found her annoying, and I found myself reading the dialogue and moving through her story as quickly as possible. Then, the author throws readers a curveball to “humanize” her, and while this did happen for me as a reader, I still do not like her character.

With all that said, I am going to read the next novel. Why? I’ve got to know what the Colours really are. I’ve got to know how the crack between Elliot and Madeleine’s worlds happened. I’ve got to know what Cello is, if it’s a metaphor for something bigger in life. I’ve got to know if Elliot finds his father. I’ve just got to know.

There are so many unanswered questions, and I hope some of the answers are addressed in the next novel. I am realist. I know the author cannot answer all of my questions. There is more to write. But still. Throw a girl a bone.

As I stated earlier, at the novel’s conclusion I decided I did enjoy it as a whole piece. While there were elements here and there I did not enjoy, I don’t think they’re worth you not giving the novel a shot. Different strokes for different folks, and I seem to be in the minority with not connecting to it.

Have you read this novel? What are your thoughts? What book have you recently read that you didn’t necessarily enjoy but hung on until the end? Was it worth it?

Happy Reading!

-      The Hodgenator

1 comment:

  1. I feel like I can relate with you on changing your point of view of a book on the conclusion. The conclusion is always what gets me no matter how utterly boring a book is. This book seems like a good read! :)

    Jahzeiah @ Mermaed Books


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