Few and far between. Nevertheless, A Corner of White is a splash of color in a genre suffering from cliches; a genre where originality has become a Rating: 4. Nevertheless, A Corner of White is a splash of color in a genre suffering from cliches; a genre where originality has become a thing of legend. As such, although it is not a book everyone will love, it is a book I firmly believe everyone should read.
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Levine Books Publication date: April 1 Hardcover: pages The first in a rousing, funny, genre-busting trilogy from bestseller Jaclyn Moriarty! 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.
But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth. She is an amazing writer of nuanced works and I will read anything she writes. So yeah. Review: As usual, when it comes to a Jaclyn Moriarty book, I find myself not knowing if I have the right words to express the awesomeness.
This is where Madeleine Tully lives with her mother, who seems to be losing her mind. Madeleine is homeschooled together with her two new friends Jack and Belle.
Madeleine wears all the colours of the world because she sees no colours in the world around her. She wants to go back home so maybe her father will come and rescue them if she apologies for running away.
The Kingdom of Cello: more specifically Bonfire, the Farms. A world where seasons change randomly, where crops are failing and everybody is waiting for the Butterfly Child to come and save them and where Colours are monsters. This is where Elliot Baranski lives with his mother after his father disappeared a few months before and after his uncle was killed in a Purple attack. Everybody thinks his father — a known womaniser — ran away with the school teacher who also disappeared that night, but Elliot knows different and is adamant a Purple has taken his father.
He plans on rescuing him and proving everybody wrong. And now, there is a crack between these worlds and a mysterious random at first note slips through. Nonetheless, the two strike up a correspondence and through these letters develop a strangely compelling relationship, helping each other along the way.
The latter comes through in the way that explores certain themes like self-identity, growing up, relating to others.
Although those are obviously not exclusive themes to Contemporary YA, there are still typical of the subgenre and deftly explored here. The Kingdom of Cello is a fantastical place with Fantasy elements that appear outlandish and random at first colours as monsters! Although these rules have little to do with Science — which is what holds The World together. Or so it seems. Science plays a huge role here because in The World Madeleine is studying Isaac Newton for her history class, and becomes more and more interested in the science of colours which she shares in her letters to Elliot.
But part of the book is also told in epistolary format and interspersed in the narrative are the letters between Elliot and Madeleine, newspapers clippings following the Royal Princesses travels around Cello in a journey that is random at first as well as bits from a travel book about Cello. If you know anything at all about Jaclyn Moriarty, you will probably know she is a genius when it comes to crafting epistolary narratives, specially the way that those relates to the plot and the characters.
How many times have I used these words in this review so far? Just like the topics I addressed in this way, my choice of using these words is not random at all. Because in fact, in this book? Everything is important.
Every single thing that at first appears random, is not. A Corner of White is a book that expects a certain level of commitment and patience from its readers. And maybe not everybody might be invested in the type of story it tells or have the patience to see it unfold slowly. This is a book that is built on appearances and assumptions. Nothing is like what it seems. The narrative is unreliable because everybody in this book is an unreliable narrator. Not because they mean to be but because nobody truly knows each other or in a way, themselves.
Relationships are built based on misperceptions, a character appears silly and wacky when observed by another character but completely different when the viewpoint changes. Above all, I absolutely loved how this was played into the story, which is full of moments of ambiguity. You might think you are reading about a random tea party in Grantchester but that can be interpreted as people developing roots and connections.
That random sound that a character describes and it appears as an inconsequential piece of information, is not. Similarly, the way characters perceive each other and the way external expectations are played here?
Take Elliot, for example, who is the golden boy of Bonfire. People expect great things from him; he is the best at everything is he? This obviously plays into a historical narrative that often gives power to the man as though he is the only one with the power in the dynamics of his relationships. But the narrative here turns this into its head, as Elliot is someone who actually truly loves his girlfriend and the one who ends up with a broken heart after his girlfriend makes the decision to go to university far away.
And even though he eventually walks into that role he is expected to play, it is not for the reasons people ascribe to him or results in the expected way. Those external expectations and interpretations are also at play here when it comes to reading the book. Is that character truly superficial or you think they are because of the way said character plays with the stereotype of superficiality? What strikes me the most about A Corner of White is how very human a story this is.
Perhaps this will be further developed in the next book. I also wished that her worlds were more diverse and not so uniformly white. You must read this. Colour me sorry, inevitable pun completely in love with this. No seasons at all, as a matter of fact, at least not in the traditional sense. The Farms! The golden wheat fields, the cherry orchards, the laconic grins and ambling gaits of the Farmers! Blahdy, blahdy, hooray for Farmers!
Blah, blah, pumpkin pie! The question is wrong. Correct question: why would you not visit Cello? Keeping in mind that you can always skip the Farms, why on earth would you not visit Cello? Additional Thoughts: We are a stop on The Colours of Madeleine Blog Tour today, with a guest post from Jaclyn Moriarty and we are giving away a super cool prize which includes a copy of the book.
Go HERE to check it out.
A Corner of White