Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

A Corner of White
by Jaclyn Moriarty
Series: The Colors of Madeleine #1
Publisher: Scholastic 
Publication date: April 1, 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
ARC provided in exchange for unbiased review
*purchase through buy links supports this blog


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. 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..
A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty is the first book in an exciting new series called The Colors of Madeleine. The tale offers a delightful mix of contemporary and fantasy filled with endearing and unique characters. Split between the Kingdom of Cello and modern day Cambridge the tale began slowly  but I soon found myself captivated as the author transported me into Madeleine and Elliot’s worlds. If I had to describe the book using three words I would say; Magical, Unique and Enchanting. I can already imagine the movie I just need Tim Burton to produce it.

Madeleine lives in “our world” in Cambridge with her mom and on a windy afternoon she spies something white wedged in a broken parking meter. She pulls on it, and twists and digs her fingernail between the cracks of the meter to reveal a note. It says, “Help me, I am being held against my will!” Madeleine finds this funny, after all it’s not as if someone is trapped in the meter! She decides to write back. Elliot lives in Bonfire a farming town in the Kingdom of Cello; a parallel world to ours. There he discovers a note in an old broken TV converted to art near the town square. The tale that unfolds divides its time between both worlds introducing us to two whimsical and lovable characters and the worlds they live in.

Madeleine is such a unique, quirky, and imaginative character.  Madeleine ran away from home and her mother went with her. They left a world of travel, cakes, and iPods and now live in a tiny flat in Cambridge, England and eat way too many beans. She loves to read and finds history fascinating  She is home schooled with two other children; Jack and Bella. A strange group of characters make up their tutors and I the lesson were rather curious. Madeleine dresses in color from her head to her toes and sees the world differently than those around her. She questions everything and I adored her. Elliot’s father disappeared on the night the Purples killed his uncle. He spends a lot of time traveling throughout the kingdom searching for his Dad. He is anxious to set out again to the Lake of Spells to catch a locator spell but family and the town keep him from leaving. Elliot is well liked by both the adults and children of Bonfire and they often look to him to solve problems. I found him loyal, protective, determined and brave. The budding friendship between Madeleine and Elliot began as humorous and developed into something deeper. They both have love interests and confide in each other. The citizens, and princesses of the kingdom added to the tale and their newspaper correspondence was hilarious. The characters were beautifully developed and we see growth throughout this first tale. I enjoyed the secondary characters like Jack who believes in reincarnated and Bella who claims to read auras.

At its core A Corner of White is about friendship and how two people from seemly different worlds can find common ground and issues. The world-building was fascinating, and the Kingdom of Cello felt original and fresh. We get a good sense of how the two worlds divided, and a history of Cello since the separation through the letter exchanges. The works of Isaac Newton, Byron and more influence our characters and aid them. Moriarty gave me a panoramic view of Elliot’s world and the descriptions were vivid from the colors to the game of deftball. She laid out the kingdom for us through Elliot and her descriptive writing helped immerse me into his world. Colors and the role they played in both worlds was fascinating as the author brought them to life. The Butterfly Child was positively wonderful and I loved this Kingdom lore. While I still have questions, the world-building was solid and a foundation has been laid. Madeleine’s world is familiar to us as the author brings the sights, smells and colors to life thorough Madeleine’s creative eye. Her world is more character driven and Elliot’s is more world-building and incredibly the author developed them both. We travel back and forth between Elliot’s and Madeleine’s worlds and for the most part I found the transition to move smoothly. A few times I resented leaving one world as the tale had me captivated, but I quickly became equally absorbed into the other. The interaction between them was hilarious, and as their friendship grew we began to see compassion, understanding and serious conversations. Suspenseful threads, character obstacles and mystery are woven into the tale, making our visits to each world enthralling. The ending closes these threads, and opens a few others. I love that we have a strong sense of where the next tale is taking us and I cannot wait to go.

Fans of fantasy will love A Corner of White with its magical world, and colorful characters. From the parallel worlds to the engaging plot its a place you won't forget with characters who will make you smile. At this time there is no information on the second book but this reader cannot wait.

Four cups of coffee out of five from the Watermelon Inn, Bonfire, The Farms; Kingdom of Cello 
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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53 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 10:01 PM , Anonymous BarkLessWagMore said...

This does sound really unique.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:01 PM , Anonymous Debbie Haupt said...

Hi Kimba, great review and I love the cover :)
Have a Happy Easter, Happy Passover to all
deb

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:32 PM , Anonymous Melissa (Books and Things) said...

This sounds very quirky and I like quirky. :) I also enjoy alternate universes. The characters also sound amazing. I would have thought it a contemp, but it really does sound like it is up my alley!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:58 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

Very nicely reviewed Kimba, you have captured how unique and quirky this book is. And you are right, we need Tim Burton to direct the film, now that would be fun!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:08 PM , Anonymous Nyx @ Unraveling Words said...

This one sounds like something I might read. Plus the author's last name is Moriarty. Every time I read it I kept thinking Sherlock LOL.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:29 PM , Anonymous Melissa's Midnight Musings said...

The cover on this is really cute! The story sounds really interesting, I'll definitely be checking this one out. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

It was different and I really enjoyed it I hope you get a chance to read it

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Nick said...

Oh yeah! So glad to hear that this one is good. I've been interested in this since I saw the cover and thought it looked cute. I need to get a copy when the book comes out.
I love that friendship is a strong theme in the book.
Lovely review, Kim!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Enjoy Nick this was unique.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh hope they grab a copy soon. You know this has a lot of quirky release date info. It's at B&N but Amazon says not available to Oct?!?

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

How odd! Very strange...



I just went to Amazon to check, and they will have the HC and Kindle editions on Apr. 1. They must just not have gotten the right pub date info at first, or someone perhaps someone keyed it wrong.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Lily B said...

wow that sounds very different and interesting, was always curious what this book is all about. That being said, I can see how it would fit under Tim Burton eheh

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Thanks Lily

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous A Belle's Tales said...

This sounds amazing! It reminds me a bit of The Lakehouse, and I love the cover! I am definitely adding this to my TBR. Thanks so much for sharing. Fantastic review! *hugs*

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This is one that both you and your daughter could enjoy

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I thought it was contemporary too, but it has that cool twist, it was all very refreshing and whimsical.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

Ooh! Definitely, definitely a book I must read! But my library doesn't have it... grrr. I will have to see if they plan to get it.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf said...

I love that cover and magical and quirky sound just about like the perfect read for me right now:) Great review.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Melissa, have a great weekend!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Anna@herding cats said...

Oh that sounds like a really cute read. I love that her mom ran away with her. How funny. Thanks for the heads up!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Agreed :) and your welcome

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Bielman said...

Okay, this sounds kind of like an odd book. I am still not sure what to think of it. And the cover is misleading. I never would have gotten this story out of that cover. But I am happy you enjoyed it. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yeah, the cover depicts Madeleine well, but not Elliot's world. It was different, almost magical and I must say it took me rather by surprise. thanks Jennifer.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Candace's Book Blog said...

Okay, I'm much more excited about this now. I got it for review but two close friends said it was a DNF for them. I think it's one you probably have to be in just the right mood for though so I'll just keep that in mind. Knowing you enjoyed it so much, and going by your description of the story, I'm much more confident in picking this one up!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

reviews on GR have been overwhelmingly positive..i say go for it!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Heidi said...

Whoa I totally had this pegged wrong I thought it was just a contemporary but now I am very curious. It sounds like a great read and I like the sound of the worlds. Love the cover as well. Have a wonderful weekend, KImba.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Heidi you too :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Glad you enjoyed it too, and yes I think Burton could deliver.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Deb, same to you :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

I don't know if this is something I would have picked up on my own but after reading your review I want to give it a try now, it sounds like a unique fun read.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

To be honest, I was sent it and I might have skipped right by it myself, I am delighted I decided to read it.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Jenny @ Supernatural Snark said...

Ooooo yay Kimba! I'm so glad to see this got a high rating from you, I just got a copy for review and was trying to decide if it would be a book for me or not. Based on your review, I'd say it is going to be for me. I love quirky characters, I always find them so endearing:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This was a great little read Jen, from the characters to the worlds

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Giselle Cormier said...

Omg so weird I JUST got this book 2 days ago and I had not seen or heard about it anywhere before and had no idea what to expect so I'M happy you posted this! I love a good friendship book and Madeleine sounds easily likeable too! This sounds like a great feel good book! :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, this was so original and I loved both characters.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

It was and we don't stumble upon that very often.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Enjoy Ellen this was neat.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Blodeuedd said...

The cover is cute..I wanna read it cos of that. Lol, I am bad

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

hehehe, that is what made me say yes, I loved the cover

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

It's clear that I've been living under a rock because I had no idea that this has fantasy elements. I love a dual POV too when it's well done, and I'm glad Madeleine's and Elliot's voices were distinctive and both their worlds so interesting. A definite must-read, I'd say.
Thanks for the lovely review, Kimberly.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I didn't know either going into it but I really enjoyed this colorful tale.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Jenea I enjoyed this one :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

This sounds completely fantastic. All the reviews I've read for it so far have been positive! I definitely plan to get my own copy soon to meet Madeleine and Elliot. I can't wait. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I think you will like this Sam :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Jen Ryland said...

Glad you loved this! Still not sure if it's for me but I enjoyed finding out more about it.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:31 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Jen, this was refreshingly original

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:31 PM , Anonymous Jaclyn Canada said...

I love the three words you used to describe it, but the very first thing that I noticed was that you said this was a book you would have Tim Burton produce. Definitely caught my attention :D I could immediately imagine the colors and strangeness that must've been involved just from that sentence. I have never heard of an author with my name and spelling so that's pretty neat. Wonderful review! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:31 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This was whimsical and I'd love to see Burton capture Madeleine and the kingdom of Cello.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:33 PM , Anonymous Lauren said...

I love really well written fantasy worlds, and have always enjoyed a good parallel world plot, and every review I read of this book has me convinced I'm going to love it. Madeleine sounds like an amazing heroine I would totally want to befriend. Lovely review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:33 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

this was just so unique and I loved both worlds, I ordered it for my nieces.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:33 PM , Anonymous Turning the Pages said...

Never heard of this one before but I'm hoping my library gets a copy so I can read it :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:33 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

this was just so whimsical and the characters were so unique.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:34 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

*happy dance* Another Sherlock fan like me..i thought the same dang thing!!! Nxy add your link or one of your accounts to Disqus ..so i can comment or visit your blog.

 

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