A Corner of White
by Jacyln Moriarty
Original Publishing Date: April 1, 2013
Approximate length: 400 pages
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Obtained Via: Advanced copy given by publisher through netgalley in exchange for honest review
Format Read In: Kindle ebook
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I’ll be honest here: I did not finish this book. I probably wouldn’t have written a review for this book if I hadn’t read an advanced copy for review, but because I did read in that format, I still wanted to share my thoughts.
There will be many readers who like this book, and that’s why I’m hesitant to share some of my misgivings. I don’t think this is a bad book, and it’s a bit hard to see where it went wrong for me. I don’t think I would have LOVED this book, but the summary is a book that just screams me. This is exactly the type of book I love to read, and I hate that I didn’t like it.
I mostly decided not to finish this book because at thirty percent in, I didn’t feel I truly knew anything about the characters or cared about them. The most I got about Madeleine and Elliot was from there 2 to 3 page letters. The rest of the book, including the majority of the first quarter, I felt I had no idea who these people were suppose to be or why I should care about them. I just never felt any resonance.
I also had trouble getting absorbed in to the story because I could never forget I was reading someone’s writing. Normally there’s a moment within the first few pages of a book that makes me forget I’m reading words and make me become absorbed in to the story again, but that never happened in this book. Some of the description was over-the-top and I couldn’t overlook it. I like experimental and quirky writing, but it has to suck me in to the story first. I remember reading a line about car headlights scowling and I had to just sit there for a few seconds re-reading the sentence to make sure I read it right the first time.
I did enjoy the the chapters that were set in the world of Cello more, even though they tended to be confusing. I think if I read on I probably would have understood the world better, but I did like the quirky and unique aspects of it. I think I could have really liked this book if it was set only in Cello. As much as I love parallel world stories, this one just didn’t do it for me.
Final Impression: There are definitely readers who will enjoy this book in all it’s fun, quirky aspects, but I just didn’t feel enough connection to the characters to continue with the story. I’m not giving this book a rating since I didn’t finish, but I will say this is a book that is most likely going to be hit-or-miss for many people. I’ve heard a lot of positive reviews, so if it sounds like your kind of book, I still recommend giving it a shot.