Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for (not really) A Corner Of White

 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.

I'm going back to reading MG books. Bye bye YA and welcome MG. I just finished reading A Corner Of White: The Colors of Madeleine Freeman and it reminded me of the better half of MG books (although this book is like 8th grade/early teens kind of MG). Other than the fact that it was just a little too long and some parts seemed to lag, it's a great read. One of the most prominent things that is done successfully in MG books and not so well, if done at all, in YA books is multiple characters, each of equal importance to the story. When it's done in YA books, it feels like too much and gets confusing, but when done well, like in A Corner Of White, it makes the story much more interesting. 

A Corner Of White is slow. Absurdly slow. Nothing really happens for the first half of the book, as we get to know the characters, their lifestyle, their personality, and while I'm sure there are going to be lots of readers who find this slowness incredibly boring, and not like the book because of that, I enjoyed it.Why? Because the writing is beautiful. Absolutely breathtaking. It's fun and lyrical and positively lovely, and even hilariously sweet (or sweetly hilarious - it's both). The storyline itself is original, though confusing at times. There is a made up Kingdom of Cello, and then there's a real world. Two people, one from each side, cross paths, because of a tiny slip of white peeking out of a parking meter. It blurs the line between the real and the fake (but it's not really fake - in fact, the kingdom of Cello might be more real than out own world) Did I mention how much I loved the characters? I really don't know what to say, but even for those of you who don't read fantasy, I highly recommend you pick up this book and give it a try. You'll be pleased. Oh, I'm also going to buy the print hardcover version of this book, because I'm sick of all the good books being restricted to electronic format. And the cover is also beautiful.

It's a fantasy with cracks and princesses and letters and quiz shows and missing people and poetry and science and magical realism and lots and lots of cleverness. It is, after all, quite perfect.

Favorite Quotes:
  • "You need to go," she said, and the words surprised her when she said them. She thought they would stay at the calm, even level, at the level of the laughter, but they didn't. They surged up into a terrible kind of shriek: "You need to go and see a doctor!" and she slammed the door behind her. The slam ate the last half hour of laughter.
  •  He can see it clearly now, falling - the glass jar and a little tumble of color inside. That's her, That's the Butterfly Child, tumbling around in the tumbling jar. He knows what he can catch and what he'll miss - and he's running like he never ran before, but this one, he knows he's going to miss. 
  • "Nah, it's just that you can't follow the complicated pathways of my brain. It's like a labyrinth, my brain, and as beautiful as a brain can get. What I mean is, there's too much going on with Madeleine. It's like when you get every paint color and mix them up, you end up with not a proper color at all. Madeleine's lived in so many bloody different places and she wears so many different bloody colors. You know what I mean? So she's not a proper person anymore, she's just a mess. Like, she doesn't exist."
  • "Ada was smarter," Belle interrupted. "She had measles when she was a kid and she had to go to bed for, like, a year. So she had nothing to do with her brain except get intelligent."   
This book deserves more than a five stars. Also, this is going to be a series. This is me dancing (you can't really see me, but I'm busting some awesome moves over here) because that means there's going to be more good stuff. Now if the next book in the series would please just hurry up and come out. 
Special thanks to Scholastic for providing me with a review copy NetGalley.