August 19, 2013
Concerning Character: At first, you aren't quite sure what's real. Madeleine clearly lives in the real world, in Cambridge, England. But Elliot, who lives in the Kingdom of Cello? We read about him as though he is real, but is he, truly? Is he an invention? A fiction? How can a world where colors take sentient form be actual? Because Madeleine and Elliot are connected with one another, able to communicate through notes left in a parking meter, a portal from one universe to another. Madeleine doesn't quite believe it, while Elliot is the more credulous one...but both characters are real and solid and believable, regardless. And they have to make that leap of faith, each about the other one's existence, in order to deal with their troubles, to reach out and connect. Very profound, when you think about it. As always, I adore every single one of Moriarty's characters, which are drawn with her usual humor and quirkiness. Even the ones who aren't quite as likeable--and there are some--demand your attention. I hope to create characters even half as memorable.
Recommended for Fans Of...: Books about alternate universes, that make you question what's real and right in front of you. Fans of Diana Wynne Jones, I think, would really like this one, especially if you liked the Howl's Moving Castle books.
Themes & Things: Even with all the shiny things in this book--alternate universes and their intriguing differences, for instance--there are core themes that make the story itself solid, not just bells and whistles. Friendship, and what it means to trust others, help them, allow them to help you. Family, and how deep those bonds go, and how far you'll go to keep those bonds alive. Who you are at your core, independent of the trappings of your own world or any remnants of your past that you might cling to, and how it is you define that elusive sense of self. There is a ton of depth here, and the book's structure and unique slant serve to highlight that depth rather than distract from it, in my opinion. Another fabulous read from one of my favorite YA authors.
Review Copy Source: Library.
You can find A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty online, or at an independent bookstore near you!