Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Corner of White

A Corner of WhiteMoriarty, Jaclyn. A Corner of White (The Colors of Madeleine #1)
1 April 2013, Arthur A. Levine Books
E ARC from

Madeleine and her mother have run away from home and now live in Cambridge, where Madeleine is home schooled with her friends Jack and Belle.  She misses her father as well as her old way of life-- it used to be yacht and caviar, but now it's an attic flat and beans on toast. She finds a note sticking out of a parking meter and starts a correspondence with Elliot, who lives in the kingdom of Cello. It used to be that the World and Cello had people traveling back and forth, but now only small things can get through. Elliot has his own problems-- his uncle was killed in an attack by Purples, and his father and a local teacher have gone missing. His mother is renting out his father's electronic shop to a new family, and he manages to break his leg rescuing a Butterfly Child, so he can no longer go looking for his father. Both Elliot and Madeleine take strange comfort in their letters, and they manage to help each other out-- Elliot provides a cure for Madeleine's mother's illness, and Madeleine sends information about colors that help out Elliot. When Elliot's bravery brings him to the attention of the princesses who are touring the kingdom, he finds out that there is a national problem, and his contact with the World might make him the one to be able to solve it. This is the first book in a projected trilogy.
Strengths: I like the concept of the two worlds, and enjoyed the characters. This was very British, and I enjoyed the Cambridge setting. I really wanted to find out what would happen to both Elliot and Madeleine.
Weaknesses: This was oddly written-- some things that were important to the story weren't really explained (the color attacks still don't make sense to me), but then pages were spent describing odd things that didn't matter. Some of the dialogue was weirdly written. This was also really sad, but told in a lighthearted way. Ah. The author is Australian. That might be part of it. As I said, an intriguing book, but it might be hard to sell to students.

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