A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty is the first book in a quirky YA fantasy series.
ran away, but this time her mother came, too. Now the two of them live
in gloomy Cambridge, far from the glamorous lifestyle they shared with
Madeleine's father. Madeleine has made friends with Jack and Bella, two
local teens, and they've finagled a haphazard system of homeschooling,
spreading different subjects among the various adults they know.
Madeleine sometimes misses her old life. Then, one day, she finds a
mysterious letter slipped under a broken parking meter -- and she writes
Elliot lives in the kingdom of Cello, in the farmlands. In
Elliot's world, rogue colors occasionally attack, which is what
happened on the night Elliot's father disappeared. Of course, that
doesn't exactly explain how Elliot's uncle was killed, or why the
attractive high school physics teacher also disappeared. Elliot does not
believe his father would run away with another woman, so he spends all
of his time and energy searching for a way to trace his father and
rescue him if he is being held somewhere against his will. In the
meantime, time marches on, and there are other things demanding Elliot's
attention -- the Deftball championship, for instance, and the Butterfly
Child, and the Royal Progress, and the strange family who are renting
his father's electronics shop. And, of course, the letters from a girl
in The World that keep materializing in a sculpture one of his friends
built . . .
This is an eclectic mix of elements that somehow
manages to work, though it's perhaps a bit of a slow starter. The
characters are complex and not always entirely reliable, and the
convoluted plot and interesting use of colors reminded me a little bit
of Jasper Fforde. I liked the way the story wrapped up,
and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes next.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)