The semester is over! School work is done until the fall! What better way to celebrate the warm weather and your newly discovered freedom? Reading, of course! A Corner of White, by Jacyln Moriarty, is a magnificent place to start.
"We must think outside of ourselves, Madeleine. Live for others, not just yourself. If you do not learn this thing, people will give up on you. You only get so many chances."
Madeleine and Elliot are two teenagers with problems. Madeleine has recently moved to Cambridge with her mother and yearns for the life they left behind. Elliot's father has been missing for quite some time and he is desperate to know if he has just run off, like the townspeople are saying, or if something more sinister has happened to him. What's the catch? They live in separate worlds. Literally. While Madeleine lives in THIS world, the one with which we are familiar, Elliot lives in a paralell world, in a kingdom named Cello. Through an act of serendipity, they have come in contact with each other through letters passed through a crack between the worlds. And they find that while some problems may seem overwhelming on their own, together, they might be able to find the answers they're looking for.
I certainly was not expecting this book to blow me away like it did. I was not expecting it to make me laugh and cry at various parts either. And I definitely didn't expect that I would come away from it knowing that I would count it among one of my favorite reads of the year thus far. But I am!
I fell head over heels in love with this book. The main two protagonists, Elliot and Madeleine are extremely likable but also extremely flawed. This is a book about growth and discovery. Both Elliot and Madeleine learn what it is about themselves that is holding them back and they overcome it. Simple, but beautiful. I truly loved watching these two come into their own. The two supporting characters from Madeleine's world, Jack and Belle, were hilarious and sweet to read about. (If you imagine Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series, you've pretty much summed up Belle) The story was full of depth, especially since it spanned two different worlds, but it never really felt like a 'fantasy' or 'science fiction' book. It felt like just a beautiful coming of age story.
And the dialogue was simply fantastic. It was hilarious! Poignant! Emotional! It didn't feel like reading dialogue, it felt like I was right there in the conversation with the characters! Take, for example, this passage between Jack and Belle:
"Belle, I sometimes think you haven't got a clue what you are talking about."
"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 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."
Jack stopped talking altogether and turned to Belle.
"You are being racist beyond all my abilities for measuring racism", he said. "You don't say that someone who's mixed race is a mess, Belle. Do you actually want to know what race she is? She's part Iranian, part Somali, part Polish, part Irish, and a little bit of Tibetan. She's not a mess, she's beautiful."
"You can't be all those things," said Belle, flicking his words away. "See, that's my point. You can't. That's like five different people had to have sex to make her, which is not possible. Only two people can have sex."
"I'm not sure you've got the hang of genetics." Jack began to walk again. "Or of sex parties."
Additionally, I wanted to briefly mention the writing style. It was so gorgeous. The words dripped like honey off the page, that's how sweet they were! It reminded me a lot of Tanith Lee and Patricia McKillip, two of my favorite fantasy authors who write in the same type of style.
She knew who she'd been, but it felt like a dream. She'd been a girl who ran so fast, even down a hallway to her bedroom, she'd had to skid on her heels to stop. She'd talked like the rainfall. She'd loved the smells of things-cinnamon, coconut, lime. She'd loved loud music, and dancing, and if she was that girl right now, she'd bee with her friends and they'd lose their minds, open the window, throw the sewing machine out into the rain. Just to watch it fall four floors to the ground. Where was she now, the girl with the thunderstorm heart?
In any case, I really can't do this book as much justice as it deserves. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone, no matter what type of genre you prefer! It's a perfect book to start out with this summer.