Saturday, July 20, 2013

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Author: Tom McNeal
Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date of publication: June 2013

It says quite a lot about Jeremy Johnson Johnson that the strangest thing about him isn't even the fact his mother and father both had the same last name. Jeremy once admitted he's able to hear voices, and the townspeople of Never Better have treated him like an outsider since. After his mother left, his father became a recluse, and it's been up to Jeremy to support the family. But it hasn't been up to Jeremy alone. The truth is, Jeremy can hear voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of the infamous writing duo, The Brothers Grimm. Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from an unknown dark evil whispered about in the space between this world and the next. But when the provocative local girl Ginger Boultinghouse takes an interest in Jeremy (and his unique abilities), a grim chain of events is put into motion. And as anyone familiar with the Grimm Brothers know, not all fairy tales have happy endings. . .

I have very mixed feeling about this book.  I guess I have to say that I liked it, but didn't at the same time.  I liked the idea for the story.  I also enjoyed picking out elements of the Brothers' Grimm fairy tales that are woven in the tale.  I liked the mystery and the dark turn that the story takes.

What I didn't like was the pacing.  The story was kind of boring.  Not a lot happens for a long time. The story only gets good at about the halfway mark.  I know this is marketed for a middle grade level, but I have to wonder if most of them will make it through the first half of the book. The characters were kind of forgettable as well.   If you can stick with it, the ending is good if not a little sad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have heard the same complaint from a couple of other reviewers. Too bad, I was thinking of reading it but now I am not sure. Thanks for sharing!