First of all I have to say that Jaclyn Moriarty is one of my all time favourite authors! I was introduced to her works by a dear friend of mine, (who actually happens to be a family friend of the Moriarty clan according to my memory), when I was in my early High School years. This special friend sent me a copy of "Finding Cassie Crazy" (also known as The Year of Secret Assignments) and may have mentioned "Feeling Sorry for Celia" in one of her letters. Now that I think about it I can't remember which one I actually read first... Hmmn... Anyway back to the author.
The target audience of Jaclyn's books are teens and young adults although I must say that I do think adults will enjoy these books too! (With the exception of "I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes" the only adult novel Moriarty has published to date...as far as I am aware. It's a got a great plot and twist but really is for adults, not one to read to the kids before bed.)
Moriarty has a rather clever and unique writing style in that her stories on a general whole are narrated by random post-its, notifications, diary entries, letters, memoirs and emails in some cases court hearings; which sometimes seem to almost be thrown at the reader all at once. Often all of the information and notes seem somewhat jumbled, random and disconnected and it is only as the reader progresses through the story that these become threads of clues which twist and turn and tie up neatly at the end to make for very very satisfying reading. Moriarty has made a fine art of making the small and seemingly insignificant details become crucial elements to the direction of the plot, often resulting in pleasantly unexpected plot twists and surprises.
Moriartys' writing contains a fresh and modern out look on the world and if there is one thing she knows well it is the minds and teen spirit of young people and to quote one of her characters:
"...the joy of the envelope..." Mr Botherit - Finding Cassie Crazy 2003
With all of this information in tow, as well as being familiar with Moriarty's writing style I must say I was a little bit skeptical when I heard of the concept that Moriarty had planned for her next novel. This being a magical fantasy concept to be set in a magical kingdom called Cello forming a trilogy series. The first in the series being "A Corner of White". I personally was not sure what the writing style was going to be like and whether it really would suit a magical fantasy type novel.
I L O V E L O V E L O V E D this B O O K !!!
It's a fresh and modern telling of when two different worlds collide and contains a concoction of magic, science, sensibility, heart, culture, soul, the imaginary, the make believe and the human condition.
Like most of her novels the loose ends all come together to tie up neatly at the end however in the case of this book the ends only tie up to make the first stage of a bow. It is just enough to leave the reader with a feeling of satisfaction but also leaves the reader with questions and an appetite to be satiated with the (in my case highly anticipated) next installment of the series.
The writing style compared to her previous novels has a bit more narrative compared to the short snippets of notes or letters, however I think it is necessary and well suited for the genre. The story has elements of romance, adventure, action, mystery and intrigue. So far the first part of this trilogy has been light on the romance and magical elements, (so if you're not a fan of that please don't let it deter you from a great read, and if you do like that you'll still like this book), focusing more on character growth and plot. (Which in my opinion is absolutely fine, whether or not the author will choose to delve deeper into these themes in the later books is unknown.) I should also make note that it is a little bit fact heavy, so just be prepared for that. The first book makes for a lovely coming of age story with potential for more growth to be seen in the future.
I would recommend this book to just about anybody. As far as mature themes go...hmmmn... The main protagonists in the story are 15 year old teenagers, so of course there is the odd sexual reference (NO sex scenes) and themes to do with parental relationships and alcoholic fathers. There's no explicit language written, if a character does use that sort of language it will just say So-and-So swore etc. I think this novel would be appropriate for those 13 years and older. :)
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If you would like to see what Jaclyn Moriarty is up to you can check out her official page HERE!
And if you would like to you can ORDER and BUY the book HERE!!!