Monday, June 10, 2013

Book Review: Far Far Away

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, specificially, 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. . .

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal caught my eye when I read that it included Jacob Grimm. Or, rather, his ghost. I'm a huge lover of faery tales.

I had a bit of trouble getting into this one. The ghost of Jacob Grimm narrates the story while the two main characters are Jeremy Johnson Johnson and Ginger Boultinghouse. It was confusing at first as it reads like a 3rd person narrative, but it's not. It's first person, but our narrator spends most of the time observing and little time interacting. Then when he says "I" I had to think about who was speaking. Unfortunately, it took me a third of the book to get used to this.

It also took me about a third of the book to start caring about Jeremy and Ginger. The start was slow, but once it picked up, I didn't want to put it down. The main characters were a lot fun, and I really enjoyed their relationship. The interactions with those around town were interesting and diverse. And the twist when the villain is revealed was surprising.

Far Far Away was really interesting. I've used that term a few times, but it really fits. And it was a very enjoyable read. I'm sad that it appears to be a standalone. I learned some new words in German and Swedish and some interesting facts about two of my favorite fairy tale collectors. I recommend this book to anyone looking for something different. It is certainly unique among YA books that have hit shelves recently.


Nichole said...

I'm a huge fan of fairy tales, too, so this looked interesting to me as well, but from what you're saying I think I would have the same problems with it... Kinda disappointing when that happens after being so interested in a book.

I'm a follower with a new blog though, you should come check it out!

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