A Corner of White (The Colors of Madeleine #1) by Jaclyn Moriarty0
The first in a rousing, funny, genre-busting trilogy from bestseller Jaclyn Moriarty!
This is a tale of missing persons. Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life, under mysterious circumstances, and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge (in our world).
Elliot, on the other hand, is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle was found dead. The talk in the town of Bonfire (in the Kingdom of Cello) is that Elliot's dad may have killed his brother and run away with the Physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.
As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds -- through an accidental gap that hasn't appeared in centuries. But even greater mysteries are unfolding on both sides of the gap: dangerous weather phenomena called "color storms;" a strange fascination with Isaac Newton; the myth of the "Butterfly Child," whose appearance could end the droughts of Cello; and some unexpected kisses...
I am in love with this cover. The use of vibrant colors is done in such an appealing way that I know I wouldn't be able to leave it on a shelf if I were to walk across it. I suppose this is a way of showing just how colorful the main character sees the world and how people see her as well. Yeah, there is just something about this cover that is so eye-catching and interesting to behold. Sadly I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe you can?
A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty is the beginning of what appears to be a great series that has a knack for sweeping me off my feet. Madeleine seemed to be suffering from a unique case of denial and prefers it to the real world, which seems to be full of injustice. Blaming the world for the crappy place she finds herself in with her mother, she is determined to escape back to the life that she is so certain was perfect beyond a shadow of a doubt. Her mother seems to be getting more forgetful and the two people she deems as friends seem to not accept her at all. Maybe it is her fault in the first place? Then everything gets more complicated when she keeps finding letters by a crack that appears to bridge the gap between two worlds. Elliot's life was pretty simple before his father's disappearance but now all he seems to be able to focus on is finding him. All the people around him believe that his father didn't disappear, instead they think he ran away with a teacher from the local school. He is determined to prove them wrong and bring his family back together. His plans fall apart from the moment he sets foot back in his hometown and the only person he seems to be able to talk to is a girl who keeps sending letters through the crack. What is truly going on behind the scenes in Madeleine's life? What does the crack mean? Why does Elliot seem so certain that his father didn't run out on them? What does the future hold for these two lost souls?
Only time will tell. Well, that... and more books. Definitely more books.
The plot is unique, to say the least. I mean it doesn't tackle a completely new idea (because what book does?) yet it manages to make it different enough that I can't seem to compare it to anything else I've read. Two worlds linked together, two people discovering it, that's an basic plot that many authors have tackled but it didn't have the star-crossed lovers and the new world was extremely unique. So unique that during the beginning I was kind of scratching my head and thinking, "What the...?" After I got into the book, albeit still a little confused, everything seemed to fall into place and I found myself in awe of it. So fair warning to all those who buy this book, don't get discouraged by its unique qualities! It is totally worthwhile in the end.
Madeleine is a rough-around-the-edges sort of girl and lives in her head for most of the book, which is fairly similar to myself but I suppose it is for entirely different reasons. She seems desperate to get back the life she is certain was perfect and now can't seem to get back. It fuels her desire to not connect with anyone or anything around her, except perhaps her mom but even then, she still have a hard time trusting her. Her reasons are honestly understandable in my mind because she lacks the desire to ask anyone to tell her what something means. How can she relate when she seems determined that she is right? Slowly she opens herself up to friendships and relationships but even then she still keeps a certain part of her guarded -- her need to live her old life. I guess I could think of her as completely selfish or mean for not letting people in, yet I can't do that to her. When I think of Madeleine after reading this book, I see a girl who is desperately clinging to the only life she knew, to the only family she knew, and watching the one person she should be able to depend on fall apart right in front of her. I admire her and I love this character.
Her parents are the troublesome duo with a history that remains in the shadow for much of the book. I mean, if you think about it, what wife would leave her husband so suddenly? From the beginning, I figured that her mom had a really good reason (which will be revealed when you read the book) because she did something so drastic. I gained a lot of respect for the ditzy mother figure in Madeleine's life as the story progressed. Her mom may seem a little crazy at first but by the end of the story she is so endearing that I really couldn't see how I didn't relate to her in the first place. One character I truly wanted to understand was her father and I truly hope that he will play a bigger part in the future book.
Elliot is kind of like the dual main character with Madeleine and no, sadly he isn't the love interest in this book. Instead they form a sort of comradeship that they seem unable to form in their real lives. He is the most popular person in his hometown, known for fixing problems around town, and always having everyone else's best interest in mind. Because of his likability, he seems to never be lacking in friends who have his back. I really loved his character from the moment I first read about him. He doesn't have a selfish bone in his body, putting people's needs in front of his own even when both deeds are undoubtably selfless. The one thing that keeps him going every day is the desire to find his father and prove the fact that his father isn't a two-timing cheat. Of course, that can somewhat be determined as a selfish desire since it suddenly becomes the only thing he can think about and seems to distract him from things that truly need his attention. I honestly cannot wait to see how he matures and changes over the course of the story. He seems so perfect (outside of having a tendency to focus on one thing entirely) so I really want to see more of his flaws surface as the series continue. Who doesn't love flaws? Perfection is overrated.
There is a lot of drama surrounding his family, which becomes increasingly more clear as the story continues on. His mother is a tough nut to crack because she is very talented at hiding the depth of her emotions about horrifying memories. She seems to know that Elliot won't change his mind about his father, no matter how she feels. It takes a true mother to understand why her son has to do something and keep quiet about it until it goes too far. I think she wants what's best for him and she doesn't want to hurt him more than he already has been. His aunt and cousin are absolutely adorable. After the loss of his uncle, I guess I would expect them to shrink away or hide from the world instead of facing everything head on with a bright smile on their faces. His little cousin is the cutest thing ever with her dreams of finding a Butterfly Child and becoming friends with the new quiet girl who has just moved into town.
Simply stated, it is a tale that will leave you enchanted and begging for more. What more could a reader ask for?