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A Corner of White (The Colors of Madeleine Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The plot is unique, to say the least. I mean it doesn't tackle a

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, t...
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.

posted by BailsChris on March 26, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

***Review posted at The Eater of Books! blog*** A Corner of Whi

***Review posted at The Eater of Books! blog***

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
Book One of The Colors of Madeleine series
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Rating: 2 stars
Source: ARCycling

Summary (from Goodreads):

The first in ...
***Review posted at The Eater of Books! blog***

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
Book One of The Colors of Madeleine series
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Rating: 2 stars
Source: ARCycling

Summary (from Goodreads):

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...


What I Liked:

The characters were likable. Elliot is interesting, as he is desperate to find his father, while trying to get his father's shop back, and capture a Butterfly Child. Madeleine is... weird. It seems like she is supposed to have some depth to her, but I found her a dry and boring protagonist. I really like Jack, because he is super sweet and empathetic. I was never a huge fan of Belle, but she contributed nicely to the story.

The contrast between the Kingdom of Cello and the real World is nicely written. I liked reading about Cello (even though I was very confused most of the time), because it was not what I expected. It's definitely not your typical kingdom. The Princess columns were... weird, but interesting.


What I Did Not Like:

I am going to be very honest: I was so confused throughout this entire book. I ALMOST did not finish this book, which is rare for me - once I start a book, no matter what, I finish it. I really did not understand what was what most of the time. I understand the difference between the two worlds, and that Madeleine and Elliot were communicating through a crack between the worlds. I understood that Madeleine is basically a nomad - she cannot stay in one place for very long. Or she is always running away, for attention? See, even that I do not understand. Why is she always running away? This is not really expounded upon in the novel. She has daddy issues? Her parents are never really invested in her, even though they are filthy rich? I feel like I can infer that, but I wish the author could have more subtly sneaked an explanation in there.

I really do not understand the "Colors" bit of Cello. So, they are monsters? Or are they colors that have an adverse affect on people? Are the people of Cello afraid of colors? What exactly are Colors?! Is it not clear, and therefore, every time there was a Color attack, I was extremely confused. What exactly do the Colors do? One type physically hurts people, another mentally hurts people. So, how does the whole Color thing work? I wish I knew.

I still don't understand the obsession with Newton, Byron, Lovelace, or whoever. So, do Jack and Belle believe in reincarnation? Or is that supposed to be some sort of character reference that just didn't make sense? A good portion of the book is spent harping on those historical figures, and I really do not understand the significance of them.

The ending kind of just flew in my face. There were so many elements of the book that needed to be wrapped up really quickly. This book really dragged on, and then the ending was like BOOM! So many things needed to be resolved in like, a couple of chapters.. It did not work for me. Elliot's father situation, Madeleine's mother, Madeleine's resolution with her father (which, by the way, I feel like we never really got), The Butterfly Child deal... it felt so rushed. 

Romance: no love triangle - sort of. But, the romance was SO lacking in this book. From the last line of the synopsis, you'd think the romance would be dynamic and prominent, right? On Elliot's side AND Madeleine's side, not really. In fact, I don't really understand Elliot's romance, and there wasn't really a resolution to Madeleine's romance. 

Finally (I could go on, but I won't), I was bored. A lot. It took me several attempts to continue reading, and to finish. The author's writing style is really dry, so I'm not really seeing how the publisher is saying that this book is "funny". Because I didn't really catch on to the humor. Which is sad.


Would I Recommend It:

Not really. I'm sorry, but this book is not for me. The protagonist is like, fourteen. Or fifteen. I think Elliot is fifteen, and Madeleine is fourteen. Or something like that. Either way, not mature enough for me.


Rating:

2 stars. Not the best "fantasy" meets contemporary book out there. Definitely meant for tweens. I really can't understand how the overall rating for this book is so high! But that's just me.

posted by Alyssa75 on June 10, 2013

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  • Posted March 26, 2013

    The plot is unique, to say the least. I mean it doesn't tackle a

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted at The Eater of Books! blog*** A Corner of Whi

    ***Review posted at The Eater of Books! blog***

    A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
    Book One of The Colors of Madeleine series
    Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
    Publication Date: April 1, 2013
    Rating: 2 stars
    Source: ARCycling

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    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...


    What I Liked:

    The characters were likable. Elliot is interesting, as he is desperate to find his father, while trying to get his father's shop back, and capture a Butterfly Child. Madeleine is... weird. It seems like she is supposed to have some depth to her, but I found her a dry and boring protagonist. I really like Jack, because he is super sweet and empathetic. I was never a huge fan of Belle, but she contributed nicely to the story.

    The contrast between the Kingdom of Cello and the real World is nicely written. I liked reading about Cello (even though I was very confused most of the time), because it was not what I expected. It's definitely not your typical kingdom. The Princess columns were... weird, but interesting.


    What I Did Not Like:

    I am going to be very honest: I was so confused throughout this entire book. I ALMOST did not finish this book, which is rare for me - once I start a book, no matter what, I finish it. I really did not understand what was what most of the time. I understand the difference between the two worlds, and that Madeleine and Elliot were communicating through a crack between the worlds. I understood that Madeleine is basically a nomad - she cannot stay in one place for very long. Or she is always running away, for attention? See, even that I do not understand. Why is she always running away? This is not really expounded upon in the novel. She has daddy issues? Her parents are never really invested in her, even though they are filthy rich? I feel like I can infer that, but I wish the author could have more subtly sneaked an explanation in there.

    I really do not understand the "Colors" bit of Cello. So, they are monsters? Or are they colors that have an adverse affect on people? Are the people of Cello afraid of colors? What exactly are Colors?! Is it not clear, and therefore, every time there was a Color attack, I was extremely confused. What exactly do the Colors do? One type physically hurts people, another mentally hurts people. So, how does the whole Color thing work? I wish I knew.

    I still don't understand the obsession with Newton, Byron, Lovelace, or whoever. So, do Jack and Belle believe in reincarnation? Or is that supposed to be some sort of character reference that just didn't make sense? A good portion of the book is spent harping on those historical figures, and I really do not understand the significance of them.

    The ending kind of just flew in my face. There were so many elements of the book that needed to be wrapped up really quickly. This book really dragged on, and then the ending was like BOOM! So many things needed to be resolved in like, a couple of chapters.. It did not work for me. Elliot's father situation, Madeleine's mother, Madeleine's resolution with her father (which, by the way, I feel like we never really got), The Butterfly Child deal... it felt so rushed. 

    Romance: no love triangle - sort of. But, the romance was SO lacking in this book. From the last line of the synopsis, you'd think the romance would be dynamic and prominent, right? On Elliot's side AND Madeleine's side, not really. In fact, I don't really understand Elliot's romance, and there wasn't really a resolution to Madeleine's romance. 

    Finally (I could go on, but I won't), I was bored. A lot. It took me several attempts to continue reading, and to finish. The author's writing style is really dry, so I'm not really seeing how the publisher is saying that this book is "funny". Because I didn't really catch on to the humor. Which is sad.


    Would I Recommend It:

    Not really. I'm sorry, but this book is not for me. The protagonist is like, fourteen. Or fifteen. I think Elliot is fifteen, and Madeleine is fourteen. Or something like that. Either way, not mature enough for me.


    Rating:

    2 stars. Not the best "fantasy" meets contemporary book out there. Definitely meant for tweens. I really can't understand how the overall rating for this book is so high! But that's just me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    GREAT!

    I really liked this book! I was hooked on it when i started it, i couldn't put it down!:) i can't wait until the second book!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    Jaclyn Moriarty's style of writing mixes lyrical prose with unex

    Jaclyn Moriarty's style of writing mixes lyrical prose with unexpected similies and metaphors, demonstrating an unusual way of looking at and describing the world. Her characters seem straightforward and typical, though lovable and interesting, but as you float effortlessly through the story, Moriarty blindsides you softly with a plot twist or character detail you weren't expecting. Her imagination makes the fantastical world of Elliot as believable as the everyday world in which Madeline lives. Characters have flaws, deep flaws, as well as good qualities and you find yourself disliking the flaw, but still sympathizing with the character's plight. It is not a simple, easy read in which you're left with a good story for entertainment and not much else. This is the kind of story you sample, bite-by-bite, enjoying each morsel as much as the first, thinking you're eating a small, delightful snack, but at the end, you've devoured an entire meal that leaves you both full and hungry for the next installment.

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  • Posted October 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Corner of  White is a fantasy that has a contemporary feel to

    A Corner of  White is a fantasy that has a contemporary feel to it also and focuses on the the crossover between two worlds," the Kingdom of Cello and the World." Madeline lives in Cambridge England and Elliot lives in Cello.  The colors represent dangerous creatures in the Kingdom of Cello.  Elliot and Madeline exchange letters through the "crack" between their worlds, and gradually form a friendship, trying to help each other solve their problems.  There are peculiar characters and the plot is rather eccentric, having a fairy tale feel to it, but then it kind of hopped here and there like a rabbit, but never really seemed to have a clear path, making it rather difficult to stay focused.  It was rather slow-paced, yet did have its intriguing moments also.  Though I wasn't crazy about it, I do think it is something that fantasy lovers, specifically fans of Alice in Wonderland type stories, might enjoy.   

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  • Posted October 6, 2013

    This book was different. I can't decide if I liked it or not. I

    This book was different. I can't decide if I liked it or not. It was kind of weird and kind of confusing, but at the same time, I liked the characters and the interweaving of our world with another one. The writing was distinct, but kind of strange. The plot was interesting, yet kind of boring. I didn't find the humor that was promised in the synopsis, but I cared about the characters and how their stories wrapped up.

    To be honest, I don't know what to think. It was such a strange book that I'm not sure if it would appeal to middle grade and young adult readers. I'm not sure of a whole lot with this book, so I'm going right down the middle and giving it 3 stars. I think it's worth a try, and it has a lot of rave reviews, so it might just be a personal preference thing. But get it from the library just to be on the safe side.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    I love this book!!!

    This book has such a great twist and takes turns at any second! You can tell that there will be another book because the author ends this book with a cliff hanger. This is a totally recommended book!

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  • Posted May 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Corner of White is the newest book by best selling authorJacly

    A Corner of White is the newest book by best selling authorJaclyn Moriarty. I was drawn in by the publisher's review of the book that I read online. It talked of a book that is "rousing, funny, genre-busting" where the characters exchange messages across worlds -- through an accidental gap" and hinted at "even greater mysteries...unfolding on both sides of the gap". That was enough to entice me into reading the book, and I have to say, I'm glad that I gave it the time. 




    The two main characters in this book, Madeleine and Elliot, live in two separate worlds. Madeleine lives in Cambridge, UK, in our world. Elliot, however, lives in Bonfire, The Farms, in the Kingdom of Cello. Both characters are wrestling with family issues, and issues regarding their place in their worlds when they start communicating through a gap that exists between worlds. Sounds like a typical young adult fantasy book, right? Here is where the genre-busting part comes in, though. This book is as much a coming-of-age book as it is a fantasy book. 




    There was so much about this book that really drew me in as I read it. Not being familiar with Moriarty's work in general, I had no preconceived idea about what a character in her book is typically like. What I found, though, is that her characters were all kinds of things. They were quirky, like Jimmy the deputy who can solve missing person cases with an uncanny success rate, or Holly, Madeleine's mom who is hooked on a quiz show, but cannot answer a single question correctly. Some of the characters made me laugh, like Jack and his fascination with Byron the poet, some tugged at my heart-strings, like Elliot's cousin Corrie-Lynn. In fact, there were a number of top notch characters in this story. 




    Moriarty's choice to include two separate worlds as the backdrop for her story was the stroke of a master. At times things between Cello and Cambridge seemed so similar, and yet they were completely different in most ways. Yes one world, Cambridge, is rooted in reality and the other, Cello, in fantasy, but there is more to it than that. Both worlds contained things that seemed as normal as apple pie, and things that were distinctly different from most people's experience. Both contained things that seemed grounded in reality, but also things that were unexplainable, mystical, or even magical. One thing I really liked was the way that Elliot's friends, although they were living in the "fantasy" world had mostly "real world" characteristics, while Madeleine's friends, living in the "real" world of Cambridge had characteristics that one would normally expect to find in a "fantasy" world. 




    Also included in the book were a number of plot devices that really helped to round out the story. My favorite was Moriarty's use of the correspondence between Elliot and Madeleine to illustrate the differences between worlds and highlight important factors. Another was Madeleine's fascination with Isaac Newton. 




    If there was anything that might be a bit off about the book, it would be the beginning. I know a number of people that found it either slow or confusing. In fact, in most of the reveiws that I read where the reader did not finish the book, their complaints about the story would have been answered if they had kept reading until the end. Although the slow start did not affect me personally, the fact that it kept some readers from finishing a book that, judging from their comments, they would have liked, is a negative. 




    I liked the way that Moriarty developed the story slowly allowing me to get familiar with the characters, the Kingdom of Cello, and Madeleine's world in a way that built a growing appreciation of them all. I also liked the way that she did not reveal everything at once. It was like pulling apart a set of nested boxes, and finally getting to the present in the middle. And what was the present in this case? I would have to say it was the ending which was surprising....both in it's revelation and it's appropriateness. It definitely left me wanting more. 




    All in all this was a deliciously strange book whose best qualities were the voice of the narrative, the complexity of the characters, and the crafting of the end. It is a top notch set up for the trilogy which is certain to get a number of readers on board and highly anticipating the next installment. I give the book 4.5 stars and am definitely putting it on my "Recommend" list.




    I huge thanks to PanMacMillan Australia and Netgalley for making this book available to me in exchange for my review

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  • Posted April 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Two worlds, the Kingdom of Cello and Our World. Very different b

    Two worlds, the Kingdom of Cello and Our World. Very different but linked by a crack in a parking meter and a sculpture made of cement and a broken TV. Madeline in one world and Cody in the other. Both have problems...really BIG problems. A crazy Mom, a missing Dad, Color attacks, fickle friends..but somehow, through it all, they manage to help each other. What defines "Friendship"? Madeline and Cody do a fair job of showing us what is really at the core of a friendship, and how friends really care about each other, even if they can't meet face to face. A wonderful blend of fantasy and pain that is oh too real.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    When I first started this book I wasn't sure I liked it. But, I

    When I first started this book I wasn't sure I liked it. But, I have read all of Jaclyn Moriarty's books and I knew enough to give it a chance. Moriarty's books have a way of starting off slow and then before you hit the 100th page suddenly everything that seemed insignificant is not anymore and from there on out the book will make you laugh and cry and wish that it would never end. This book combines the real world with a fantasy one in a way that makes you believe in magic once again. Moriarty is an astute observer or human nature and so she can write her characters in such a way that you don’t doubt that they are out there somewhere, living their lives.
    The book itself is magic, within every page and every character. It would be exceptionally difficult to be disappointed by this book by the time you finish it. I would recommend it to realistic fiction and fantasy readers alike.

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  • Posted April 3, 2013

    A Corner of White: The Colors of Madeleine Book One Jaclyn Moria

    A Corner of White: The Colors of Madeleine Book One
    Jaclyn Moriarty
    ISBN: 978-0-545-39736-0
    April 2013
    4 Stars
    *This is an uncorrected galley I received from NetGalley*
    After Madeleine and her mother run away from their previous lives to Cambridge (our world) she forms a relationship with a boy, Elliot, from the Kingdom of Cello. Elliot’s father is missing under mysterious circumstances and Madeleine wants nothing more than for her father to rescue her from her new dreary life. Their correspondence is forbidden but as they pass notes back and forth through the “crack” they find that their mysteries are being solved with their unique experiences including assignments about Isaac Newton and the magical Butterfly Child. With the increasing “color attacks” in the Kingdom of Cello and Madeleine’s mother’s strange behavior they have to depend on each other to find answers quickly.
    I am only saying this to explain why this took me longer to read than it should have and doesn’t reflect upon the rating I am giving. The formatting was really rough and made it difficult at times to read. If the story wasn’t as good as it is I don’t think I could have continued.
    My one complaint is that there were times in the beginning that I found myself a little confused and going back to make sure I had a grasp on the material. There are a lot of characters to keep straight and when you are flipping from one world to another more clarity can be required. I would have to read a finished copy to see if maybe the formatting had something to do with this. Otherwise I only have good things to say. The plot is amazing! The story lines of the two protagonists might not be entirely original but the author puts a unique spin on it. Even though some of the things they come into contact with are tough problems that the reader may be able to relate to, it’s told in a way that’s easy to digest. The characters are a lot of fun and I got emotionally involved in their stories. The best part of this one for me is the magical atmosphere the author created. If there was a way to get to the Kingdom of Cello I would be on my way.
    I truly recommend this one no matter if you are a young adult or adult. It has a little something for everyone and is like a vacation and a great story all in one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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