I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for a fairy tale. I love them, and it seems like every few years, someone comes up with something ingenious where fairy tales are concerned. I even took an undergraduate class that was a study of fairy tales. It was…AWESOME! I have to say, Shrek is my favorite animated movie (beating out a long standing reign by Alice in Wonderland), but I just love the way Shrek pokes fun at fairy tales, all the while, being a fairy tale.
So, when I saw this book, Far Far Away by Tom McNeal, in my library, I knew I had to read it. It helped that it was a YA National Book Award finalist, since I am on that award kick. I was not sure what to expect of this book, the synopsis on the back seems rather vague, and the first review on Goodreads is by the author’s wife, so…yes, she was biased, and I skipped reviews.
What this book is about…Jeremy is a boy growing up without a mother in Never Better, a town you only see out of the corner of your eye. Jeremy has a unique talent – he can hear dead people. And his own personal ghost and conscience is none other than Jacob Grimm himself. Jacob has appointed himself as Jeremy’s personal protector, and is trying to help him get into a university and out of Never Better. But, Never Better is a typical town, where anyone with unique gifts does not quite fit in, and due to a series of events, Jeremy definitely does not. Plus, there are a lot of children missing in town.
The book is not all fairy tales, they are mostly told in piecemeal, but the story is interesting and even tense, at times. It’s very fast paced, and once you get into it, you’ll feel like you fell into a well and the only way out is by finishing the book.