Far Far Away
By Tom McNeal
Published 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Jeremy Johnson Johnson lives in Never Better and is trying his best to thrive. But his mother left him and his father sunk into a depression and they're in danger of losing their house. Oh, and Jeremy hears the voice of Jacob Grimm. When the lovely and sometimes troublemaking Ginger takes an interest in Jeremy, Jacob's protection from a dark evil begins to slip and Jeremy is in more danger than he could have imagined.
I started hearing about this one a few months ago, seeing some buzz around the web and hearing it get a push at TLA. I happily requested an e-galley when I spotted the book on Edelweiss and started reading when I had the chance. I think I've made it known that I love all things fairy tale, so I was really looking forward to this book. I absolutely loved the narration - I loved how it was framed as a fairy tale and the many allusions that peppered the text throughout (even Jeremy's name seems straight out of an old tale). I loved Jacob Grimm's voice and how desperately he wanted to look after Jeremy and never let him down. I loved the foreboding menage of the Finder of Occasions and I love that I became so absorbed in the story that I started to forget something evil was lurking. Everyone seemed creepy and off enough that I suspected them all of being the Finder and when everyone is a suspect, no one is a suspect. I loved the awkward friendship that blossoms between Jeremy and Ginger - so unusual in a fairy tale setting, but it worked so wonderfully here. I enjoyed the slow pace of this story, relished in the leisurely way events passed. I loved the darkness in this book. The tone is just great, very traditional Grimm brothers (not the watered-down Disney fairy-tale version). The story is very well-written and I just gulped down great portions of it whenever I had a moment to read. I definitely recommend this to readers looking for a creepy book.
Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.