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Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Far Far Away

by Tom McNeal

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2733541,545 (3.99)13

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For a book in which fairy tales figure very prominently, this book took a very frightful turn, sort of like fairy tales themselves. For teachers or writers interested in the topic, this one may be worth reading if you or your students are studying the conventions of folk tales, archetypes and symbols, and literary techniques of foreshadowing and building tension. It is full of artfully employed examples of all of them. For upper middle grade and older. ( )
  lps3 | Jun 20, 2014 |
Not an easy book to follow. I am unsure how students will react . I loved the Narrator, Jacob Grimm and the interwoven fairy tales. Some of the rest of the book made me uncomfortable. Maybe too much realism mixed into the fantasy. A book to think about. ( )
  librarian1204 | Jun 7, 2014 |
With an unusual narrator with a language and style all his own, Far Far Away accurately captures that voice with perfect precision. The book is meticulously researched as well, since the narrator is a historical figure. And while not immediately evident, the book's retelling of Grimm fairy tales becomes staggeringly obvious and horribly frightening during the book's final third. Spectacularly written, it demonstrates broad YA appeal - and, let's be honest, many adult readers and fans of the author's novels for adults are bound to enjoy this book.

Personally, I was blown away by this novel. It reads a like a fairy tale - which is intentional, of course - and the plot and characters are all a bit unreal and dreamlike. The plot moves slowly at first, ratcheting up the pace and becoming completely engrossing during the final third. Reviews from readers indicate an "either love it or hate it" attitude, and I fall firmly on the "love it" side of this equation. Many note that the characters feel "flat" or "not lifelike", which I believe to be intentional, as this is a retelling of a fairy tale and is evocative of traditional fairy tales in every sense. ( )
  StellaJay | May 29, 2014 |

This is the story of a boy, a girl, and a ghost. In the land of Never Better, Jeremy Johnson Johnson is a smart, sensitive 15 year old who hears voices, particularly the voice of Jacob Grimm- one half of the famed fairy-tale Brothers Grimm. Grimm tries to protect Jacob and his good friend, Ginger, from harm, but it seems that no matter what he does, danger is headed their way. Jeremy, Ginger, and Grimm must solve the mystery of their town to save themselves as well as those they love.
  KilmerMSLibrary | May 20, 2014 |
I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book: National Award winning finalist, a dark and mysterious cover, and the lure of a modern fairy tale written not with pink fluff and sparkles, but with the macabre and surreal touch of the old world Brother's Grimm. Unfortunately, I just kept putting it down, even though (as so many reviewers before me have stated) the writing is gorgeous, the plot line is unique, and the characterizations are absorbing. It is very beautifully written and would be a joy to read aloud, but to whom? It is a gorgeously written book, but I worry thatf the teens for whom this book was written won't have the stamina to stick with it through it's muddled middle and for middle grade readers - though the content is not scandalous nor inappropriate per say - the language, sentence structures, and vocabulary are perhaps too sophisticated and nuanced for most.

I did, however, like it. So do read it if you want to be entertained by a modern take on a Grimm fairy tale, complete with the benevolent and gentle ghost of Jacob Grimm, a butcher, a baker, and a bookstore maker. ( )
  Mad.River.Librarian | Apr 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Far Far Away captures the wit of "Doctor Who," the magical appeal of Narnia and Hogwarts, the no-nonsense approach to writing about nonsensical things previously mastered by Jasper Fforde, the enchantment of timeless fairy tales, and the harsh realities of the real world … all in one pretty, delightful, 384-page package.

Have I mentioned that I adored this book?
added by zhejw | editThe Examiner, Sara Gundell (Dec 13, 2013)
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What follows is the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost.
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Book description
When Jeremy Johnson Johnson's strange ability to speak to the ghost of Jacob Grimm draws the interest of his classmate, Ginger Boltinghouse, the two find themselves at the center of a series of disappearances in their hometown.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375849726, Hardcover)

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, specifically, 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. . . 

   Young adult veteran Tom McNeal (one half of the writing duo known as Laura & Tom McNeal) has crafted a novel at once warmhearted, compulsively readable, and altogether thrilling--and McNeal fans of their tautly told stories will not be disappointed.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:31 -0400)

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"When Jeremy Johnson Johnson's strange ability to speak to the ghost of Jacob Grimm draws the interest of his classmate, Ginger Boltinghouse, the two find themselves at the center of a series of disappearances in their hometown"--

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