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Best YA of 2013: 'Far Far Away' by Tom McNeal

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'Far Far Away' by Tom McNeal

Rating:
Star5
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Star
Star
Star

This review is part of a recap of this reviewer's picks for the Best YA Books of 2013.

Every once in a while, a book comes along so enchanting, so delightfully perfect, it ruins you from reading anything else for a good long while.

Friends, prepare to be ruined by Far Far Away by Tom McNeal, an utterly stunning novel that is destined to become a classic for all ages. As timeless as the fairy tales that inspired it, Far Far Away will worm its way into the hearts of readers young and old.

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?

McNeal has perfected the concept of a modern-day fairy tale, complete with the wicked and often twisted aspects so often ignored in the most well-known retellings of the Grimm and Andersen stories. And yet he also does not forget the bravery of unlikely heroes, or the magic and power of will and faith and belief.

Far Far Away is as enchanting to read as the Prince Cakes are to the people of Never Better. It captures everything that a fairy tale is meant to be, and wraps it all up in a contemporary package filled with a whimsical yet practical setting, with beautiful, flawed, charming characters, and a narrator who … well, you’ll just love him to bits.

Far Far Away is in stores now. Here is the official synopsis:

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, specificially, 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.

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