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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Far, Far Away - Tom McNeal



Release Date - June 2013

Tom McNeal
Knopf Books for Young Readers

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Far, Far Away may be classified as a young adult book, but as an adult, I was mesmerized. I think there will be equal appeal with teen and parent this time. 

Jeremy Johnson Johnson's life is unlike that of most teens. Jeremy's mother abandoned both him and his father, and since then, his father has refused to leave the house, and even sometimes his bed. At school, Jeremy also has a bully to watch for. When Ginger Boultinghouse starts showing him attention, he gets caught up in her pranks. One nearly leads to his arrest. The bigger issue for Jeremy is that his father doesn't work and therefore they are about to lose the family bookstore that happens to be attached to their house, so that means they'll soon have no home.

What people don't know about Jeremy is that he has a protective ghost following his every move. That ghost happens to be Jacob Grimm, one of the popular Brothers Grimm. Jacob knows his mission is to keep Jeremy safe from the Finder of Occasions. The problem is that Jacob has no idea who this "finder" is.

I grew up on a steady diet of the Grimms' fairy tales as a child. They are quite gruesome if you've read the real stories and not the Disney-fied versions. The interwoven facts and details of the Grimms and their stories really add to Tom McNeal's novel.

I did figure out the Finder of Occasions identity long before Jacob did, but it didn't take away anything from my enjoyment. I was hooked on the characters, the setting, and the small town ways from the very first page.


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