Saturday, May 14, 2016

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

I'm finding myself, for the second time this week, writing up a review at midnight.  This is not normal behavior for me.  I usually turn out the light around 10:30 give or take.  Tonight I was up until 11:00 finishing Far Far Away and then, even though I turned out the light, I did not fall asleep.  So, here I am, hoping like heck that, having written this, I'll be able to actually sleep.  Seeing as how I have to be up at 7:00am tomorrow morning for my weekly walk with a friend, this will be a short night no matter how I slice it.

Anyway, back to Far Far Away.  I liked this book!  I found it very engaging.  It's the story of a boy, a girl and a ghost who means well, as the first sentence will tell you.  Our narrator is the ghost, but we mostly follow Jeremy who is a bit of an outcast in his little town.  When he starts hanging out with Ginger, their adventures lead to...well, trouble, eventually.  And the trouble is dark.  Fairy tale dark.

I liked Jeremy and Ginger both very well and the ghost alright.  Ginger, in fact, rocks.  Who wants to start a posse with me for the purpose of night missions?  Anyone?  Also, I'm interested in an Indian leg wrestling championship.  Takers?  These are all things to do with Ginger.

Jeremy is a good kid and I like him, too.  However, I did have an issue with one aspect of his character.  The ghost, who, it is not a spoiler to tell you, as you'll know this quickly, is one of the brothers Grimm and, thus, a native German speaker.  He usually speaks English to Jeremy, but it's not infrequently that he speaks German.  Now, he's been around many years, speaking in Jeremy's ear, often with sprinklings of German.  However, Jeremy doesn't speak or understand German.  When Jacob tells him a phrase to say in German, he always needs it translated.  Jeremy is a smart lad and really should have picked up some German.  Things could still be translated for the reader without it being because Jeremy needs them to be translated.

Far Far Away, yet another YA novel, is another quick read.  It's good, engaging and, sometimes, harrowing.  I give it a thumbs up.

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