Joint Review & Giveaway: A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Title: A Corner of White (The Colors of Madeline #1)

Author: Jaclyn Moriarty

Published: Pan MacMillan October 2012

Synopsis: Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop. Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello – where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours. They are worlds apart – until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white – the slim seam of a letter. A mesmerising story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them.

Status: Read from July 24 to 27, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Pan MacMillan}

“Imaginative, original and Colourful, A Corner of White is a magical story that leaves “a trail of light” for the reader to follow..” 

I teamed up with Marg at The Adevntures of an Intrepid Reader to discuss A Corner of White. I am hosting he first part of our discussion, make sure you visit her post to read the rest of our review.

Marg:  Whilst this is my first Jaclyn Moriarty book, you have read her before Shelleyrae. How did you find this book compared to her previous books?

Shelleyrae: I wasn’t sure what to expect from A Corner of White, whose premise is very different from that of Moriarty’s Ashbury/Brookfield series which I have read, but I was surprised to find strong similarities between the two. Both share teenage protagonists with similar traits, the themes of friendship and family are central to the story and Moriarty incorporates newspaper columns, notes, letters and book excerpts into the narrative (the Ashbury/Brookfield books are written entirely in epistolary format). A Corner of White also has a lot in common with Jaclyn’s I Have A Bed Made of Buttermilk described as a ‘fairytale for adults’. A Corner of White is, I think, a unique blend of all of the works the author has published so far.

I’m interested to know, Marg, who you think the audience of A Corner of White will be?

Marg: Initially, given the ages of the protaganists, I assumed that this was going to be another Young Adult book  (and it does suggest that it is YA on the author’s website) but I would suggest that this is a book for more mature YA readers. Maybe towards mid to late teens. The reason why I suggest that is the dual world setting is quite complex and personally I found that at times it was a challenging read.

Did you like the way that the two worlds in the book sat together in the book?

Shelleyrae: Essentially I feel there are two separate stories within A Corner of White, despite the link between Madeleine and Elliot.. What I found most challenging were the very individual ‘rules’ of the Kingdom of Cello, I’m still not sure how Colours work exactly, and though I applaud Moriarty’s imagination I felt a little lost at times. It was easier to relate to the events in the World amongst Madeleine, Jack and Belle though their story is not entirely straight forward either.

What did you think of Madeleine and her relationship with her parents and friends?

Marg: I have had to stop and have a think about this question, simply because of the change that occurs at a pivotal point in the book when we find out the truth about Madeleine and her family and friends. There were times when my heart broke for her in that she seemed to inhabit her own world (for want of a better descriptor) and so she didn’t really have a solid grasp on how things were. An example of this was in relation to Tinsels.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call her selfish but she somehow kept herself removed from her friends and when she was achieving some closeness she then inadvertently sabotaged herself.

It is interesting that the YA phenomenon of missing parents only played out in this case because only one parent was missing from both Madeleine and Elliot’s lives.

What did you think, and how would you contrast it to Elliott’s relationships with his family and friends?

Shelleyrae: Actually I thought there were  a surprising number of adults in A Corner of White, none of the teens escape notice though they do seem to have considerable leeway in their movements. In Cambridge, Madeleine has her mother, and the unusual collection tutors that homeschool her, Belle and Jack. In Elliot’s life, his mother is present as are a number of community members like the Sheriff and Jimmy.
I often wondered how much of Madeleine’s family history was real and what was imagined, did she, as she said, lead a jetset lifestyle with her parents before she and her mother left her father on a whim or was the situation far more ordinary or perhaps even bleak and difficult? Elliot’s separation from his father has that same ambiguity, did his father leave by choice with a mistress or was he taken in a violent Colour attack? In both cases though Madeleine and Elliot prefer to think the best of their absent fathers, and miss them, while also feeling a vague sense of guilt at having ‘lost’ them.
The friendships Madeleine and Elliot have are very different, while Elliot is surrounded by life long friends and is the golden boy of his community, Madeleine has only Belle and Jack and is anonymous in the city.

Marg: I think the friendship angle is very important, especially given that there are tests of the friendships within the story. I think we also saw something in Elliot’s relationships where it appears as though he is surrounded by lifelong friends, but even in that situation there is also still the possibility of inconstancy despite that. It is some times easy to look at a group of lifelong friends and be a little envious, but it is not always as it seems within those relationships.

Shelleyrae: The Kingdom of Cello has some very individual rules, what did you think of them?

Marg: The colour rules do seem to be very complex, and at times I was surprised by the order of the severity. It would seem obvious that red would be a very strong attack but I was surprised when a colour like violet was even more dangerous. When you add in that there were different levels of strength within the various colours as well, it is an interesting and complicated world.

I do think we still have an awful lot to learn about the Kingdom of Cello, particularly as each particular town seems to have its own characteristics. For example, in Elliot’s town, there are very similar technologies like electricity and computers etc, but there are other areas of the Kingdom where they may have none of that kind of technology but something different ways. I guess the closest I can compare it to is the different districts in The Hunger Games. So far, there are no shared characteristics, but I just mean in the way that all the various parts of the kingdom have different characteristics.

Is there any aspect of life in the Kingdom of Cello that you find particularly interesting?

Shelleyrae: I like the mix of magic and technology within the kingdom which seems to be distributed quite haphazardly. I’d like to know more about how the colours work, do they have form or substance for example. Red simply drifts over the town like a mist before raining fireballs, but how does Violet kidnap a person? The sometimes hourly change in seasons would certainly make life interesting though I imagine it would be particularly difficult for the Farm region. The residents of Bonfire feel that the weather has grown increasingly erratic, I wonder if that reflects the instability in the kingdom?

To read the rest of this discussion visit Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader

Available To Purchase

@Pan Macmillan Australia I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

Via Booko

US/UK Release March 2013

An interview with Jaclyn Moriarty about A Corner of White




Pan Macmillan are offering my Australian readers the chance to win

1 of 3 print editions of A Corner of White

Required To Enter:

Leave a comment &

include your name, email address and state

(You do not have to include the email in the comment body as long as you fill in the email field when you comment)

For extra entries:

+1 tweet or facebook this post Use the icons below to make it easier and please provide a link

+1 follow Pan MacMillan via Facebook or Twitter

Total possible entries = 3

Entries close September 30th 2012

Winner drawn via

19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Braiden
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 10:26:03

    Thank you for the opportunity to win A Corner of White. I would have accepted a review copy but I wanted to hear what others thought about it before I read it so that I could know if it my type of book.

    After reading this interview and hearing about it I’m pretty sure I will enjoy it.

    +1 VIC
    +1 Shared giveaway via twitter:
    +1 And I follow Pan Macmillan Aus: @livin_thru_arts



  2. Maree
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 10:35:26

    I’ve heard so much about this and it sounds very interesting! It sounds very different to what I usually read, but sometimes it’s good to give new things a go 🙂

    Maree (from QLD)



  3. Terry Morris (@wordgot)
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 13:07:00

    Don’t you love it when an author takes a weird premise and runs with it. I’m interested in seeing if the seasons of Cello are out of sorts because time runs differently there, or whether the name “Cello” is a clue and the approach is a musical one. I won’t know until I read it.



  4. Mystica
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 13:23:49

    Thank you for the chance of winning! entering with a Melbourne address this time. Thanks for sharing.



  5. brendat59
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 13:31:36

    Great interview Shelleyrae! I’d love to win a copy…it sounds interesting:)
    + FB
    + Pan MacMillan



  6. Jen nelson
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 15:00:11

    Thanks for your generosity Shelleyrae in providing this competition and sharing your thoughts on A Corner of White.

    +1 – NSW
    +1 liked Facebook page
    +1 tweeted.
    Total entries = 3



  7. Teddyree
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 16:24:28

    I enjoyed yours and Marg’s thoughts on A Corner of White. It was already on my wishlist and I’m even more intrigued now. I’d love to win a copy.

    +1 Sheree – QLD
    +1 follow Pan MacMillan Twitter & FB
    +1 I tweeted



  8. Psych Babbler
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 20:29:47

    Sounds like an interesting book and an amazing giveaway at that! 🙂

    +1 NSW
    +1 Tweeted it
    +1 followed Pan Macmillan on Twitter [@psychbabbler]



  9. Jess :)
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 20:42:44

    I’m actually kind of super excited to read this book. I’ve read Jaclyn’s other books when I was younger and loved them, and this book sounds equally as good if not better. Such an interesting premise eitherway; can’t wait to read it.

    +1 NSW
    +1 follow Pan MacMillan on FB
    +1 and I shared the linked via FB!/jess.fitzpatrick.756



  10. Mary Preston
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 12:40:42

    I would love to read A CORNER OF White thank you. It certainly sounds intriguing.

    +1 Mary Preston QLD

    +1 follow Pan MacMillan via Facebook



  11. Marianne Vincent
    Sep 22, 2012 @ 05:32:52

    You are always so generous with books! I’d love to read this one. Marianne Vincent NSW



  12. windicindi
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 01:47:40

    This author is new to me. The interview makes me really interested
    in her book…Many thanks, Cindi



  13. windicindi
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 01:48:38

    Again, many thanks!



  14. windicindi
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 01:50:28

    I “Like” Pan Macmillan Australia via Facebook…
    Thanks much!
    Cindi Hoppes



  15. Rima
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 14:07:48

    Thank you for the giveaway! I loved Jaclyn’s previous work.
    +1 SA
    +1 Follow Pan MacMillan via FB
    +1 Shared on FB



  16. Rebecca
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 13:56:41

    Thanks so much for the chance! A Corner of White sounds intriguing and very unique. I wasn’t sure if it was for me but after hearing more about it, I’d love to give it a go 🙂

    1+ WA
    1+ Shared giveaway via twitter:
    1+ I follow Pan Macmillan Aus: @readingwishes



  17. Mardel
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 17:36:14

    Sound like a wonderful book. I would love to read it, and even if I don’t win – it’s going on my wish to buy list. 🙂

    I’m in California.



  18. Trackback: Review: A Corner of White, Jaclyn Moriarty - The Oaken BookcaseThe Oaken Bookcase
  19. Alex
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 12:34:22

    It sounds like a brilliant novel with such an intricate premise and plot. The characters seem so lively and it’s definitely in the genre I most enjoy. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway, best of luck to everybody.
    NSW, Australia

    + 1 Following via Facebook (name: Alex Bookaholic)
    + 1 Following via Twitter (name: @Alexbookaholic)

    Thank you!



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