Source: Courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia and The Reading Room -get your own copy from The Book Depository
The front cover of the book quoted Markus Zusak, “Perfectly strange, and absolutely comical and heartfelt… Jaclyn Moriarty is one of the most original writers we have.” And I completely totally 100% in agreement with Zusak right there.
It is one of the strangest books I’ve read but in a good appealing way that somehow makes sense. I also found myself chuckling right from the very beginning and found some passages to be so touching that I found myself teary. A delicious read that led me on to sleeping late which resulted in a malfunctioned brain later on in the day.
‘She’s keen on you, Elliot,’ his mother told him. ‘I saw it clear as you like the other day when they were over.’
Elliot was quiet now, watching his friends disappear around the corner.
‘Don’t go starting something, will you? You’ll just go and break her heart. You’re perfect, see,’ his mother explained, ‘and that can be a flaw of its own.’
Elliot laughed. ‘Ah, perfect is like to a runaway palm tree with a head cold, or a dandelion uprooted in some other bizarre, unrelated thing. I’ll ge you the muffin from the truck.’
We follow 2 characters from 2 separate worlds with crack, just big enough for letters, between them. Elliot lives in the Kingdom of Cello where colours are to be feared –enemies that can affect your emotions, kidnapped you, killed you… A boy much-loved yet one who is suffering from the loss of a father. He would risk all to find and save his father.
Madeleine, on the other hand, lives in our world. Or at least, I think she’s supposed to be living in our world though the world from Madeleine’s perspective is so very strange. Being homeschooled with 2 other teens frees you up a lot but then again, Madeleine’s not short in imagination. I found her a bit hard to grasp to begin with but not until all was revealed near the end that I started to really liked her. Madeleine, Jack and Belle lived in a wonderful world of their own.
‘Do you actually believe in reincarnation?’
‘Of course I do. Have you not listened to a single word I’ve said? All of us are reincarnated. We all come back under the twelve different signs of the zodiac so we get to draw on the twelve different elements of our character, and I happened to be a Scorpio when I was hanging with Byron.’
‘I thought you were a guinea hen.’
‘Not a scorpion, a Scorpio. A Scorpio guinea hen, and there’s nothing hilarious about that, a guinea hen is a noble creature and I held my head high when I was one. It’s true that I don’t have exact memories of my former lives, but I’ve got glimpses and sensations and so on, and if you would ever, sort of like, listen to your heart, you might get glimpses of your own past lives too. You might even meet yourself from a former life, so, you know, be ready to be polite.’
‘OK, that part makes no sense.’
‘Sure it does,’ said Jack. ‘You never listen when I talk, do you? Time is crumpled, see. I’ve told you that before. It’s sort of folded on itself – there’s really only one time and it’s now, and Rhani’s goldfish there could easily be you from a former, or even future, life.’
Elliot and Madeleine started to correspond accidentally. This concept kind of remind me of The Lake House (an adult movie starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves) and especially, one moment in the book with the ‘instant’ correspondences. I had to watch the movie again right after I finished reading, of course, I loved the movie and I adore this book… can’t wait for the next instalment!
Thank you Pan Macmillan Australia and The Reading Room for providing a copy for me to read (what a pleasure!) and review