G R A B T H E B U Z Z B O OK:
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
Fairy tales, bewitched cake, the ghost of Jacob Grimm – we’re enchanted by Far Far Away (and so are reviewers and readers nationwide). Fans of Neil Gaiman and Holly Black will definitely want to check this one out.
“I truly enjoyed Far Far Away with its fairy tale feel. It was new, unexpected, and kept me rooted to my chair till it was done. It’s a great addition to anyone’s reading list, and will definitely eat a rainy day.” – Hayden
“I loved Far Far Away. It had just the right mix of fantasy elements and real world happenings…There are moments where you will want to read ahead because you can’t believe this is happening and you’re so into this book.” – Mackinsey
“Far Far Away needs to be on your summer reading list. If you like fantasy, or were ever into fairy tales this book is a great twist. Just like The Brothers Grimm, not all fairy tales have happy endings… I hope there is a sequel!” – Kendall
“McNeal weaves fantastical fairy-tale details into this inventive and deeply poignant narrative, creating a world that hovers between realism and enchantment.”
– Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
“Reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel, and rife with allusions to Grimm Brothers’ tales, this is a masterful story of outcasts, the power of faith, and the triumph of good over evil.”
– Booklist, starred review
“McNeal superbly and elegantly enfolds those stories’ essence and depth into plot, setting, and characters; archetypal figures and situations glimmer through McNeal’s small-town American cast like tantalizing clues in a novel that becomes ever darker even as it sparkles with the dignified, affectionate voice of its ghostly narrator.”
– Horn Book, starred review
“Enchanting, romantic, and tinged with terror, this modern story subtly weaves the haunting essentials of the fairy-tale tradition into a fascinating and beautifully written homage to its source material.”
– The Bulletin, starred review
“Whether readers connect more deeply with the suspense, the magical elements, or the gloriously improbable love story, they will come away with a lingering taste of enchantment.”
– School Library Journal, starred review
“McNeal weaves his modern tale in the fairy-tale tradition, and it will haunt and delight.”
– The Atlantic Wire’s Summer Reading List
Jeremy Johnson Johnson hears voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of 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 Jacob can’t protect Jeremy from everything. When coltish, copper-haired Ginger Boultinghouse takes a bite of a cake so delicious it’s rumored to be bewitched, she falls in love with the first person she sees: Jeremy. In any other place, this would be a turn for the better for Jeremy, but not in Never Better, where the Finder of Occasions—whose identity and evil intentions nobody knows—is watching and waiting, waiting and watching. . . And as anyone familiar with the Brothers Grimm know, not all fairy tales have happy endings.
Far Far Away is a fairy tale for a more modern age. What inspired you to write it?
I always enjoyed fairy tales for the way they fulfill your fondest wishes after putting you in the worst possible predicament. You’re killed and brought back to life, for example, or you’re the generous simpleton who wins the princess and lives in a castle. Fairly often when reading some account or other online or in the newspaper (the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, say), I’d think, that’s as strange as any fairy tale. This is probably what got me thinking about writing a modern version of that genre.
(You should really go over to the Forever Young Adult blog
and read the whole Q&A.)
You can also check out this Skype interview McNeal did with the Not So YA Book Club at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia: