Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Far Far Away Paperback – June 10, 2014
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-McNeal spins a tale fluctuating from whimsy to macabre in such a beguiling voice that-like Hansel and Gretel-readers won't realize they're enmeshed in his dangerous seduction until it's too late. The book is narrated by the ghost of Jacob Grimm (yes, that one), unhappily caught in the Zwischenraum (a plane of existence between life and death). For now, he is the nearly constant companion of Jeremy Johnson Johnson, who can hear Grimm's voice when he presses a finger to his right temple. He's also heard the voices of his dying mother and grandfather. This ability has made him an object of derision for many in his little town, though-thrillingly-not to the electrifyingly vibrant Ginger Boultinghouse, who is more than happy to lure Jeremy into more trouble than he's ever encountered. Grimm tries to be the voice of reason-to keep Jeremy safe-but few things are as they initially seem in the town of Never Better and it's difficult to know the difference between hazard and opportunity. It's also hard to know the good folk from the bad and that's because so many of McNeal's characters are complex and have conflicted motivations. When is a bully not so bad? Where's the line between justifiable grief and parental neglect? Can an older man love a teenager in a way that's not creepy? How do stories nourish us? At what point do they stifle us? All these questions, and many more, are raised in this folklore-inflected, adventurous, romantic fantasy. 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.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
*Starred Review* So it begins: What follows is the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost. Ghostly Jacob Grimm, of the famous Brothers, narrates this tale of Jeremy and Ginger and their near-tragic encounter with town baker Sten Blix, whose long-held grudges figure in the disappearance of several village children. Unappreciated as a youngster, Blix has elevated revenge to a sweet art, and he holds Jeremy, Ginger, and an additional victim, Frank Bailey, in a hidden dungeon under the bakery, while Jacob desperately tries to tell parents and friends of the predicament. If he fails, the three may become grist in the baker’s next batch of Prince Cakes. Reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel and rife with allusions to the Brothers Grimm tales, this is a masterful story of outcasts, the power of faith, and the triumph of good over evil. McNeal’s deft touch extends to the characterizations, where the ritual speech of traditional tales (Listen, if you will) establishes Jacob’s phantasmagoric presence amid the modernist American West. There are moments of horror (as there were in the Brothers Grimm original tales), but they are accomplished through the power of suggestion. Details aplenty about Jacob and his famous sibling make this a fiction connector to both fairy tales and Grimm biographies, too. Grades 7-10. --Cindy Welch --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The characters in this story are numerous but only a few stand out. I will limit who I describe to Jeremy Johnson Johnson and Jacob Grimm.
Jeremy is a bit nerdy because all he does is study. But when you have a ghost telling you "studies, studies" all the time and you know your only ticket out of town is college and a scholarship, then you know you should study. And he's weird because he once told someone he hears voices. But he does and we know he does because we can hear Jacob Grimm talking to him throughout the novel. But, unfortunately, Jeremy has a tendency to talk to Jacob out loud and that makes him look even weirder. And Jeremy lives with his father in the back of the Two Book Bookstore which, as you may have guessed, sells only two books, the first and second volumes of Jeremy's grandfather's life story. Business isn't good. And, as if you need more to make a boy look weird, Jeremy's father stays in his room all day watching t.v. since Jeremy's mother left him. Life has not been kind to Jeremy. But he's a good boy, studies hard, is kind to everyone, friendly, wary, industrious (he has a lawn service business) and he takes care of his father.
Jacob Grimm's Ghost- Jacob's Ghost somehow got stuck on Earth after he passed away. He's been told by other ghosts it's because he's searching for something, but he has no idea what. He thought his brother would wait for him, but none of the other ghosts have seen or heard of his brother. Finally he determines that he needs to go to Never Better a place that can barely be seen but once found can never be forgotten and he must protect the boy, Jeremy Johnson Johnson from the Finder of Occasions. Jacob also takes it upon himself to be a sort of moral compass for Jeremy and tries to make him not do certain things because he has a bad feeling about it. Yeah, we all know how that goes.
The world- Never Better is a strange place. There seem to be children that disappear frequently, yet parents don't watch their children overly much. There are dark alleys and an old woman that searches the night for her lost son Possy. There is a police deputy that lurks everywhere, seemingly perverted spying on girls, the townspeople, anyone he can blackmail. There is a jolly baker with a generous hand with his baked goods. But there's a darkness that overlays even the simplest of moments in the town. Something lurks behind the windows and the trees and the trashcans. It follows you home, even in the bright sunshine. There is a timelessness to the town as well. Certain references date it such as game shows and bikes and trains, but truly I would have thought it could have taken place in Jacob Grimm's time.
The Story- Ginger Boultinghouse takes an interest in Jeremy Johnson Johnson and this makes Jeremy Johnson Johnson take an interest in her. After a few days of her showing interest, she shows up in his window at night and dares him to pull a prank. Not being the pranking type, it goes awry and Jeremy is implicated in it. The townspeople turn viciously against Jeremy and then begins a sort of twisted Hansel and Gretel story. Very,very twisted.
What I thought- As I said, the first time I tried to read it, I thought it was very literary and I was not in the mood. I picked it up again and was enthralled. I really couldn't put it down once I got past the first part and I understand why the first part is there. Just don't think the whole story is like that. It is definitely a contemporary fairy tale, a dark one. There is magic and a love story and a ghost. And a definite tribute to The Brothers Grimm. But it's definitely creepy and dark and you know something isn't right, but you can't quite put your finger on it. When it happens I hope you'll feel the same sense of desperation I did. I had no idea how it would turn out and I was amazed at how twisted and dark this tale turned in such a short amount of time. But things that had happened before started falling into place. And seemingly innocent things from before turn into dire warnings unheeded. Even Jacob Grimm falls victim.
I definitely recommend this for lovers of dark twisted tales! It's a contemporary fairy tale (no fairies) along the lines of the Brothers Grimm. This took me totally by surprise and I'm going to search out more of Tom McNeal's works.
I received a copy of the e-arc from the publisher through Net-Galley. All reviews are my own and are my honest opinion.
I requested and received an ARC from the publisher. One of the main reasons I requested the book was because I read To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel the author's previous adult book which I also highly recommend.
Even though I am only a regular reader and not a young reader the intended age range for this book I really enjoyed reading it. I like that the author wrote it without tying it down to any specific time period. This story could have happened last month or ten years ago or ten years from now. I would recommend it both to my nephew who is in 5th grade and my niece in 9th grade or really to anyone who likes a good story.
I was totally enchanted by the ghost of Jacob Grimm. His narration was mesmerizing and lent a certain quaint fairy tale feel to a contemporary setting. Jeremy is a hero most kids will identify with. He is smart and gifted but struggling to find his identity and his place in the world. Both he and Jacob must rely on their inner resources to survive and grow. The villain, in typical fairy tale fashion, is irredeemably evil. After the ordeal, it is hard to use the word happily to describe ever after. But at least there is an ever after and though indelibly marked, most of the characters are stronger if not better. I think most tweens and teens would enjoy this book. The fable enchants and the darkness will not overwhelm. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jeremy Johnson Johnson of Never Better can hear voices and ever since he made the announcement as a child the townspeople have treated him like...Read more