McNeal, Tom, Far, Far Away. Random House, 2013. Pgs. 384. Mature Content: PG
Set in the small fictional town of Never Better. When he was 6, Jeremy Johnson Johnson’s mother ran off with another man after she had eater an enchanted Prince Cake from the local bakery. Since then, he has been able to sense ghosts, particularly a ghost named Jacob Grimm. With an absent mother and a reclusive, absent-minded father, Jacob becomes more like a father, protector and mentor to Jeremy. A job that wasn’t too difficult until Ginger Boultinghouse, the town’s adventuress, falls for Jeremy. Drawn to adventure, she pulls Jeremy out of his reclusive shell and into her escapades. Things in town, however, are not what they seem. Hazards lurk around every corner. Children are disappearing and the evil Finder of Occasions’ intentions are unknown and is hiding in the town’s shadows. Jacob feels the need to protect Jeremy more than ever. Will he succeed?
The story’s characters are unique and likable. The plot is slow at times and tends to drag, but has a suspenseful, gripping air to it that keeps the reader’s attention. Readers who like books with macabre plots, ghosts, twisted fairy tales, and suspense will enjoy reading this book. OPTIONAL. MS, HS. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.