During the month of October, I'm labeling the more "Halloween" type reviews as Raven Reviews
Review by Lauren
Source: personal copy; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: 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.
Review: I've wanted to read this book for a long time, so I decided to finally jump into my copy and then share my thoughts during this month of Halloween. Far Far Away is a contemporary fairy tale, though aspects of it will make you feel like you're in the past since Jeremy lives in a simple little town. Most people don't pay Jeremy much attention, not even his bed-ridden father, but he's far from ordinary. In fact, he can hear the voice of Jacob Grimm (of the Grimm Brothers). Jacob isn't sure why he hasn't moved on, but he finds a purpose in helping Jeremy get good grades in order to leave his small town behind.
However, this town is also home to a Finder of Occasions. Jacob is meant to protect Jeremy from this person, but sometimes evil just sneaks up on you and instead of preventing something, you have to save someone. For a long time, it's Jeremy and Jacob. That is until a girl named Ginger begins to pay attention to Jeremy and becomes fascinated by his random talents, like knowing how to speak other languages (except he's really only mimicking Jacob). All of this leads to the Finder of Occasions targeting Jeremy despite Jacob's almost constant presence. I love that Jacob leaves Jeremy alone when need be though. He is worried about Jeremy's future, especially when Ginger seems like a distraction from that, but in all, he's a good friend.
I'm glad to have finally read this book. It was great getting to hear about the Grimm brothers and their tales, as well as following Jeremy on his journey. As for the narration, the story is told by Jacob, which is handy as you can get into his head, but he can also follow anyone from the town. This lends the book an almost omniscient narration I think Far Far Away is perfect for people that love a good fairy tale, but need something a bit more grown up. It's a nice story to read this time of year, especially if you don't want to be too scared.