Review: Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Posted March 28, 2014 by Bee in Reviews / 4 Comments

Review: Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Far Far Away

by Tom McNeal
Published on June 11th 2013
by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

It says quite a lot about Jeremy Johnson Johnson that the strangest thing about him isn't even the fact his mother and father both had the same last name. Jeremy once admitted he's able to hear voices, and the townspeople of Never Better have treated him like an outsider since. After his mother left, his father became a recluse, and it's been up to Jeremy to support the family. But it hasn't been up to Jeremy alone. The truth is, Jeremy can hear voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of the infamous writing duo, 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 when the provocative local girl Ginger Boultinghouse takes an interest in Jeremy (and his unique abilities), a grim chain of events is put into motion. And as anyone familiar with the Grimm Brothers know, not all fairy tales have happy endings...

4.5 Stars

Wow, this book was amazing! But it’s not for everybody. I will say that immediately and I’ll explain why later on. Far Far Away is a wonderfully written book in the style of the good old fairy tales I know and love. A book that without a doubt is amazing as an audiobook.

Far Far Away tells the story of a boy, a girl and a ghost. Our main character is named Jeremy Johnson Johnson, no I did not make a typo, that’s his name. Jeremy can hear the voices of ghosts. And there’s one he talks to rather often. The ghost of Jacob Grimm, from the famous Grimm Brothers! Jacob watches over Jeremy, feeling that something is wrong. But he can’t protect Jeremy from everything. Ginger Boultinghouse takes an interest in Jeremy after a bit of a cake so delicious some say it’s bewitched. For any other place this would turn out perfect for both but not in Never Better, where someone with evil intentions is waiting in the shadows. And anybody familiar with the Brothers Grimm know… Not all fairy tales are rainbows and sunshine like Disney makes them out to be.


Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney! Which probably makes me even more of a nerd, but I don’t care. Like I mentioned before, this book is not for everyone. The writing really feels like the old fairy tales. The narration is beautiful and it’s so gripping and it did not let me go. It really pulled me in immediately. But if you’re not a fan of fairy tales and this particular writing style, I don’t think it’s for you. I kept imagining the voice of Sideshow Bob (The Simpsons) or Morgan Freeman as the narrator. Which made me believe this book would be fantastic as an audiobook. I only had the voice in my head and hey, I love Morgan Freeman’s voice. He can read out of a dictionary or a phone book and make it sound interesting.

Anyway, this story is told from Jacob’s perspective, which made it that much more interesting! A ghost telling a story? The ghost of Jacob Grimm? Yes please! I loved it and it was so fascinating and magical! I’m not sure when or where exactly this story took place, but I don’t really care that much about it. I know it’s in the town of Never Better and it’s not too long ago because they have all the modern gizmo’s, but an exact date or the country… I still don’t know. But honestly, it doesn’t really matter for this book. It makes it that much more enchanting.

This book would not have been as good without these characters. A story like this needs to have characters you like and connect to, otherwise it falls apart. But I’m so happy to say that I loved these characters! They were so real and relatable and easy to connect to! I could not not love Jeremy or Ginger. I adored Jacob! And as a side note on him, I think the author has done his research on him very well. He must have spent weeks researching Jacob Grimm! And it shows! And I loved him in this book. He cares for Jeremy, but honestly, how could you not. Jeremy is a wonderful person. And his romance with Ginger is so incredibly sweet. Like a real fairy tale! I loved it!

There was only one thing that was somewhat negative and that’s the fact that it is a teeny tiny bit slow around the middle, but it’s still interesting so it’s not like I wanted to put the book down, but it just got a bit slow. And that’s really the only bad thing I can say about this. Of course, if the writing style is not for you, you won’t like this book, but I do like it, so that was no problem for me.

To conclude this review of a magical, enchanting and gorgeous book, I’ll say that Far Far Away is perfect for fans of traditional fairy tales. Haven’t you read any yet but you are a fairy tale fan? Give this book a try? You might find yourself loving it as much as I do.


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