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A Corner of White (The Colours of Madeleine #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  2,313 ratings  ·  665 reviews
The first in a rousing, funny, genre-busting trilogy from bestseller Jaclyn Moriarty!

This is a tale of missing persons. Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life, under mysterious circumstances, and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge (in our world).

Elliot, on the other hand, is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle was foun
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Arthur A. Levine Books (first published September 18th 2012)
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The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn MoriartyFeeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn MoriartyDreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn MoriartyThe Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn MoriartyA Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
Favourite Jaclyn Moriarty Novels
5th out of 7 books — 17 voters
A Corner of White by Jaclyn MoriartyThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLooking for Alaska by John GreenThe Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterImaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
To Read Summer 2013
1st out of 58 books — 20 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rating: 4.5 Stars

It always pains me to have to write a review for a book that I know very few others will truly come to love. I don't deny that there are those who will pick up A Corner of White and persevere on through its slow start to eventually like this book, but the amount of readers who will possibly enjoy that slow beginning, the way I did? Few and far between. Nevertheless, A Corner of White is a splash of color in a genre suffering from cliches; a genre where originality has become a t
Emily May

When I was a little kid, I used to love Alice in Wonderland. I mean, it had a talking cat, a singing mouse and daily tea parties - what more could one possibly ask for? But what I saw strangely seemed to make less and less sense to me as I got older. The more I returned to that old story, the more the whimsical brilliance seemed to dim and be replaced with a random series of bizarre occurrences without any sense to them whatsoever. There is no real plot, the closest to anything of that kind bei
Trish Doller
My pants have been thoroughly charmed right off of me. I'm pantsless now, Jaclyn Moriarty.
So, I am entirely blown away by this book. While reading, I had this little mantra chanting though my head, every other page: my gosh, Jaclyn is brilliant.

Truth: I have read A Corner of White twice in the space of one month. I also dreamt about it once <3

I believe: Jaclyn Moriarty is one of the most original, greatest Australian writers out there (past and present)

Oh, so you have NO IDEA what this book is about? The blurb is surreal and utterly intriguing. I was captured from the beginning, g
This is a new to me author and I am very impressed. The book is absolutely charming, quirky, fun and most importantly very nicely written. I loved the idea of the crack between two worlds - not a unique idea I know, but handled here in a very clever way. I very much enjoyed Jaclyn Moriarty's skill at writing descriptive passages and her light touch with whimsy and magic. I am really looking forward to the next book to find out what happens!

A Corner of White is the first book in a new series by Jaclyn Moriarty. It's a fantastic blend of Jaclyn's usual contemporary writing and a rich fantasy world. Fourteen year old Madeleine Tully and her mother, Holly, live in our world. They used to be rich and traveled all over the world but then Madeleine ran away from home again and this time her mother came along, leaving her husband, and Madeleine's father, behind. Elliot Baranski, aged fifteen, lives in the Kingdom of Cello, an alternate wo
Renee Thomas
As I do so love to create these comparisons, I shall proudly state that I found Jaclyn Moriarty’s A Corner of White to be the book baby that would result from John Green and Neil Gaiman coming together to write a novel. And trust me, this is a compliment indeed!
In all likelihood this 'review' of mine will not turn out to be a helpful contribution for those who are still on the fence concerning their own possible future enjoyment of A Corner of White. I assume it will rather represent a futile attempt at explaining my wholly unexpected decision to let go of the story after only 145 pages without having unearthed particularly annoying or offending or even mediocre aspects that would lend a sufficient foundation to my reluctance to pick up the beautifully ...more
Whitley Birks
So, let’s talk about why this book didn’t work.

There’s actually a lot of reasons why, most of them small and rather ignorable. Having a cast of identically ‘quirky’ characters is rather bland, but to a reader who likes their quirk, it’s enjoyable and ultimately harmless. And if a few concepts here and there aren’t explained well enough to actually understand them, well, sometimes that’s okay, too.

No, the problem with A Corner of White is the plot.

The absolute, utter, total, complete lack of a pl
Steph Su
Jaclyn Moriarty and her epistolary novels were some of my favorites in my pre-blogging years. Did her latest offering live up to my now-admittedly-quite-jaded demands for quality fiction? A day after closing the book with a contented sigh, I am happy to say: yes, yes it did.

14-year-old Madeleine Tully and her mother are living in Cambridge, England after running away from her father and their former glamorous life. When Madeleine spies a piece of paper peeking out from a random parking meter and
This ended up being less of a review and more of a love letter to Jaclyn Moriarty. Oops.

I have been a huge fan of Jaclyn Moriarty since I read Finding Cassie Crazy (released in the US as The Year of Secret Assignments) in high school. I immediately fell for her strong, quirky characters (especially Seb–probably my most longstanding YA crush), her talent for writing epistolary novels and the way she skilfully weaves plot threads to bring you to that ‘Wow I didn’t see that coming!’ moment. I didn’
I love Jaclyn Moriarty’s writing. I may not always love her books but her writing is superb. She has this way of linking words, thoughts and pictures that is seamless, beautiful and sometimes heartrending. When I heard that Moriarty was writing a new book, I was happy. I did a happy dance to prove my happiness and it was okay, because no one could see me dancing. And that’s how I like it.

I picked up an ARC of this book at ALA but Scholastic Canada sent me a complimentary review copy, a finished
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

As usual, when it comes to a Jaclyn Moriarty book, I find myself not knowing if I have the right words to express the awesomeness.

BUT I WILL TRY, dear readers, just for you.

I just don’t know where exactly do I begin as there is so much to unpack in terms of characterisation, narrative, world-building, setting, themes.

Maybe literally with: “where”.


The World: our world, more specifically Cambridge, England. This is where Madeleine Tully lives with her m
Review originally posted in:

I think the cover reflects the story quite well. I love how the cover has the crack that represents the gap between the two different worlds and the colourful rainbows and background!


Would you live in The Kingdom of Cello......or The World?

Before A Corner of White, I have never read anything by Jaclyn Moriarty. I have seen her books around but at that time, I did not know that she is an Australian author and that he
Kate Forsyth
I often tweet about a book while I’m reading it.

My tweets about ‘A Corner of White’ include ‘extraordinary, beautiful, startling’; ‘one of the most original and unusual books I’ve read in a long time’; and ‘I’m in awe’.

It is certainly unlike any other book I’ve ever read.

‘A Corner of White’ is basically a story about parallel words – our own familiar world - and another far different and yet strangely familiar place, the Kingdom of Cello.

A crack opens up between these two worlds, and a letter s
Morgan Renae
What a delightful experience this book was! In the words of Princess Ko, A Corner of White was "a whirlshine of excellence."

Jaclyn Moriarty is fast approaching the tippity-top of my favorite authors list. Feeling Sorry for Celia was a complete joy to read, and it is one of my favorite books. She writes with such natural vibrancy, her imagery so vivid, her characters the product of summer daydreams. She creates magic out of real life, and finds everyday emotion in the imaginary places her book
Cait Grace
You know that awkward moment when you just don't get it? You read a book. You think about a book. You hold the book upside down (just in case). You squint at it a little...

It's not working for me.

I had that awkward moment with A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty.

Is it just me or does that blurb tell you nothing about the book? What is it with blurbs these days?! But as vague as the blurb is, that's how I felt about the book. It was...very quirky and poetic. But vague. I didn't reall
An unexpectedly sweet and riveting read, A Corner of White follows two teenagers in vastly different worlds, who find solace and comfort in one another amidst their problems. The book is a rich, comforting blend of superbly written contemporary fiction and well realised fantasy – resulting in a unique read that will undoubtably appeal to many readers.

Madeline and her mother have run away from her father and now live in Cambridge, a far cry from their previous lives where they had all the comfort
A Corner of White certainly defies genre classification. The entire plot, such as it is, follows the letters between a boy from the fantasy Kingdom of Cello and a girl from real-life Cambridge.

Or does it? If a fantasy world exists, doesn't that make the entire book fantasy, including seemingly real-life Cambridge? What is fantasy, anyway? It can be characterized by a good vs. evil conflict, and I can't say anything like that exists in this novel. The troubles in the Kingdom of Cello are mostly g
La cuestión es, Elliot, que me diste un poco de magia.
Me ayudaste a sostener las estrellas en su sitio y evitaste que se cayeran.
Branwen *Blaidd Drwg*
Apr 14, 2014 Branwen *Blaidd Drwg* rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone! Everyone!
*Edit: Second time re-read

"We must think outside of overselves, Madeleine. Live for others, not just yourself. If you do not learn this thing, people will give up on you. You only get so many chances."

Madeleine and Elliot are two teenagers who have both have problems that they need to solve. Madeleine has recently moved to Cambridge with her mother and she desperately yearns for the life they left behind. Elliot's father has been missing for quite some time and he is desperate to know if he has
Sarah Marie
A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

First in The Colors of Madeline trilogy

4 stars

Madeline and her mother have run away from her life to Cambridge. Elliot is in search of his father in the Kingdom of Cello. Elliot’s story is much more complex than Madeline’s. His family is the talk of his little farming town called Bonfire. Elliot’s father may have killed his uncle and ran away with his Physics teacher and Elliot refuses to believe that. He searches high and low in the Kingdom of Cello hoping t

Paula Weston
What a wonderful, fresh, original, genre-defying novel.

It's the type of story that takes its time, creeps up on you, and before you know it, has morphed from a light, whimsical tale into an addictive page-turner.

For the first hundred or so pages, A Corner of White feels like a fun and clever magical story - almost Rowling-esque in its quirkiness. But there's a darkness at the edges (that we only see a hint of in this first instalment) and a quietly compelling mystery about what's really going o
I love the books that get such wildly different responses - when it's from friends or people followed, at any rate. This one got them from me, which is a bit less fun. I won't even attempt coherent review, especially as it's been so many months. A few general points instead. I thought the sections in Cello were far more enjoyable, as Madeleine's unreliable narrative and what seemed an overabundance of whimsy didn't quite work for me. I love what Beth says about the two kingdoms in her review, al ...more
Marcos Felipe
Gostei muito desse livro!
Ele é engraçado, divertido e tem uma narrativa muito aconchegante.
Os personagens são legais, engraçados e peculiares. (Jack estou olhando para você)
Gostei muito de toda fantasia no Reino de Cello e todo uso da ciência nesse livro.
E o final foi muito bom!!!

P.S: Eu não gosto do Elliot.

P.S do P.S: A parte que o Sergio aparece foi uma das mais engraçadas!!!

A Corner of White is a tale of two worlds: the real and the fantastical. It is a story of belief in oneself and belief in the magic that one can never really know is there. It's bizarre and it is undoubtedly brilliant - mindbogglingly so.

This story is split between the two worlds of Cambridge, England and The Farms, Kingdom of Cello. There are two central characters Madeline Tully and Elliot Baranski. Madeline lives in a very familiar Cambridge and her life is a strange one. She ran away from ho
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship

In moments of extreme conceit and hubris, sometimes, things click with me and I become them. A pair of dragonfly wings catch my eyes and I decide that's what I'd be if I were a pair of dragonfly wings. Not a vein different, not a vein prettier. That's how A Corner of White clicked with me.

Other people blinked at regular intervals, but not Belle. Now and then her eyes would go into a flying panic where she’d blink and blink to catch up.


Unfortunately, I'd be a trying book and it'd take h
Madeleine and her mother have run away from their old life—well, Madeleine ran away, her mother followed, and they just never went back. Now they’re living in Cambridge and Madeleine’s doing her best to adjust to things and not miss everything she used to have. Meanwhile, in the town of Bonfire in the Kingdom of Cello, Elliot is in search of his father. The whole town thinks that his dad killed his brother and ran away with the Physics teacher, but Elliot is sure this can’t be what really happen ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

If I was asked to provide a book jacket quote, this is what I would say:

“Imaginative, original and Colourful, A Corner of White is a magical story that leaves “a trail of light” for the reader to follow..”

I teamed up with Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader to discuss A Corner of White.

Visit Book'd Out to read the first half of the discussion

and then go on over to The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader to read the rest

Shirley Marr
Jul 01, 2012 Shirley Marr marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shirley by: Markus Zusak
'Perfectly strange, and absolutely comical and heartfelt ... Jaclyn Moriarty is one of the most original writers we have.’ – Markus Zusak

Uh-huh. Yup. Of course, Markus. Of course. I know.

*twirls hair*

Sorry, where was I?

This book sounds awesome. I absolutely adore her Asbury/Brookfield series. Jaclyn Moriarty is a Queen and deserves to be blurbed by the King of Aussie YA.
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Jaclyn Moriarty is an Australian writer of young adult literature.

She studied English at the University of Sydney, and law at Yale University and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD.

She is the younger sister of Liane Moriarty. She was previously married to Canadian writer Colin McAdam, and has a son, Charlie. She currently lives in Sydney.
More about Jaclyn Moriarty...

Other Books in the Series

The Colours of Madeleine (3 books)
  • The Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colours of Madeleine, #2)
  • A Tangle of Gold (The Colours of Madeleine, #3)
The Year of Secret Assignments (Ashbury/Brookfield, #2) Feeling Sorry for Celia (Ashbury/Brookfield, #1) The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie (Ashbury/Brookfield, #3) The Ghosts of Ashbury High (Ashbury/Brookfield, #4) The Spell Book of Listen Taylor

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“This is what I want you all to do. I want you to open a new document and type up a list of three problems in your life. Not the universe's life - your own. Underneath, type the solutions."

"If we know the solutions," said Belle, "they're not problems."

"Exactly," said Denny. "You do know the answers to most of your problems. Somewhere deep inside, you know.”
“Who knows if all our brains are inventing the same thing? I mean, how do we know that the thing YOUR eyes see and call "red" is the same thing that I call "red"?” 11 likes
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