Audie Award Finalist, Teens, 2014
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....
Young adult veteran Tom McNeal (one half of the writing duo known as Laura & Tom McNeal) has crafted a novel at once warmhearted, compulsively listenable, and altogether thrilling - and McNeal fans of their tautly told stories will not be disappointed.
©2013 Tom Mcneal (P)2013 Random House
"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." (School Library Journal)
"Reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel, and rife with allusions to Grimm Brothers’ tales, this is a masterful story of outcasts, the power of faith, and the triumph of good over evil." (Booklist)
It was a beautiful story, written as if specifically to be read aloud by this particular narrator. Perfect for a fairy tale.
I love to read fantasy for the escape from "reality" where infinite darkness can be found, and as it was that I went in knowing very little about the story (my favorite way to read a book or watch a movie) I wasn't prepared for how "grim" it became. However, the creepy dark moments were so beautifully written and resolved and infused with such humanity that they were all the more worth it. Also I liked that I didn't know quite where or when it was taking place, which allowed me to slip fully into the fantasy.
Oh, his deep tone and timber was enough to compel me listen. I really liked that he didn't try to "do voices," he was just, telling the story as the main character of the ghost. Quite often when a male narrator does young female voices it can grate on the nerves. Also I find many book narrators enunciate very sharply and deliver with an edgy tone, as if the listener were to fall asleep if they didn't. In contrast, Mr. Sheppard's enunciation was soft and often seemed to fall off at the edges. Unusual and perfect. A new favorite narrator, can not wait for another by him.
There were very poignant moments definitely made me tear up.
While there were "edge of your seat" moments, this isn't a continually fast-paced action story, so some may not get what they are looking for. Rather, this is the kind of story that, like a slice "Prince Cake," you want to savor each .... delicious .... bite.... sloooowly.
I Read Memoirs
Delightful listening experience!
The book makes you realize the power of story. Morgan Sheppard is the ideal storyteller. He wraps you up in his resonant voice.
don't know what you mean? It was hard to stop listening and do anything else until I finished it.
Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
This young adult novel is page turner that had me hooked in minutes and is currently this adult's new favorite. Reminiscent of Neil Gaimen's writing ... it is simply brilliant. A playful weaving of past and present, Grimm's fairy tales and Disney's Snow White, green smoke and open oven doors, missing children and post cards from California, the popular and the awkward, children and parents, whispers and songs, salty tears and first kisses,... oh my goodness, there are layers and layers of complexity, flavors and red herrings hidden in this simple, straightforward dark and light fairy tale... filled with fairy tales. The narration is spot on perfect, the voice of Jacob Grimm's ghost as he shares his interactions with Jeremy Johnson Johnson... the boy who can hear him. I can't wait to study the Grimm Brother's and their fairy tales... then read it again.
Tales Dark and Grimm, The Sisters Grimm. These both revolve around adaptations on the stories from the Brothers Grimm.
The ending scenes.
The Brothers Grimm tales happened long ago... or did they?
The story dragged on for a long time in the middle. It was on my son's summer reading list, so we were listening to it in the car to and from camp every day, but for the middle third of the book, he completely lost interest - I actually had to keep waking him up.
Maybe, it would depend on the synopsis of the book. But to be fair, this book was chosen for my son, he didn't choose it (and I certainly didn't choose it either).
It picked up for about the last third of the book, and despite his complete lack of interest for several hours in the middle, it did get my son's attention again. In the end he said he liked the book, but he would've liked it a lot more if the author would've cut out 100 pages or so.
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