A dark, contemporary fairy tale in the tradition of Neil Gaiman.
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.
Veteran writer Tom McNeal has crafted a young adult novel at once grim(m) and hopeful, full of twists, and perfect for fans of contemporary fairy tales like Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book and Holly Black's Doll Bones.
Kate B. says:
"A boy, a girl, a ghost, forests, baked goods, smoke, loss, a sheriff, how grim(m) of a fairy tale can there be? This small-town tale by Tom McNeal was as beautiful and frightening as anyone could want. All senses were tested; beautiful scenes, symbolic fabrics, great tastes and smells, and eerie and chilling sounds. The characters, young and old, were both troubled and good. There is nothing childish in this story; I found myself searching for historical clues and rooting for, at least, somewhat of a happy ending. I would go for both fingers crossed and thumbs up for this hopeful, but by no means moralistic, tale."
Every now and then we encounter a new children's book that we’re so excited about we want to broadcast it, so we've created a Kids' TC VIB (very impressive book) for a real stand-out among the many delightful and meaningful new books for young readers.