10/28/12 – This book was recommended by a student of mine and I owe that girl quite a debt of gratitude. It is incredibly interesting. I read 130 pages in one half-morning sitting. The idea is very striking, the dichotomy of the stark, austere world of Quill versus the hidden, vibrant, magical world of Artime is simply beautiful. The idea of creativity being culturally forbidden, stamped out by virtue of nurture, and punishable by death wounds my heart and boggles my mind, but it is a gorgeous premise for a book such as this.
I enjoy the characters: Alex, Meghan, Lani (though she does annoy me due to immaturity). Mr. Today, and the creatures of Artime — the animals, the statues, the talking blackboards. All very enchanting and you feel for the characters almost immediately, and worry for them, too.
Needless to say, I am looking forward to the other 260 pages.