Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: The In-Between by Barbara Stewart

The In-Between

Title:  The In-Between
Author: Barbara Stewart
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Publishing Date: November 5th 2013
Pages: 256
Genre:  YA Psychological Thiller
Series: Stand Alone
Source:  ARC 


When Elanor’s near-death experience opens a door to a world inhabited by bold, beautiful Madeline, she finds her life quickly spiraling out of control

Fourteen-year-old Elanor Moss has always been an outcast who fails at everything she tries—she's even got the fine, white scars to prove it. Moving was supposed to be a chance at a fresh start, a way to leave behind all the pain and ugliness of her old life. But, when a terrible car accident changes her life forever, her near-death experience opens a door to a world inhabited by Madeline Torus . . . Madeline is everything Elanor isn’t: beautiful, bold, brave. She is exactly what Elanor has always wanted in a best friend and more—their connection runs deeper than friendship. But Madeline is not like other girls, and Elanor has to keep her new friend a secret or risk being labeled “crazy.” Soon, though, even Elanor starts to doubt her own sanity. Madeline is her entire life, and that life is drastically spinning out of control. Elanor knows what happens when your best friend becomes your worst enemy. But what happens when your worst enemy is yourself?

With her debut novel, The In-Between, Barbara Stewart presents a bold new voice in teen fiction.

I really didn’t know what I was getting into when I opened this book up to read. I knew it sounded interesting and different so I wanted to give it a shot. I needed a really good book to bring me out of my reading slump and this book did just that. I am ecstatic that I gave this book a shot and found it to be a winner all around. Creepy, dark, mysterious, heartbreaking. It’s all there.

Eleanor and her family are in the process of a move, to another state, to get away from the demons Eleanor wanted so desperately to leave behind. Unfortunately before they reach their new home, they are involved in a horrible accident and Eleanor just barely survives and loses a parent. Now she must deal with new demons among those she tried to abandon at her old home. Moving was difficult to begin with but doing it while dealing with grief leads to other issues. Eleanor is left to deal on her own and she finds her own way, inside her own world, inside her own mind, to deal with all that has been hidden in heart for a very long time. Thinking she was never normal and will never be normal she falls victim to some pretty intense and crazy moments. As her family and friends try to find a way to help her she is left wondering if she is insane or special.

The story and the writing really drew me in from the very beginning. It takes off quickly, nothing really leading up to the accident that our main character, Eleanor survives. Which was a wonderful thing, to not get to get to know Eleanor before her accident sets a nonexistent precedence for the character that is much needed in this type of story. It is told from first person point of view, Eleanor’s, and we can see through her eyes, the confusion, loneliness, grief, and desperation. We are able to experience her thoughts, memories, and perceptions and this it was quite a ride. It was one of those stories where I wasn’t ever sure what was going on, what was real, and what was perceived as real . I was only along to feel and experience and I did just that.

Eleanor was an unusual character. I could tell from early on, from her thoughts and memories, that she was bit on the emotional side. She was clingy, sad, and lost for what I could tell, most of her life. Her mother and father didn’t seem much better off. Her mother was ignorant of what Eleanor was going through and her father tended to play it down. They both thought a move was well worth it for the small possibility it would make Eleanor better. Unfortunately before they reach their destination they crash, and Eleanor is left with more issues than she started with. What was left after the accident was a world where Eleanor had to learn to deal with grief, depression, and possibly mental issues and she felt she had to deal with them alone. She was desperate for real love, real friendship, and just a bit of understanding. I really felt for her. She was completely broken and messed up but I wanted to root for her. She had so much to deal with and her life just broke me down.

It’s really hard to say much without entering into the world of too much information. It was a powerful read and it did some mind loops on me. It was easily followed but I didn’t know what was going on. Truth was only a perception in the book, Eleanor’s perception, her parents perception, her peers perception, the doctors perception… Everyone had their own truth but was it really truth. There was something in that perceived truth that kept me deep into the pages quickly reading through. I needed to find out what was the truth and if there was one. It really was a mind boggle.

It’s hard to say if this book would be a read for everyone to enjoy, I think it’s best to go in it with an open mind and just go with it. I enjoyed every moment of it and I would recommend everyone to give it a try. If you like crazy you will love this book.

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh I like books where you don't know if what's going on is real or if the girl is just crazy. Like with Mara Dyer. This sounds really intense and good. This is the first I've heard of it :)


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