05 November 2013

Review: The In-Between

The In-Between
The In-Between by Barbara Stewart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If I have a complaint about current young adult trends, it seems like it's that things go dark not because they have to, but because the author wants to. The In-Between is one of those books that I liked less the longer I thought about it, and introduces a lot of stuff that didn't really feel necessary to get to its point.

Our lead character is a girl, Elanor, who failed in a suicide attempt. She meets another girl who is an interesting influence on her, and Elanor's life becomes obsessed with this new girl at the center of it. Things go darker and darker, and questions start to rise about this new girl and her impact on Elanor's well-being.

There's a part of me that wants to blow the whole plot open to explain why this book was so strange and unsettling. A lot of the plot points felt like they were trying to be deliberately shocking as opposed to a good reason for character development. They went to a lot of places they didn't have to go in order to get there, and it just didn't work well for me.

I know a few readers who would probably really enjoy this. It has its audience, but I'm not convinced at all it's good for a discerning reader who will likely see through the contrived plot steps along the way. Not something I can actively recommend.

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