Quick throwback to when I read The Raven Boys, and LOVED it despite the many, many sub-plots, often complex, in it. While The Raven Boys had me running back and forth (not physically..), in an attempt to catch up with the intricate details, SIB had me hunting for something with the name of, a plot. Though SIB differs from it in several ways, they both were similar in the need for organization.
Even so, there are some pretty clever elements hidden in the core of this book, which, you can catch at the end of this review. Stay tuned.
Somewhere In Between by Katie Li | Book review #9
Goodreads | Amazon
She fights the sun every day even though she knows it’s a battle she’ll never win.
The book starts out with a small snippet of a day in the life of our two main characters, Magnolia and Rom, who are just beginning their Junior year and have to deal with the typical looking-for-colleges process. That day however, turns their life around forever. A portal to an in-between place is discovered- a place for them to escape to.
This discovery is left undiscussed, and the story fast forwards to 5 years later. Here, we meet an unhappy Magnolia, who no longer seems to give a care for the world. And from this part to the end, many things are left unexplained. Who, what, why, when, repeat.
A huge factor that provoked these questions were the characters, who at most times, acted like machines. They barely expressed their emotions, and often had very slight reactions, if any at all. For instance, when Magnolia and Rom, two old friends that share a humongous secret among themselves, reunite after years, you expect them to have a bigger exchange than ‘Hey! I know you!’ and ‘What are you doing up here?’. This is followed by chunks of unexciting talk- an inappropriate use for a story already fighting for space.
Another character that I wasn’t convinced with, was the mom. Her relationship with Magnolia is barely scratched in this book. Whatever conversations they do have, seem a little unrealistic because the mother eagerly accepts most of what Magnolia says. I found this to be highly unbelievable, especially because her mother is supposedly very concerned about Magnolia’s emotional health.. Yet, she doesn’t spot the lies being told to her, nor the changes beginning to take place right under her nose. Come on, woman.
Now the juicy stuff. The clever stuff. *rubs hands in glee*
The text in the book is of two types- bold and regular. It wasn’t towards the end until realized that each was used for a particular place. Added to that were the strange spaced margins, which, by a Good reads review, I realized were another indicator to differentiate between the two different times this story was taking place in.
Had I picked these clues up earlier on, I might have had an easier time surfing through the book. Oh well, at least I got to enjoy the pretty illustrations.
Granted, a lot of question marks pop up when in the reading of a chaotic book, but the reason for that apparently, seems to be a bunch of great concepts that lose their appeal when being executed. This book could have been made much better, according to me, had it been spaced out and a couple of pages longer. Perhaps then, the writer could have demonstrated her bright ideas more fluidly, so as to make it a more easier read.
Thank you, Katie Li, for giving me a free copy of your book in exchange of an honest review. I was privileged to read your book and expect great books from you in the future, inshAllah (if God wills).
For my readers, don’t forget to check my Introduction page for a special discount code on yureka books!
Assalamualaikum (may peace and blessings be upon you).
Stay fantastic folks,