*I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Magnolia, a wannabe punk who has just been dumped by her super-cool boyfriend, Zane, is wandering aimlessly on her way home when she meets Rom; a boy who, unbeknownst to her, has been staring longingly at her and her technicolor hair all school year. Their strange friendship becomes even stranger when together, they discover an alternate universe that is much like their own, but so very different. This “in-between” place becomes a refuge for them; a refuge from school, life, and often themselves.
Fast forward 4 years, and Magnolia and Rom have gone in very different directions in life. When they both graduate college and return home, the twists and turns of their lives have brought them back together and back to the “in-between” place. Will the alternate universe hold the same magic as it did for them so many years ago? Will it hold something more?
The first draw for this book is that it has an absolutely magnificent cover. The colors, the design, everything about it just draws in the reader. When I saw this on NetGalley, it was just begging to be read.
As if the gorgeous cover weren’t enough, the description of this novella made it an absolute must-read for me. It’s no secret that the young adult genre has been flooded with paranormal plots lately, but Somewhere In Between took it somewhere original and introduced a plot that I’ve never seen before. What teenager, or adult for that matter, wouldn’t absolutely love for there to be an alternate universe that they could visit any time they need to escape from life?
While this story went by lightning-fast, I was still able to absolutely fall in love with Magnolia and Rom, who throughout the novel were members of the wrong-time, wrong-place, near-miss society. I flipped pages at an alarming rate, truly stretching my literary opportunist muscles and finding every chance I could to sneak a page or two and learn what would happen next in the in-between place.
Honestly, this book was 5-stars for me until the last 20%. I felt that the last fifth of the book was rushing to the point where it ceased to make sense. I chose to write this as a mini-review because I struggled with how to write a full-length review on a book that I felt wasn’t finished. Somewhere In Between could have and would have been great if it was just longer! I don’t know, maybe I’m just not cool enough to fully understand the surrealism in the novel but, the end left me with more questions than answers and scratching my head in confusion. When I flipped the last page, my initial reaction was “Wait… what?…That was…it?” It left me wanting more and not necessarily in a good way.
All that said and done, I would still recommend this as an interesting read. The imagery is beautiful, the characters lovable, and the concept is wholly ingenious and unmatched. It opens the readers’ imagination to an entirely new world of what-ifs and I wish.