Monday, December 28, 2015

Somewhere in Between

by Katie Li

Summary from GoodReads

Two friends find a portal to another dimension and use this “in-between place” to avoid the stress of their everyday lives. What they don’t realize is that every time they enter, they alter reality.

Pseudo-punk Magnolia and underachieving gamer-geek Rom are two unlikely friends who only hang out during their walks home together after school. When they find the a portal that leads to different worlds, they use the “in-between place” as an escape from their lives in high school, then later, after college. 

Their visits through the portal bring them teetering along a tight-rope of fantasy and reality, where they don't always believe what is in front of them, not even their feelings for each other. 

The book is about changes—the ones that you can control, and the ones that you can’t. It’s about commitment and friendship. It’s about the stages in between where you have nothing but the unknown ahead of you.

Inspired by the work of Haruki Murakami and films like Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind, Somewhere In Between is metaphysical coming-of-age story about defining love and finding yourself.

Thoughts on the Book

I received this book from NetGalley, I loved the cover and the premise sounded very interesting.

My Review

This book had a lot of jumping between the present - the reunion of Magnolia and Rom, and the past - when Magnolia and Rom first started to become friends.

I half loved this book and half was annoyed by it.  The jumping back and forth got very confusing, but that could have just been the formatting of the ebook.  The end bugged me though, I might need to reread it, I can't figure out exactly what happened, what was real and what wasn't, and at what point in their lives are these two?  But that could be the entire point of the story.

Magnolia was a very weak and insecure person, while at the same time she was fantastically unique, smart, and fun.  In trying avoid dealing with people she ended up ingraining herself with a bad group of people and she wasn't able to extricate herself from them.  Rom on the other hand was unforgivably himself even though he tended to be very shy.  He never tried to change himself for other people for any reason, either people appreciated who he was and were his friends, or they didn't and he didn't spare them a second thought.

I loved the story of the two friends despite the jumpy way it was told.  The end, when both fought their demons and realized exactly what they meant to each other was fantastic.  I love how Magnolia was back in the past of the day that she made the biggest mistake of her life, while Rom's was in the present debating whether or not he should make the biggest mistake of his life.

I give this a 8/10.  I loved it, but it was somewhat difficult to read and the ending was half awesome and half "so what happened?".

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