Kindle Edition, 93 pages
Published August 25th, 2015 by Kung Fu Girl Books
If you’re expecting some YA romance with a bit of urban fantasy mixed up with it, you’re going to be in for an interesting (no pun intended) ride. My GOD, this book was intense!
This is the Goodreads blurb:
“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.
It’s a good thing the blurb is there because, just like Magnolia and Rom, I didn’t realize they were altering reality either every time they entered the portal. It does make sense now, though, as far as anything can make sense in this book.
The story itself is very surreal, like an intricate web of hallucinations all spun together. It alternates back and forth into time, making it even harder to grasp what’s going on exactly. Time is described as “ a roller coaster, but it’s not fast. And you’re not sitting down. You don’t even really have a body. It’s just the feeling of moving in a roller coaster.”
When Magnolia and Rom first step into the portal together, the text font in the book changes. When they step back out of it again, it returns back to normal. At first, it only changes every time they step in and out, with clear distinctions being made. Later on, however, the fonts will blend with each other more and more often, at unexpected moments, as if different realities are shifting/mixing together.
Even though it’s a challenging read, I found myself having to put little effort into following the story. I still can’t tell you what happened exactly, but I went with the flow and finished it in two reading sessions. Not to sound like an overly spiritual Sue or anything, but I guess I just ‘felt’ it. Halfway through the book, I even had to cry a little, something which happens rarely while reading, not even when one of my favourite characters dies.
I think it’s the whole coming of age thing, with which I am still struggling myself, that’s so well depicted throughout the book. The whole reluctance towards change, and sometimes taking a mental pause and realizing everything HAS changed, even though you were fighting to keep things the way they are…were. It can be frightening sometimes!
Magnolia describes it as “Because when things change, they become easier to forget about. It makes me feel like that could happen to me”, she told him. “I don’t ever want to be forgotten”“.
I don’t think I feel the same way about that. Or maybe I do and I’m just not ready to admit it yet.
Now before this turns into ‘My Dear Diary’, I have to say there’s something about the name Zane that annoys me to no end. Especially if it’s the name of a non-caring drug-dealing boyfriend. Then again, it might just be that mostly. I just find it excruciatingly painful to watch or read about women who are together with a guy like that and are still desperately trying to win his love by any means. Bah.
So, this is not your typical somewhere-in-between-book (pun intended). If you like magic realism, metaphorical writing, and aren’t afraid to delve into some deeper levels of emotions: read this book. If you’re expecting something more fantasy-ish: don’t read this book; it’ll only end up as another negative review, which it doesn’t deserve.
I give it 3.5 brownies.
An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Links to the book: