Jamie Nevin struggles with her identity as much as any sixteen-year-old girl. Well, maybe a little more. Jamie just discovered that she is not human—at least not exactly. The child of a doomed union between a noble of the Unseelie Court and a Seelie Fae, Jamie has been raised by her mother hidden away from both courts in a small New England town.
Troubled by vivid dreams when asleep and plagued by paralyzing headaches when awake, Jamie knows something is wrong. After the strange disappearance of her mother, and the unexpected appearance of family she never knew, Jamie is forced to accept a truth about her past that puts her future at risk.
To make matters worse, while she works to determine who to trust, Jamie’s best friend Allie keeps a powerful secret from her.
Thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, Jamie must use her fledgling powers in a fight to stay alive and avoid capture by the Keeper, a soulless creature that frightens even the things that go bump in the night.
When I was asked to review Between Worlds, I was hesitant to take it on myself. Not because it didn’t sound interesting. Not that at all! I was hesitant because my To Be Read pile is taller than me right now and the idea of agreeing to one more book had my head filled with visions of my TBR pile tumbling over on top of me and effectively crushing me. Then the requestor said “It’s a true YA [Young Adult] novel. No sex. No questionable language.”. That did it.
I think the last YA novel(s) I read that I would consider 100% true YA would be the Harry Potter series. And I read those as they came out. So yeah, it was a while ago. Don’t get me wrong, The Hunger Games was a good book but I still wouldn’t consider it true YA just because some of the themes would be and in fact ARE difficult for young adults to understand. My daughter is currently reading The Hunger Games and she’s had a LOT of questions. She easily understands the answers but some of the content is not explained out in the book very well.
With my interest piqued. I have no problem with sex and language in books. What I do have a problem with it books that claim to be Young Adult and are far from it. I accepted the review request for Between Worlds and even had some of the others on the team review it (Ginny was yesterday and Alicia’s is coming soon). About 5 minutes after I received the book in my inbox, I excitedly started reading. Flying through page after page, I finished in no time flat. Well, I stand (that’s a lie, I’m sitting) before you to say Between Worlds really IS a true Young Adult novel! And a WONDERFUL one at that!
One of the things I loved about this book is the technical set up. The book is broken into three parts. The first is Jamie, the second is Allie, and the final section is Together. We are introduced to Jamie and her….err…..”problems” (no spoilers folks!) in the first part. The entire section is from her point of view with her perceptions. Then the second part switches to Allie and we get to peer into an entirely different way of looking at things. You are handed more pieces to the puzzle and given a new perspective on things. The last part is when the two converge. The first two parts give you a sense of two separate stories going on and the third part is a wonderful example of Ms. Zabski’s writing ability. All of the puzzle pieces that you are given in the first and second part are beautifully tied together in the third part. There are no awkward story line gaps or clumsy stumbling. She’s managed to create a complex story line and weave it together in a way that is easy to follow along with but still keeps the suspense and mystery cranked up to a mind blowing 11.
The characters are great as well. You get brought into the story when one character has no clue what’s going on, another character has a piece of the picture but not all of it and there are a whole slew of characters that are nothing but mystery. With these gaps in who knows what, character development is imperative and the author did a great job at growing the characters and bringing them up to speed without the necessary information feeling rushed. Nothing felt forced. It’s all very organic in the way that it happens.
That brings us to the ending of this book. I want to warn you, you will be clawing the walls when you hit the end of this book. The story line has a lot of build up….and up…. and up and up and up and then you are left with a great big To Be Continued…. Between Worlds is the first installment in a series and unlike a lot of series books that can be read alone, this book does not have a nice tidy The (Sort Of) End. It’s most definitely a To Be Continued. I wouldn’t say a “cliffhanger” exactly as that word just doesn’t feel right but it’s absolutely in that family.
Overall, I give Between Worlds 5 shimmering gold stars! Wonderfully written without F-Bombs or throbbing members! A genuinely fine example of a real Young Adult novel. To top it off, Between Worlds is the first release from the new author and may I just say, what a debut!
Click here to read Ginny’s review of Between Worlds!
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Yeah, the cliffhanger is not really a cliffhanger and more like a “HEY LOOK IT’S AN EFFING CLIFF, DON’T GET ANY CLOSER” which was interesting. Which was also weird for me since it’s driven me insane in other books.
I also cannot believe this was Ms. Zabski’s first effort… for a debut novel, she nailed it.
[…] Click here to read Jena’s review of Between Worlds! […]