young adult book reviews & more

The Beautiful Between by Alyssa Sheinmel

The Beautiful BetweenConnelly Sternin is mostly content with where she is. She gets decent grades, studies for her SATs, and plays nice with her mom. She’s mostly fine with keeping her secrets, like the fact that her father died when she two though she doesn’t know how, in order to stay under the radar. So Connelly couldn’t be more surprised when Jeremy Cole, the most popular guy in school, decides one day to sit with her at lunch. It turns out that Jeremy has some tragic secrets of his own that link him to Connelly in unexpected ways. Their friendship is tentative but grows as each opens up, but though she’s come to cherish her time with Jeremy, Connelly isn’t quite sure if she’s ready to completely delve into her past to find the truth. But the truth may be just what she needs to finally be free.

The Beautiful Between is a wonderful story that is just so gorgeously crafted and written that it is difficult to believe it was Sheinmel’s debut novel. Connelly’s voice grabs the reader from the very first page; she’s the type of narrator that stays with you even when you’ve taken a break from reading her story. Even though Connelly’s situation of not knowing part of her own history is rather unusual and some of the major turning points in the plot are so sudden, everything is so perfectly integrated that the story flows smoothly. I love how Sheinmel presents a different look at the lives of high school students that is perhaps a little less glamorous or gritty than those presented in other YA novels; it certainly makes The Beautiful Between stand out and in some ways makes it feel much more realistic. Sheinmel strips away the unnecessary excess of high school and shows readers exactly what they need to see, which is two teens struggling to deal with belonging and loss. I loved being immersed in this story, because, simply said, it is beautifully written and truly stands out from the rest.

The Beautiful Between should be read by fans of Wish by Alexandra Bullen, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and For Keeps by Natasha Friend.

Rating: 4.75

Review copy borrowed

1 munch(es) :

Kelsey said...

I liked this a lot- I definitely recommend you read The Lucky Kind, too! :)

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