ARC Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

20499923A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

Published by  Bloomsbury USA Childrens on September 1, 2015

Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Paranormal

Pages: 240 Format: ARC Source: Library

5/5 Stars

This ARC was received by my library department for marketing purposes. This does not affect my opinions or content which are my own.

Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

A strange little girl who knows very little about her past, but has the odd talent of being able to talk to ghosts and connect with the spirit world. A Curious Tale of the In-Between is a journey of joining the world and surviving the ups and downs of life even with such an odd talent. A tale of growing up and learning that darkness lurks around every corner. Lauren DeStefano does a masterful job of bringing this story to life.

This story was riveting for me and I devoured it. I loved Pram’s adventure from start to finish and became extremely invested. By the end of this novel, I had shed quite a few tears and it kind of wrecked me. DeStefano has had this effect on me before with the Chemical Garden trilogy but I wasn’t expecting to cry so much. It’s not a bad sign though, if a book makes me extremely emotional it means the writer knocked it out of the park.

The main character, Pram, begins sheltered and naïve, but by the end she sees the world as it truly is, the good and the bad. Pram’s evolution and discovery developed throughout the novel which made it easy for me to connect with her. Pram’s foil Lady Savant is wily and mysterious but also shows what the future might hold if different choices were made.

Honestly though my favorite character in the whole story is Felix. I cared more for a ghost than the living in this book. What does that say about me? I loved his protectiveness of Pram even when it was colored with jealousy. I was worried about him the whole time even when he wasn’t around. I would definitely choose Felix over Clarence any day but I did love that character as well.

The writing is well done and can easily connect with a middle grade audience as well as teens and adults. The story is poignant and quite haunting, but it enchants all the same. It draws you in and doesn’t let go, plus the characters are wonderful. Overall I absolutely adored A Curious Tale of the In-Between and hope people check it out when it’s released.

Favorite Quotes

  1. “Don’t be in a hurry,” Felix said. “I like you alive. I like the way you see things. It makes you who you are, the way the spirit world makes me who I am.”
  2. “Last names are important,” he said. “Last names are older than us. They draw a line way back into our history, further than we can follow it.”
  3. He had an unfair advantage over her, being a ghost. He could have disappeared. But he let her catch him. He felt the full weight of her when she crashed into him and knocked him to the ground. He felt her bony knees on his stomach and her hands on his shoulders. She reminded him of what it had been like to be alive.
  4. He’d made the mistake of caring for a living girl. Time for living was not the same as it was for the dead. For Pram, growing older was a thing that happened more quickly than she could help. In a blink, her jumper was too short. In another, her hair too long and her shoes too tight. But for Felix it had been an eternity, marred by the subtle signs that his only friend in the world was getting older.
  5. The voice filled her with so much hope that it pushed her back into the living world, where hope was more precious than gold. It was a voice she hadn’t heard in a very long time, and one she had missed desperately.

Are you planning on reading A Curious Tale of the In-Between? Tell me what you thought!

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