The blurb for this book states that it is inspired by works like Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, which is when I knew that I had to read this book as that is one of my favourite films. I’m fascinated by the idea of getting rid bad memories in order to move on with life, I’m not necessarily saying I think it’s a great idea but it does intrigue me.
Somewhere in Between is the story of an unlikely friendship between Magnolia and Rom. They meet at school and become friends of a sort, mainly because they are both a bit lost and feeling like they don’t quite fit in. She is a pseudo-punk and he is an underachiever gamer-geek. Together they find a portal to the in-between place. They enter and outside in the real world everything changes.
This is where the book becomes a little difficult to follow at first. It isn’t always clear exactly where the in-between place ends and reality begins. It is apparent that whenever Magnolia and Rom enter the secret portal it changes their reality in some way, but they seem unaware that this has happened and so they often appear confused about their own lives and surroundings. While in the in-between place they seem able to express themselves and share things about their lives and yet once they leave they just have very vague fuzzy memories of what happened in there. The fuzziness they experience regarding what happens in the in-between place made me think of when you have a great dream and then on waking you remember that it was great but find you can’t really remember what happened in it.
This is a surreal novel that is at its heart an exploration of the confusion felt around the in-between time in life when a person is no longer really a kid but not yet an adult. It seemed to me that Magnolia’s obsession for building up a collection of lost things means that maybe she has always been metaphorically (and perhaps literally too) between worlds and Rom is one more lost thing that she finds and wants to keep. It seems like if she could just hold on to something or someone then maybe she could be grounded and things would stay the same. There is so much in this book that is easily missed and you only see it afterwards, which makes the book itself feel like an in-between place of sorts!
I rate this book 9 out of 10 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys books that make them think, where you have to read slowly and ponder what is on the page.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book is out now on Amazon