Review: Somewhere in Between by Katie Li

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“Her ideas of what is real or not real have become malleable, but she wants to believe the definition of love has never changed.”


Date Published: August 25, 2015

Published by: Kung Fu Girl Books

ISBN: 9780996602006

Pages:  146

Status: Read on October 26, 2016

Rating: ★★★


SUMMARY:

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 The Spotless Mind, Somewhere In Between is metaphysical coming-of-age story about defining love and finding yourself.


REVIEW:

The author of this book sent me a paperback copy in exchange of an honest review.

Magnolia and Rom became friends while walking home from school and they find that they can be their selves when together. Magnolia has a thing for lost objects whereas Rom is the typical geek with glasses. One day they discovered a door which led them to a place that is very different from the real one. The funny thing is that every time they open the door, a new landscape would appear. The story is a combination of the past and their present lives. Whenever they enter the “in between” place, a different font was used. However, reality and fantasy somehow tangled and that’s when the story became confusing. Aside from that, the timeline is also confusing; one time they were in the past then next they were in their after college state. The ending is vague. Because the book is short, there are a lot of unanswered question especially regarding the ending.

To be honest, I seriously don’t know what to feel with this book. It’s only a hundred pages hence, can be read in one sitting. While reading the book, I realized that maybe it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. As for me, there are parts that I really liked and there are some that are too confusing for me. What I loved about the book is the two main characters, pulled together by their loneliness and developed an unlikely friendship. Another is the development of these characters especially in the part of Magnolia who became depressed after the death of her boyfriend then started being herself again when she met Rom after their college.

All in all, the book is pretty weird but even so, I would still recommend that people give it a try. Maybe you’ll like and understand more the story than I do. This is the type of book I would liked to discuss with someone because despite the indefiniteness, it still intrigued me.

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