Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Girl In Between by Laekan Zea Kemp (Review)

Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal
Publication.Date  September 30th, 2014
Published By:  Laekan Zea Kemp
WebsiteLaekan Zea Kemp

The Girl In Between on Goodreads
My review copy:e-ARC review copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review

Where to get:

Bryn Reyes is a real life sleeping beauty. Afflicted with Klein-Levin Syndrome, she suffers episodes of prolonged sleep that steal weeks, and sometimes even months, from her life. But unlike most KLS patients, she doesn’t spend each episode in a catatonic state or wake up with no recollection of the time she’s missed. Instead, Bryn spends half her life in an alternate reality made up of her memories. For Bryn, the past is a place, until one day a boy she’s never met before washes up on the illusory beach of her dreams with no memory of who he is.

But the appearance of this strange boy isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Bryn’s symptoms are worsening, her body weakening as she’s plagued by hallucinations even while awake. Her only hope of finding a cure is to undergo experimental treatment created by a German specialist. But when Dr. Banz reveals that he knows more about her strange symptoms than he originally let on, Bryn learns that the boy in her head might actually be the key to understanding what’s happening to her, and worse, that if she doesn’t find out his identity before it’s too late, they both may not survive.


I never dreamed when I was sleeping. Not like that. I went somewhere, tucked between moving photographs--the past and the present, every memory I'd ever had stitched into some fluid breathing patchwork. And the water. It was everywhere.
"Well, good, so you'll come with me to--"
"Don't say to a party."
She shook her head. "A very small, very intimiate get together of our closest friends and maybe a few dozen of our most hated fellow classmates. But it'll be--"
"Oh God. Do not say fun."
"Sorry," Felix said, "but friends don't let friends impersonate the undead."
He gripped my shoulder, his jaw tight. "You're a good kid."
"You're a good dad."
Our relationship hadn't forged just by blood, it had been forged by afternoons spent out in the garage, me holding the spotlight while he worked on my mom's car, by summers coaching my co-ed softball team and dragging little boys off the field by their shirt collars when they told me I threw like a girl.

"Bryn Reyes is a real life sleeping beauty." THAT. That right there. That was what hooked me on wanting to read this book. The rest of the synopsis continues on to be intriguing, but that first line is what drew me in to start with. Kind of fairytale-ish, with some cool stuff thrown in. I went into this book expecting that. But then I actually started reading the book and got a few surprises that were great--and the whole thing overall led to me having a great time reading The Girl In Between.

Bryn has a disease where she sleeps for long period of time. Like, LONG. Weeks. Over a month. It's an incredibly interesting topic to start with, but then that gets combined with another whole world while she's sleeping where she lives her memories. Then one day a boy washes up into that second world she has, and thus the novel begins. The story was so incredibly imaginative. Even more so than I'd anticipated, and I loved that. Kemp's writing was also beautiful. The way she told this story had me hanging on to every word. 

Then we have the characters. Bryn and Roman. Bryn's trying to live her life even though she keeps losing weeks upon weeks to her condition. She's a pretty rational girl who didn't spend loads of time complaining--she just dealt. I liked that. And then when she tried figuring out Roman's deal, that was an admirable thing. Yes, his situation was entwined with hers. I mean, obviously. He was showing up in her dream world. But that didn't mean she had to do all the things she did, become friends with him, help him out the way she tried to. All of this made me like Bryn.

And of course I was a fan of Roman. He's a nice guy. Spent a good portion of this book totally confused and figuring his stuff out, but he was still a good buy to Bryn in this process, and that made me happy. His character developed more than I thought he would in the span of this story, seeing as we knew little to nothing about him when he first washed up into Bryn's dream, and then we made it to far in the novel. Ahhh. Roman. I heart him.

The romance was satisfying without being over the top. Roman and Bryn are an item. Can't deny that. But they aren't clingy. They aren't really needy. They're just...them. Both have their own issues to work out, their own situations to shovel the crap out of. I enjoyed how they both worked on their own problems while still being supportive and helpful and THERE for the other person along the way. That made my heart so happy, and I am definitely rooting for this couple.

I was extremely pleased to see that this book was dual POV. I adore getting into both of the main characters' heads. Helps me get closer to them, understand the whole story better. However, I must admit that there were some times when being in Bryn's head blurred with being in Roman's. If not for telling me who was narrating in the beginning of each chapter, there were a few times where it wouldn't have been easy to pick out which was telling the story at the time. This wasn't a problem the whole way through, and this wasn't a problem that turned me off of the story. But it did happen. Still, I loved getting to see both of their POVs. Especially in this story, with everything going on with both of them.

Overall, The Girl In Between is a beautifully written story with great imagination that I found easy to enjoy. The characters made me like them, the romance made me happy, and the story held my attention the whole way through. I certainly plan to get my hands on the sequel when I can, because more of this story is definitely necessary. I enjoyed it so much and can't wait for more of these characters!

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