Nov 6, 2014

Review -- The Girl in Between + Excerpt

23124500The Girl in Between
Author: Laekan Zea Kemp
Release Date: September 30th, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Pages: 289
Format: ebook, received from author in exchange for honest review

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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.

My Review:
I was sent an email by the author to participate in a blog tour for this book. It sounded interesting and like nothing I have read before and I was right. This book was fantastic. You can't stop reading because you have to figure out what happens to Bryn but also the boy who shows up in her dream world.

I really liked Bryn as a character. She still wanted to go to college and just be normal even though she spent a lot of her life in a dream like coma. Dealing with KLS like she has to would be a very hard thing for anyone, but she still tries to just graduate school, catching up on all the homework she missed in the days or weeks that she was out. It was so nice to see her never give up. She does have her weakness here or there, but hey, who doesn't. The weakness just show she is even more of a real person and made me like her even more.

The boy was interesting to me, I had to keep reading not only for Bryn and her story, but I had to find out more about him too. Who is he, where did he come from. Why is he in Bryn's dream world. He obviously isn't supposed to be there and I am following Bryn's every move with her trying to figure out who he is as well. He seemed so sweet and I could tell he was pretty scared to be where he was. When he finally starts to figure out where he is and why, it is so sad. He has some horrible demons to cope with and I hope I get to find out how he deals with it all. I know the next book deals a lot with him, so I can't wait to get ahold of it!

The book mainly follows Bryn, but it does have chapters that are set in the boy's mind. As you go on and figure out his name, the chapters that are his finally get a name, the are left blank at first. I like that you get to switch back and forth between the two. You get to see how the dream world keeps going even when Bryn isn't in it, even though it follows her memories.

This book was very different from anything I have read. It was nice to get something that was able to catch me off guard and keeping me wanting to know what was going to happen. It has been a while since I have read a book that wasn't predictable. There are some things that you can obviously guess, but the main part of the story remains a mystery the while time.

I can see anyone enjoying this book. Young, old, male, female. There is so much to the book that can captivate anyone that reads it. I am very happy I was offered the change to read this book and I can't wait to start up on book 2!!


     “Can I show you something?” she asked. I wasn’t sure if I should follow her or even if I could but I didn’t want her to let go of me. I didn’t want her to disappear again and leave me there alone, still lost. So I nodded.

     We swam to the end of the dock and she untied the small rowboat. She climbed in first, reaching for the oars and holding it steady as I sat down across from her. I watched the house recede. My eyes trailed back to the road, still waiting for someone to come down it. They didn’t.

     “Where are we going?” I asked.

     “Not far.”

     I searched the horizon but it was empty. No land. No boats. It felt like we were headed straight for the skyline, about to fall off into nothing. The waves grew choppy and I wanted to take the oars from her but I didn’t know where we were going and for some reason I liked listening to the slow rhythm of her breathing as she fought the waves.

     The boat finally grinded to a stop and when I looked over the edge the water was so clear I could see tiny creatures bedding in the sand, their thin shadows eclipsed by the girl as she climbed onto the sandbar.

     “I went to the Bahamas once when I was thirteen,” she said. “The water was so blue. I strapped on a snorkel and spent the entire week just walking from sandbar to sandbar, face underwater watching the fish swim by.”

     I followed her out of the boat and a school of bright yellow fish cut between us, scales glinting.

     “This?” I said.

     She smiled and walked around to the other side of the boat. The water was a dark grey, my legs tangled in a mess of rust colored seaweed. I could barely see my feet, their shadows disappearing beneath swirls of mud.

     “This is the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston. I tagged along on one of my mom’s work trips. It was just a few weeks after Hurricane Ike.”

     I stared at the muddled outline where the two oceans converged—one light, one dark. I waited for them to mix, for that invisible seam to break free but it didn’t.

     We waded farther out into the clear water, another school of fish bumping against my calf, bright red coral twisting near my ankles. It was startling.

     “I used to come here,” she said. “When I first got sick I would stand here and it wouldn’t feel like purgatory anymore. They’re memories.” She faced the beach. “My memories.” Then she looked at me. “I don’t know why you’re here or if you’re—”

     “Real?” I asked.

     She nodded and I wasn’t so sure anymore either.

     “But you don’t have to be afraid,” she said. “It doesn’t have to feel like purgatory.”

     I watched the sunlight reflecting off the ocean and dancing against her skin. Her eyes were lighter in the sun; green churning to a soft sea foam like the waves crashing near our feet. And standing there in that invisible seam between two oceans, two worlds, she was just as startling.

     The tide swirled in her gaze and I watched it shimmer there, glinting from a soft grey to jade and then I said, “It doesn’t.”

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