Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren Destefano {review + giveaway}

A Curious Tale of the In-Between
by Lauren Destefano
♦publisher: Bloomsbury USA
♦release date: September 1st, 2015
♦hardcover, 240 pages
♦series: Pram, book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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.

Review: With a story spun as charmingly and as darkly as any by Grimm, Lauren Destefano gives us her first tale for middle grade readers. A Curious Tale of the In-Between, however, will no doubt be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

This, I would say, is definitely one for the older end of the MG spectrum (maybe ages 11-12) as even I was pretty shocked and haunted by the opening scene---a grim visual of Pram's mother being found hanging from a tree, unborn Pram already dead inside her belly. Destefano's writing shines as it always does, though, each eerie image and curiosity and emotion coming to life on the page. Her storytelling is just as spot on as ever and though there were one or two moments that seemed a bit dry, I felt wrapped up in all of these complex characters and their adventure for most of the book.

Pram is a serious child, resourceful, and independent, as a result of being raised by two strange aunts in a house for the elderly. She's also long since come to terms with the fact that she can see and talk to the dead.  She's been homeschooled her whole life, so her best friend is the only child near the house, a ghost named Felix who loves to charm her with ghostly illusions.  They talk and play and fight like any best friends, but her aunts are constantly worried about how strange it makes her to outsiders. When a schoolmarm's visit lands her in public school, she meets Clarence and they almost immediately become friends.  The story turns dangerous when the wrong person finds out about Pram's ability and wants to use it in completely unimaginable and sinister ways.

This story was exciting and enchanting but also very emotional as you're following two young characters that are dealing with loss and trust and a very sweet and innocent first taste of deeper feelings. I absolutely can't wait to have another ghostly adventure with Pram, Clarence, Felix, and the funny, fussy aunts! I very much enjoyed this one.

Find Lauren DeStefano online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Instagram 

Purchase the book: Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

I'm giving away an ARC of A Curious Tale of the In-Between!
•US mailing addresses only please
•Ends 9/29/15

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Post a Comment