Review of A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

ACuriousTaleoftheInBetweenA Curious Tale of the In-Between
By: Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: September 1st 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:
I’ve read a good amount of DeStefano’s books and A Curious Tale of the In-Between was my favorite of them all…and I’m not even a fan of middle grade fiction for the most part. This book was beautifully executed and unique.

The pacing was even and the story captivating. The characters were so likeable and I absolutely adored each of them (ghosts and human alike). I loved DeStefano’s take on ghosts and the afterlife. I thought she made such beautiful points and my favorite line of the book was,

“Death isn’t a punishment,” Pram said, repeating what Finely had told her. “It’s just what comes next.”

I recently lost my grandfather and this line was a balm to my soul. It hurts to lose those we love and the pain is a physical and emotional ache that does ease as time passes but it is always there. This line meant so much to me and really eased some of my own personal pain.

We follow Pram’s story and early on you know she’s not a typical little girl. She can see and befriend ghosts. To her, they are as much apart of her life as the elderly that she lives with in her Aunt’s home for older folks. I loved the elderly Pram was surrounded by and found them to be such a great addition to the story. Pram’s oldest friend was, Felix, a ghost. I thought the dynamic of their friendship was so sweet and beautiful. Really, you’ll be seeing the word, “beautiful, a lot because it just fits this book so well.

Pram had one living friend she meets at her first experience in school (she’d been homeschooled) named Clarence who was just as wonderful as the rest of the cast of characters. Really, each character had something unique and wonderful about them. Even the villain of the story pulled on my heart strings a teeny tiny bit (at the least she was intriguing).

Pram has lived with her aunts her whole life because her mother passed the day Pram was born. Her aunts have kept what happened exactly a secret and Pram had many questions and some guilt about what occurred with her mother. This book focused some on Pram’s discovery of her mother’s past as well as learning about the reasons why she can see and talk with ghosts.

Final Thoughts:
Even if you aren’t typically a fan of middle grade fiction you really should read A Curious Tale of the In-Between regardless. I believe this is DeStefano’s strongest work to date because of it’s ability to touch the heart and introduce characters you’ll not soon forget.

Extras:

  • I interviewed Lauren about the Internment Chronicles and A Curious Tale of the In-Between here

Comments

  1. says

    I’m really interested in this book. I haven’t read any of Lauren DeStefano’s previous works, but the premise of this one sounds intriguing. I read the first chapter online the other day and I told myself I needed to buy the book (soon, I hope). I don’t read a lot of stories involving ghosts, I’m interested to see the author’s take on that, but I don’t think I have to worry given what you said in your review! 🙂

  2. says

    I’ve been really interested in this book and I’m glad to hear what you think about it. I follow her on Twitter, but I’ve never read any of her books! This could be the first as I’ve been wanting to read some more middle grade. Great review!

  3. says

    I’m also not really a MG reader, but there have been some gems in that genre – I will definitely think about giving this one a go! Gorgeous review.

  4. says

    There have been sooo many good Middle Grade books, and A Curious Tale of the In-Between is one of them! I totally agree this is Lauren DeStefano’s strongest work. I was so into this entire world she created.

  5. says

    Ohhh def gonna pick this one up since I am in love with MG at times! Great review lady!! I really overlooked this but now am glad its on my radar!
    <3 Britt

  6. says

    Yesss 😀 I’m so so so thrilled that you loved this book so much Kristen. <3 Hugs. I have been dying to read it for aaages 🙂 Just waiting for my hardcover to arrive before I read it. <3 I know I will love it too. The characters all sound ADORABLE 😀 I cannot wait. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it sweetie 🙂 Yay for loving this gorgeous middle grade book. <3

  7. says

    I really need to try something by this author! Funnily enough, I’ve only just started hearing about her work, really, but it sounds fascinating.

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