I just finished reading The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel for an Around the World Tour.
If high school were a fairy-tale kingdom, Connelly Sternin would be Rapunzel, locked not in a tower by a wicked witch but in a high-rise apartment building by the SATs and college applications—and by the secrets she keeps. Connelly's few friends think that her parents are divorced—but they're not. Connelly's father died when she was two, and she doesn't know how.
If Connelly is the Rapunzel of her school, Jeremy Cole is the crown prince, son of a great and rich New York City family. So when he sits down next to her at lunch one day, Connelly couldn't be more surprised. But Jeremy has a tragic secret of his own, and Connelly is the only one he can turn to for help. Together they form a council of two, helping each other with their homework and sharing secrets. As the pair's friendship grows, Connelly learns that it's the truth, not the secrets, that one must guard and protect. And that between friends, the truth, however harsh, is also beautiful.
This lovely and memorable debut by Alyssa B. Sheinmel contains many of the hallmark themes found in young adult literature—friendship, coming of age, finding a place to belong, and overcoming the death of a loved one. Emotionally moving from start to finish, The Beautiful Between introduces a strong new voice to the genre, a voice with a long future ahead of it.
While I was hoping that I would love this book, it was only just okay to me. I thought that the idea of the story was engaging. And heartbreaking. And there was no romance in this story which is odd for me, but it wasn't a bad thing.
But I just couldn't connect with the main character, Connelly. For some reason, she just seemed distand to me and I couldn't get her. I mean, there were so many ways that I identified with her, when I was in high school--the girl who wasn't in the popular group, but who wasn't unpopular; the girl who was extremely studious. But I just didn't like her. I can't pinpoint why. Jeremy was okay for me. There were times when I liked him, but there were times that I didn't like how he treated Connelly. But I loved Kate. She seemed so cute and the kind of kid sister that everyone wants to have.
I would reccommend readers try reading this book. The idea of the story is great and maybe other readers will like the main character more.
I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.
The Beautiful Between will be released on May 11, 2010.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2010 100+ Reading Challenge: 55
2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 41
2010 Debut Author Challenge: 15
ARC Reading Challenge 2010: 39
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.