Book Review : The Girl In Between
By Laekan Zea Kemp
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. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
The Girl In Between had an interesting premise. I was disappointed in the language and some of the dumb decisions the teens made. The novel doesn’t go into graphic detail, but it’s unfortunate that the characters were stereotypical hormonal teenagers. Bryn, in particular, had the opportunity to show some real depth of character because of suffering through Klein-Levin Syndrome. Her cousin drove me nuts because she was so self-destructive.
The discussion Bryn has with the boy who appears on the beach in her dreams reminds me of an existential conversation with Albert Camus. The next interesting point was the revelation of Dr. Banz connection to Klein-Levin Syndrome. It would be fun to learn more in the next book, but sadly – well, not too sadly – I will skip it because of the language.
I’ve called it a ghost story because the mystery boy’s identity is so hazy through the majority of the novel and Bryn questions his existence. There is also another unexplained entity, a ghost, a demon, the personification of evil? We still don’t know.
2 out of 5 stars
I would recommend Matched by Ally Condie, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel.