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The Light Between Worlds

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Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except the Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves. Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes. Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was. But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.


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Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except the Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves. Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes. Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was. But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.

30 review for The Light Between Worlds

  1. 4 out of 5

    Korrina (OwlCrate)

    A picked this book up on a total whim and absolutely loved it. The writing was fantastic, and the story made my heart ache in the best way.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hamad

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription Actual rating: 3.5 stars “A Woodlands heart always find its way home” 🌟 The moment I set my eyes on this cover I knew I was going to read this book. It has one of the best covers ever. I wanted the inside to match the outside, well it happened but to a certain degree. 🌟 Let’s just say that the first thing that caught my attention was the writing style, Laura is a very good writer and for those who like poetical writing th This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription Actual rating: 3.5 stars “A Woodlands heart always find its way home” 🌟 The moment I set my eyes on this cover I knew I was going to read this book. It has one of the best covers ever. I wanted the inside to match the outside, well it happened but to a certain degree. 🌟 Let’s just say that the first thing that caught my attention was the writing style, Laura is a very good writer and for those who like poetical writing then this book is for you, it literally even had many verses of poem. The prose flowed easily which made this quite fast to read despite it being a bit heavy kind of book. 🌟 The Edelweiss page says that this book genre is Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Wizards & Witches, but I actually disagree. I thought it was going to be like that which makes you think it will be action packed with wars and tactics and stuff but nope! I can’t find one genre to put this into as it was a mix of Magic realism/ fantasy/ contemporary and historical fiction. So think of this more as a quiet book rather than a fast action packed one. 🌟 This was also a bit confusing at first because it jumps between the real world and the Woodsland world. between past and present and between Evelyn and Philippa. But after a few chapters I got the hang of things and that wasn’t really a problem. 🌟 I saw mixed reviews about this when comparing it to Narnia, some said that is a must for fans of Narnia and some said that it is a big No for those fans. I say try it and have your own opinion. I never watched Narnia (I know!!) so I can’t judge but there are similarities as jumping into a different world where time flows different form our world. So the characters grow in Woodlands for a few years and then they go back to the real world as young children. I found this idea a cool one and so if you like it give this a chance. 🌟 It is also more of a character driven book that deals with families, wars and sisterhood. I expected it to be like HP kind of book with more magic and creatures and adventures and that never happened. That actually affected my rating. “If it’s your heart that fails you, we’ll teach your hands what to do. Then they will act before your heart can stop them” ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    A yearning, achingly lovely take on what happens when you find your way free of your own world and into one that suits you better--then are forced back home again. This is a book for anyone who dreamed of being Lucy Pevensie or broke their heart over poor Susan, with the mystical, lonesome feeling of a clearing happened upon in the woods.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nadhira Satria

    Boring and a complete rip off of Narnia. bleh

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joey Rambles

    You know, if you can get past the off-putting formatting and enigmatic writing style of this novel, there's actually a pretty interesting story in it! Too bad I couldn't get past the off-putting formatting and enigmatic writing style. This is going to sound like an angry review, so before anything else, I'd like to say this: everything I dislike about this novel is purely on a semantic level. I have no problems with its characters or its plot. It's actually pretty sophisticated for a YA novel. Lik You know, if you can get past the off-putting formatting and enigmatic writing style of this novel, there's actually a pretty interesting story in it! Too bad I couldn't get past the off-putting formatting and enigmatic writing style. This is going to sound like an angry review, so before anything else, I'd like to say this: everything I dislike about this novel is purely on a semantic level. I have no problems with its characters or its plot. It's actually pretty sophisticated for a YA novel. Like I said, I actually think the concept for this novel has some really interesting ideas. I moved a lot growing up, so the feeling of missing home when you're at home is something I deeply relate to. But this was the wrong way of telling this story. This book is told through the POV of its two main characters: sisters Evelyn and Philippa. Philippa's POV takes over during the second half of the novel, but since that gets into spoiler territory, I'm going to focus on the first half instead: Evelyn's POV. Evelyn's POV constantly shifts from past to present, and it is so jarring. The whole "constantly-switching-from-past-to-present" POV doesn't need to be necessarily a bad or jarring thing. Tons of novels have used this format to great effect. But here's the thing: In most of those novels, the author usually picks a time period that's more important than the other one. For example, in Water for Elephants, the past is very clearly the main focus of the story, and therefore the chapters about it are much much longer and more in-depth. In this one, the past and the present seem to be equally important, so these two time periods are competing for your attention. Both past and present chapters are of equal length (and they're really short) so just when you think you're getting into the really good parts of a time period - WHAM! Suddenly, you're in a different time period, with different characters and a different story. I do not like being dragged into a story, only to be suddenly dragged out so I can be dragged into another story. The book also changes time periods chapter by chapter, and so some chapters feel really stale. There's this feeling you get with certain chapters: like the author didn't really know what to do and was really only writing the chapter because, well, the previous chapter was set in the past, so now this one has to be set in the present! So the present chapters just feature a lot of hackneyed romance, and the past chapters just feature a lot of talking. Man, I sure love all this talking. That's exactly what I started reading this high fantasy novel for - the talking. A lot of the chapters are boring and unnecessary is what I'm trying to say. This book also contains a lot of purple prose. Certain quotes feel like they're overwritten. Obviously, purple prose is never a good thing, but that's not even the main problem. The main problem is that some of these quotes come RIGHT THE F**K OUT OF NOWHERE. Like this one: Tom nods his head slowly. "I'll go then. As soon as you do, I'll let you be." Let my blood turn to ice. Let me be a hundred years' winter. I am Evelyn of the Woodlands, walker of worlds, teller of truths. GIRL, CALM DOWN. HE WAS JUST LEAVING THE ROOM. I'm serious. The boy she was talking to, Tom? All he did was ask politely to leave the room. I have no idea why Evelyn suddenly wanted her blood to turn to ice and there to be an eternal winter like she's Elsa. This happens so much throughout the book. It's crazy. It's like the author planned out all these great quotes before she wrote the book, and then she wrote it and had no idea how to blend them into the narrative seamlessly, so she just kinda...writes them out of nowhere. Everything that I've mentioned above makes the book feel calculated. It feels more like the first draft of a novel than the actual novel itself. Because of that, everything about this novel feels artificial. Moments feel pre-planned and quotes feel pre-written. And yes, I know all writers pre-plan moments and pre-write quotes, but the best writers make it seem like nothing is planned, and that the story is actually happening right in front of you. Just read books by Seanan McGuire and Katherine Arden. They're experts at writing beautiful prose in fantasies.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    If you have loved Narnia, you MUST look this book up next fall. I don't even have words to describe how much I adored it; the lyrical, literary prose, the deeply flawed but eminently relatable characters, the utterly phenomenal premise. This book is like nostalgia incarnate, and not quite like anything I've ever read. ❤❤❤ DEFINITELY read it. If you have loved Narnia, you MUST look this book up next fall. I don't even have words to describe how much I adored it; the lyrical, literary prose, the deeply flawed but eminently relatable characters, the utterly phenomenal premise. This book is like nostalgia incarnate, and not quite like anything I've ever read. ❤️❤️❤️ DEFINITELY read it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nemo (The Moonlight Library)

    This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Some people will see this as a loving homage to Narnia, with similar elements easily identified: Lucy, Susan and Peter are obviously Evelyn, Philippa, and Jamie, with Aslan recreated in Cervus the stag, and the Woodlands creatures shadows of Narnia natives. Others will see it as a Narnia ri This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Some people will see this as a loving homage to Narnia, with similar elements easily identified: Lucy, Susan and Peter are obviously Evelyn, Philippa, and Jamie, with Aslan recreated in Cervus the stag, and the Woodlands creatures shadows of Narnia natives. Others will see it as a Narnia rip off. For me, I like to think the author was so deeply inspired by Narnia and what happened after that this is almost an alt fanfiction. The similarities simply cannot be forgotten and unfortunately they pale somewhat in comparison - but then again, because we get to see from Evelyn and Philippa's point of view, it's also quite a modern YA take on a classic MG story, and it's an original story in its own right. It makes dealing with the aftermath of Narnia more intimate. Let's be clear: CS Lewis didn't like Susan, and that's why she couldn't go back to Narnia once she grew up and got interested in 'silly girly' things like makeup and boys. The Light Between Worlds treats growing up - an inevitability, despite what JM Barrie says about Peter Pan - very differently. Philippa wears lipstick and heels as a weapon. But I really struggled with this book. It has a fantastic elevator pitch: 'What happens to the children after they return from Narnia' - bam! Sounds amazing. But the execution of this highly sellable idea was severely lacking. If you want to read a book where nothing much happens, and then Evie disappears, and then MORE nothing much happens, then you're in for a treat! I found the lack of action very frustrating. I didn't so much mind that Evie gave us alternate chapters in the real world and in the Woodlands… except that what was going on in the real world was SO BORING. We followed Evie around in her pity party and I tell you, it was not a nice place to stay. Her behaviour was so odd, especially since she's very obviously depressed and no one gave a shit about mental illness in the 19050s. Everyone treated Evie like she's suffered some great loss, but no one would talk about it, they just let her mope about and walk in the rain with no shoes and do the school's gardening. But the thing I found was that ALL of the girls at Evie's school would have gone through some sort of trauma - they were all old enough to have experienced the war - but no one else was left a key so they could sneak out with the secret approval of a Literature professor. No one else was allowed to mope about in bed for days. No one else was allowed out to wander in the rain and off campus. Evie's pain obviously came from not being in the Woodlands, but other girls would have been experiencing a similar pain with the aftermath of a world war. Or maybe they all did suffer as much as Evie, but we were being held at arm's length from her - not close enough to know what she was REALLY thinking, but not far enough back that we could objectively see how other characters suffered, too. Basically the only reason I kept going was because I wanted to know if this was going to be a magical realism book or more of a drama: did Evie die or was her disappearance linked to the Woodlands again? So I kept reading, on to Philippa's section. After trailing Evie and her non-action moping, I really wanted Philippa to take action. Instead, she comes home from America, falls into a job, and basically does nothing. No investigating, no questioning, no going through Evie's things. She visits the 'crime scene' at night during a gale, barely glances at it, and goes away again. She goes to the police not to help with the investigation, but to take the letters Evie sent her that she never read, and get abused by the detective just to make her feel more guilty. She travels a long way to barely question the last person who saw Evie, taking the blame off them and placing it firmly on herself. I wanted her to DO something. What was the point of coming home from America? She doesn't influence anything, the plot doesn't move forward because there's nothing to act upon or react against. She even says, "I understand that it's foolish for me to expect to find anything, but I can't stop looking. I owe it to my sister, to ask all the questions, to turn over all the stones." And I'm sitting there screaming because she hasn't done anything. She's asked maybe one or two people maybe one or two questions. She didn't really look where Evie disappeared. She didn't look anywhere else. She didn't really look at all, because she was too busy going to work in London and being sad. This was a novel of inaction, and it really frustrated me. But on the positive side, the sections devoted to the Woodlands were… basically rehashes of things we've already seen in The Chronicles of Narnia. I think the only reason we got such an in depth look at it was for the readers who haven't read Narnia… but then I wondered, is that who the target audience is? All of the obvious references to Narnia are there for us to recognise, but what if we don’t? Could this novel still be enjoyed by someone who hasn't read or doesn't love Narnia? That's not up to me to decide. For the record, I have read and did enjoy Narnia, but I don't think it's the pinnacle of children's literature. Another positive was that there is disability recognition in this novel. There really should be, because it's set so soon after the war, and there were a lot of disabled vets in London. The writing itself was fine enough, not really that memorable but nothing difficult or unfortunate to read. I did find it frustrating how confrontations fizzled out and went nowhere, and whenever we were building up to an interesting scene, it skipped over that part and ploughed on with more moping. There was a really huge deal out of some amazing big argument/throwdown Evie and Phil had that led to Phil moving to America... but it turned out to be a very gentle conversation. Overall I can't feel like I can offer a suggestion on whether I think you'll like it or not. Even if you did like Narnia, you might find this too unoriginal. If you've never read Narnia, you might not feel the same kind of affection that I wanted to feel for this novel. Although it was reasonably enjoyable to read, I found it lacking in certain areas and I finished the book just kind of wanting more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gaby (lookingatbooks)

    Update: I got an arc 🙆🏼♀ May 5th, 2018 Someone said this is like Narnia.... I am so ready for this book to come out🙊 Update: I got an arc 🙆🏼‍♀️ May 5th, 2018 Someone said this is like Narnia.... I am so ready for this book to come out🙊

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hollis

    This book is achingly horribly painfully sad. The pitch for THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS is basically what would life be like for children, grown into heroes or saviours in another world, to come home (ie, post-Narnia). Or to what was once home. I'm not sure exactly what I expected from such a plot, and of course I didn't read the synopsis before diving in, but I was totally unprepared for this experience. In a good and a bad way. Weymouth's writing is stunning and I want more from this author; that i This book is achingly horribly painfully sad. The pitch for THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS is basically what would life be like for children, grown into heroes or saviours in another world, to come home (ie, post-Narnia). Or to what was once home. I'm not sure exactly what I expected from such a plot, and of course I didn't read the synopsis before diving in, but I was totally unprepared for this experience. In a good and a bad way. Weymouth's writing is stunning and I want more from this author; that is without question. However I found the first hundred pages of this story incredibly slow, even boring, and then the rest just.. hurts. This story is painful. It's about overpowering loss and grief and longing set post-WWII, which is already kind of gloomy, and I'm just.. well, feeling pretty depressed. There is so little hope in this story, which is less about their adventures and more about an emotional journey for two sisters -- one of whom moves on and the other who only wants to return -- and I basically read half of this book choking back tears and emotion and agony. So, you know, if that isn't your idea of a good time this might not be the book for you. Despite the slow start it isn't dull it's just lacking in any real happiness. Which I suppose is supposed to be the mood. And also why I'm not rating it. Again, this is beautifully written and the talent of the author is very present but holy god I don't want to put myself through this again. ** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dani - Perspective of a Writer

    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... 5 years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves. When Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair an Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... 5 years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves. When Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. The short review... The setup of The Light Between Worlds is quite fascinating... We start with Evelyn and go back and forth between the present and the past back in the Woodlands. In this way we learn of her present heartache and come to understand the situation that lead to her deep mourning. Meeting Tom is the best thing for the reader as he's a bright bit of sunshine in Evelyn's unique position. Evelyn's side of the story isn't all there is though ... we also learn about Philippa, Evelyn's older sister, who contributes in a big way to Evelyn's predicament. As these two sisters deal with the past and make decisions in the present we come to see the love and bond between two sisters is one of the most powerful in the world. You may have heard rumors than The Light Between Worlds is a Narnia knock off... Disabuse yourself of this idea now. Whether you are a total Narnia fan or a Narnia anti-fan or even totally don't know what Narnia is... it doesn't matter a bit. The Woodlands may be vaguely familiar to you and you probably will recognize the fantasy, fae creatures, war combination but the story has little to do with it. We aren't going on an adventure and even though there are a couple of charged scenes in the Woodlands we aren't going to war... in London or a fantasy realm, no, it's a battle of the heart. It will shred you, for both girls have to deal with the aftermath of the Woodlands. Cover & Title grade -> A- At first I was totally mystified by this cover! I wondered why readers thought it was so gorgeous as to want to read the book based solely on the design... All I saw was a silvery cover with some kind of chrome effect and odd spiked horn things. Hahahha. Then my writing partner said, oh wow that's a gorgeous cover... *crickets* What in the world was she talking about?! Where was my critical and discerning best friend's good sense?! Then seeing my puzzled and horrified look she said... You know the buck's head in the winter landscape... HUH?! So I took another look and finally saw what other readers saw, lol. I do think its gorgeous now that I've seen it. From the digital version its a lot harder to see the beauty and I can totally see others making my mistake. So a slightly lowered rating. I find the title totally spot on though. It fits the story only too well... though I'd like to see the title in gold foil since it is a story about light after all. Why did I enjoy The Light Between Worlds even though its reminiscent of Narnia? -This is a post fantasy world experience. With Narnia's story we get a group of kids finding their way to Narnia and experiencing an adventure that totally eclipses their current life. With this story the kids have gone to the Woodlands and come home again... then the story starts. We are only told about the Woodlands in alternating chapters that are basically extended flashbacks. The Woodlands could represent ANY fantasy world and is used as a commentary to explore the idea of where we belong. What this does is, instead of being an adventure story, makes the entire experience one of longing, desire, heartache and regret. It makes us poignantly wonder what if we got to experience a new world? Whatever new world doesn't matter, but one that we feel we belong in more that our own. Would we also feel as Evelyn did? -Explores the value of love vs. belonging. Evelyn makes it know right from the beginning how she feels about the Woodlands. We can't refute it or challenge it. Everything about Evelyn is about her feelings concerning the Woodlands. What is challenged is her love for her family and her love for a boy she falls for in the present. Most of us love our family, but is that love more important than who we are and what makes us happiest? I really, really loved Tom. I felt like he was a tethering source for Evelyn to the present, AS WELL AS Evelyn's sister and brother. The question is should love limit us? We can totally relate this to choosing for ourselves when it comes to almost anything... should our family and lover dictate our sexuality, career, lifestyle, friends? Evelyn experienced the same kind of struggle, one every human being on the planet can relate to in some fashion. -A love poem to the power of sisterhood. Evelyn totally falls for this friend of her brother's in the most beautiful and natural love story that I have ever read... but what is keeping her in the present isn't the distraction that this boy provides. It's her sister. It's this marvelous older sister that Evelyn has looked up to her entire life. This young woman, Philippa, is who Evelyn looks to, sacrifices for and loves beyond reason. And they have totally opposite views about the Woodlands. The use of poetry is one that many readers will identify with. It's how Evelyn communicates her feelings to the sister she loves. Even if we, like Philippa can't see what enthralls Evenlyn about the Woodlands we can understand and relate to the emotions it stirs in her through the poetry. As a Writer... I talk about heavy prose whenever I read a book where I feel like I'm slogging through too many words and a purple prose type of narrative. It's hard to communicate to other readers why the writing is too much. Well this is a perfect example of purple prose done right!! Laura Weymouth's writing is light, but emotional, with none of the purple prose heaviness, but with so much showing, so gorgeous! Her prose is so good, so emotion stirring that when I got to Philippa's part of the story I had to keep reading. Up to this point I wasn't that into Philippa... she felt like an overbearing older sister to me. I didn’t want to read her part, I didn't care to know her excuses for what she did to Evelyn... what could this half possibly be about?! But as i started Philippa's story I was blown away by what Laura Weymouth stirred in me for the hated older sister... and I was sobbing by the end. In a good and happy way for the siblings. Laura Weymouth is a debut author to watch!! The Light Between Worlds isn't another Narnia... its deeper and more beautiful than that... Instead of being an adventure story, its a love poem to the power of sisterhood, its an experience full of longing, desire, heartache, regret and finally love and letting go. The story truly is as gorgeous as its cover, its not only a must read, but its a must buy! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions. ______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter... Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Who Reads

    4.5 stars This was such a poignant read, I'm stunned by Weymouth's expert skill at manipulating what we perceive as reality and fiction. Not only was I wholly immersed in this novel--in the rich worlds of the Woodlands and wartime London--I was also invested in the characters' stories and wanted to see them succeed. Let me backtrack. Weymouth definitely blew my expectations away with her debut, and I definitely already had decently high expectations. Yet, there was so much meaning and subtext within 4.5 stars This was such a poignant read, I'm stunned by Weymouth's expert skill at manipulating what we perceive as reality and fiction. Not only was I wholly immersed in this novel--in the rich worlds of the Woodlands and wartime London--I was also invested in the characters' stories and wanted to see them succeed. Let me backtrack. Weymouth definitely blew my expectations away with her debut, and I definitely already had decently high expectations. Yet, there was so much meaning and subtext within this novel, and all I really want to do is reread and reanalyze the whole thing. I mean, everything is so subtle, and although this looks like a really loud clashing action-y fantasy--or at least, it could be--it's definitely not that type of story. If anything, I would classify The Light Between Worlds as a character story, and full of self-rumination and the aftermath of an event. Sure, the sisters' time in the Woodlands is important, but ultimately the focus of this story would be on the sisters moving on, not them spending time at the Woodlands. It's more of a "what now?" sort of book, and I love how this new style of "after" books is emerging, because ultimately, all of us will relate to the after more than the clashing action and heroism. Evelyn is so natural and definitely has her heart in another world, while Philippa will ground herself wherever she is, which is what I find to be a really great juxtaposition between the sisters that worked. They highlight each others' flaws, and even their own stories sort of mimic each other in subtle ways. And I loved reading the flashbacks to the Woodlands--those provided enough magic and intrigue and mystery that I wanted to keep reading, and finding out what devastated Evelyn and made her so un-whole is a big part of why I kept reading. The Woodlands is magical and mysterious and very different from our world, yet so very similar to wartime throughout history, as war is devastating no matter what realm it's from. Why 4.5 when I enjoyed it so much? Honestly, I feel like it's because Philippa's part felt too short for me. Going into this book, I definitely had my doubts about its one sister, then the other sister format, and I do think some of my fears came true in the way that I related to Evelyn and her story a lot more than Philippa's. Although I can devise no other way to change the format without making the Woodlands chapters more awkward, I still wanted something more to link Philippa and Evelyn's story and the transition between them. Something more that made me equally invested in Philippa's personal journey. And my preference for Evelyn's chapters could have been because I just liked Evelyn more (although, emotionally I think I'm more like Philippa) but some parts of me think I was more invested in Evelyn than Philippa because of how Evelyn introduced the story and struggled a lot more visibly than Philippa did. There's so much nuance and subtext in The Light Between Worlds, and it's really hard to describe the sort of lull it creates while you read this and sort of, soak and simmer in a pot of emotions. But I do have to say that it's a lull I enjoyed, and this debut fantasy definitely blew me away with its subtle meaning and underlying themes. Definitely recommend for anyone looking for something a little more low-key and a little less in-your-face action. Thank you so much to Harper Collins and Edelweiss for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review! Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  12. 4 out of 5

    ✧lilly✧

    ✧ ARC PROVIDED BY THE PUBLISHER VIA EDELWEISS IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW ✧ Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia or watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? If yes, don't come anywhere near this book. Reread or rewatch Narnia instead. You'll be getting the better execution of the exact same premise. There isn't an ounce of originality in The Light Between Worlds. It's practically a recycled version of Narnia, minus Edmund: ✔ four three children are swept away to a magical medieval land ✧ ARC PROVIDED BY THE PUBLISHER VIA EDELWEISS IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW ✧ Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia or watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? If yes, don't come anywhere near this book. Reread or rewatch Narnia instead. You'll be getting the better execution of the exact same premise. There isn't an ounce of originality in The Light Between Worlds. It's practically a recycled version of Narnia, minus Edmund: ✔️ four three children are swept away to a magical medieval land through a wardrobe bunker; ✔️ the godlike lion Aslan deer Cervus serves as their spiritual mentor; ✔️ the magical land is threatened by an evil tyrant who the children should help defeat; ✔️ little sister Lucy Evelyn befriends the supernatural creatures and feels more at home in their world; ✔️ big sister Susan Philippa turns her back on the magical land once the children are back in our world. And as if these similarities aren't enough to appall any Narnia fan, little to nothing happens in the first 25%. The storyline follows the children's arrival in the magical land and Evelyn's 24-hour mental pity party five years after their return simultaneously. The flashbacks are predictable because you're witnessing a less exciting version of Narnia which barely scratches the surface of the fantasy classic. The "after" chapters are boring because of how mundane they are. Evelyn goes to boarding school. Evelyn reads poetry. Evelyn takes a walk in the woods. Evelyn pulls weeds. Evelyn makes a phone call. There are a million amazing things you can do with the "after Narnia" premise, and this book throws every opportunity for adventure and excitement out the window. The occasionally striking writing is the only thing keeping The Light Between Worlds from a 1 star rating. I wasn't aware that you could write a bland Narnia, but I guess I stand corrected. DNF at 25%. More of my reviews can be found on my blog, Valley of the Books.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    HOLY CRAP! I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK Firstly, I did not realize how much of a historical fiction it was going to be! It's a historical fiction with some fantasy--not a fantasy. I got some hardcore Narnia vibes but the POV and information given was actually quite different. Imagine being kicked out of Narnia and trying to go back to your life just after WWII. We're not focusing on the magical world that changed you BUT how actions and events in life change people so permanently. My favourite part? HOLY CRAP! I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK Firstly, I did not realize how much of a historical fiction it was going to be! It's a historical fiction with some fantasy--not a fantasy. I got some hardcore Narnia vibes but the POV and information given was actually quite different. Imagine being kicked out of Narnia and trying to go back to your life just after WWII. We're not focusing on the magical world that changed you BUT how actions and events in life change people so permanently. My favourite part? Definitely getting the point of view of Evelyn at the start and then her sister Philippa taking over. I got to see how they experienced their past so differently even though they were in the same family, living through WWII and went to the same magical world together. I am also 100% in love with Philippa's romance. I also loved that Evelyn chose herself over a boy. This book also had quite a bit of inclusion of mental health struggles which surprised me. At about the half way mark, I was like "ugh, are we not actually really going to visit this magical world that changed Evelyn?!" but by the end...I didn't want to. It's kind of like a secret and there was something beautiful about seeing only the surface of it and then how it truly touched Philippa and Evelyn.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)

    Initial Impressions 8/19/18: 4.5 stars What a beautiful book this was! THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS wasn't quite what I was expecting but it turned out to be even better. The focus was much more on the time after the fantasy world and how the three siblings had to deal with being back in the real world and it made for such an emotional story. I loved the characters and how real everything felt. The emotions really struck me and I connected with these characters so much. The writing was positively gor Initial Impressions 8/19/18: 4.5 stars What a beautiful book this was! THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS wasn't quite what I was expecting but it turned out to be even better. The focus was much more on the time after the fantasy world and how the three siblings had to deal with being back in the real world and it made for such an emotional story. I loved the characters and how real everything felt. The emotions really struck me and I connected with these characters so much. The writing was positively gorgeous. It was a tad flowery at times which sort of took away from some of the beauty because it was so well-written that it didn't need to be over the top. Those quiet moments and emotional connections did the work so the overly flowery passages weren't necessary, but they still evoked emotion as well, even if they did become a bit distracting. I was easily swept away with this story and I had a hard time tearing myself out of this world. I actually really appreciated that this book wasn't so much about the fantasy world that these children found but about how it changed them and the people they became. It wasn't about all of them needing the world and everyone took away something different from the experience. I loved the sibling connection and the other relationships in the book were positively perfect as well. Tom was easily the best character in the book and I loved him so much, and Philippa's Jack made for a wonderful addition as well. It's wonderful to see supporting characters doing just that -- supporting the leads for exactly who they are, despite heartbreak, secrets, stubbornness, and all the other things. I actually didn't quite love the ending. It was quite fitting and I knew it was one of two possibilities but I still didn't love it. It also leaves a lot of questions left unanswered (like what will happen after the closing chapter), but it's also not necessary to address those questions because that would be another story entirely. I'm so glad I read this book and although it wasn't what my heart told me I was in the mood for when I picked it up, it founds its place quite fittingly.

  15. 5 out of 5

    London Shah

    You don't even know how much you're going to love this book... Oh my goodness, it is haunting in the most beautiful ways. Prepare to meet one of the most unforgettable MC's you've ever read about––I can't believe how much I connected with Ev!!! I still think about her, and that's something when you consider I read an early draft of this story. I cannot wait to read the final version. So utterly beautifully written, a heartbreaking premise, and an MC who will grab your heart and run away into he You don't even know how much you're going to love this book... Oh my goodness, it is haunting in the most beautiful ways. Prepare to meet one of the most unforgettable MC's you've ever read about––I can't believe how much I connected with Ev!!! I still think about her, and that's something when you consider I read an early draft of this story. I cannot wait to read the final version. So utterly beautifully written, a heartbreaking premise, and an MC who will grab your heart and run away into he woodlands with it. Oh my <3

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    How dare someone think to write this! I mean ... this was just ... COMPLETELY, UTTERLY AND IRREVOCABLY DEVASTATING!!! First, let me start off by saying I had ridiculously high expectations for this book. Ever since the deal was announced, say a year and a half ago, I have kept an eye on every single update. The title change, the cover reveal which then changed as well (to a masterpiece, I might add), when ARCs went out, etc. The author even followed me back on Twitter a little while ago and I los How dare someone think to write this! I mean ... this was just ... COMPLETELY, UTTERLY AND IRREVOCABLY DEVASTATING!!! First, let me start off by saying I had ridiculously high expectations for this book. Ever since the deal was announced, say a year and a half ago, I have kept an eye on every single update. The title change, the cover reveal which then changed as well (to a masterpiece, I might add), when ARCs went out, etc. The author even followed me back on Twitter a little while ago and I lost my s**t. In other words, I have waited a long time to read this book. Yes, I could very well have set myself up for failure, but this piece of perfection met every single one of my lofty expectations and left me a puddle of distraught despair. Second, do not go into this expecting to get a rip-off of Narnia. Rather consider it the sequel to the Pevensie (in this case Hapwell) children's adventures you never got. This novel tackles all the implications and consequences of growing up, of finding who you are in a magical world, only to be thrown unceremoniously back into your original, boring world and having to start all over again. And let me tell you yet again that this was devastating! I did not expect how broken my heart would be over this. It is completely realistic and believable, which makes it all my sob-worthy. Speaking of the Hapwell siblings, prepare to become far too attached to them. The book is told in dual POV, and I really enjoyed the format. The first half is told from the youngest Hapwell, Evelyn's POV almost six years after their return from The Woodlands. In between this, there are flashbacks that take us through the Hapwell siblings' time in this magical world. Evelyn was eleven when she first crossed between worlds, and it was her call that brought them to The Woodlands. Growing up in the midst of WWII in England, she and her siblings were shunted back and forth between school and other peoples' homes for safety. Naturally, she was never able to put down roots to call somewhere home until The Woodlands. Her chapters follow her as she struggles to find her place in England, but all she wants is to go back home. The second half is told from Evelyn's older sister, Philippa, with the flashbacks showing how life was in the five years since they returned home. While Evelyn can only think of The Woodlands, Philippa can only think of her sister's well-being. Jamie, the oldest brother, pops up between each sibling, but it's clear he is at a loss of what to do for either sister. In short, THIS BOOK WILL CRUSH YOUR SOUL THROUGH THE HAPWELL CHILDREN. Finally, I cannot end without exclaiming that Laura Weymouth's writing is beautiful. Usually, I never quite know when to apply the description of lyrical to a novel because of how ambiguous I find the term at times, but this hit it right on the head. It is lush and vivid, and Weymouth gets right down to nitty-gritty of each character with lovely prose. In considering how much the characters dwell on their situations, their fears and desires, Weymouth walks a very fine line and comes off at the end being victorious in avoiding sounding repetitive. Overall, I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a fantasy standalone that I question if we ever needed it because it holds up to the light of day the consequences of the fantastic experiences so many of our beloved characters go through. We never see what happens after the day is won, the war is over, the world and loved ones are safe. There are parts of these characters that can never be the same, and while this was unbelievably destructive on my emotions, I cannot wait to read it again. *September 28 I NOW HOLD A PHYSICAL ARC IN MY HANDS BECAUSE MY LOCAL BOOKSTORE IS THE GREATEST. I don't think you realize how excited I am to dive into this now. That display is lucky it's still in one piece.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight This book... well it wasn't my favorite. It did get a wee bit better as it went along, at least? Idk, I am grasping at straws here, because I wanted so desperately to like it. And tons of people did, from what I can tell on Goodreads! So as always, opinions vary! The Things I Liked: •The sibling bond. The sibling story that the story was rooted in was great. They experienced a lot toge You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight This book... well it wasn't my favorite. It did get a wee bit better as it went along, at least? Idk, I am grasping at straws here, because I wanted so desperately to like it. And tons of people did, from what I can tell on Goodreads! So as always, opinions vary! The Things I Liked: •The sibling bond. The sibling story that the story was rooted in was great. They experienced a lot together, and they then had to navigate their relationships back in the "real" world. It felt really honest that they were so tight-knit, but then drifted apart after they all went through such a huge, life changing experience. •The time period/setting. I am an absolute sucker for a historical fiction, plus the English countryside is just fabulous! The author also did a really great job of nailing the time period and atmosphere of the setting- it felt very authentic. •The writing was lovely. I will absolutely try the author again, because her prose was downright lovely. •When the story reaches Phillipa's POV, it picks up a tad. I cared much more for Phillipa's point of view than Evelyn's. While I felt a sadness and sympathy for Evelyn, I had a much easier time connecting with Phillipa's story. The Things I Didn't: •Honestly? The biggest thing was that I was just really, really bored. It's such a hard thing to explain with any sort of eloquence, I'm afraid. The story started out slowly, for sure. And that isn't even always a problem for me. I think that when the slowness combined with a character that I just couldn't find myself caring too much for (Evelyn), it lead to me having a hard time staying invested. Even by the time Phillipa came along, I was really only marginally more invested. There was just so much repetition: Evelyn is sad. Phillipa feels bad about leaving Evelyn. And over and over and over. •Evelyn felt annoyingly one-dimensional. Honestly, the only thing I knew about her was "misses Narnia the Woodlands". To be honest, I have no idea why she missed it even. (I'll go into that in the next bullet point.) After her millionth time brooding about how much she hated the real world I just... didn't care anymore. Also, while I liked the character of her romantic interest, it really pissed me off that he was repeatedly described as "tethering me to the world".  Look, I know she's probably experiencing some legit mental illness here, but she has family and friends who love her, but only a dude can help? Hard pass. •The Woodlands is just... I don't get the appeal? Guys, this world seems awful. Lots of fighting and killing and messiness. I get that they'd come from WWII era London but like. Is Narnia really any better? We did get some flashbacks of the siblings' time in the Woodlands, but it really didn't convince me at all. I couldn't get a decent picture in my head of this place; it seemed a little generic-fantasy to me. And a pretty brutal place to spend your formidable years, tbh. •Pretty healthy dose of Parent-In-YA-Syndrome. There is finally some discussion about the parents being MIA, but if you ask me, it's too little too late. Especially because their "reasons" were crappy at best. Harmful, obviously, at worst. Bottom Line: While I didn't love the story itself, it certainly had some positive points. And lots of people did love it, so check those out too of course!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Britt

    Wow, this book was quite a trip. It started out with a Chronicles of Narnia vibe but then turned into all of the darkness and poetic beauty of Wintersong. This book gives insight to what might happen after Narnia. They’ve lived in a different world, are years older, different people – and then get thrown back into their younger bodies in this old world. It is a story about the bond/relationship between sisters, and dealing with loss, grief, and guilt. Keep in mind that this is a pretty emotional Wow, this book was quite a trip. It started out with a Chronicles of Narnia vibe but then turned into all of the darkness and poetic beauty of Wintersong. This book gives insight to what might happen after Narnia. They’ve lived in a different world, are years older, different people – and then get thrown back into their younger bodies in this old world. It is a story about the bond/relationship between sisters, and dealing with loss, grief, and guilt. Keep in mind that this is a pretty emotionally intense story (feeling lost, depression, self-harm) so take care while reading. It is also interwoven with poetry, magic, art, and finding where your heart calls home. Laura Weymouth enchants you with the Woodlands and makes you never want to leave. It is heart-wrenching and beautiful and definitely worth a read this Fall!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ameema Saeed

    4.5 stars. I'm an Indigo Employee, and I received an advanced reading copy of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. The alternate ending to Narnia that you never knew you needed. This book was devastating (in the best of ways). Covering incredibly heavy topics like grief, loss, trauma, and mental illness – this book was truly genre-defying. Almost split into two stories – this read half like the story of a young, troubled girl – torn between two worlds; and half like the new adult coming- 4.5 stars. I'm an Indigo Employee, and I received an advanced reading copy of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. The alternate ending to Narnia that you never knew you needed. This book was devastating (in the best of ways). Covering incredibly heavy topics like grief, loss, trauma, and mental illness – this book was truly genre-defying. Almost split into two stories – this read half like the story of a young, troubled girl – torn between two worlds; and half like the new adult coming-of-age story of a woman who loses her sister. Somehow, the two stories worked, and together told a heartbreaking (but strangely uplifting) story. I really loved this book – I was surprised by how much, and am excited for more from this author.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Miller

    I stayed up most of the night reading this. It's that compelling! The premise is great. What happens to kids once they get back from someplace like Narnia (it isn't Narnia, but a similar kind of fantastical alternate world) and have to fit themselves back into this reality? The writing here is so strong and the story is realised in a dark and beautiful plot about love between sisters and two young women coping with the constant threat of emotional breakdown. I found Philippa's story more complex I stayed up most of the night reading this. It's that compelling! The premise is great. What happens to kids once they get back from someplace like Narnia (it isn't Narnia, but a similar kind of fantastical alternate world) and have to fit themselves back into this reality? The writing here is so strong and the story is realised in a dark and beautiful plot about love between sisters and two young women coping with the constant threat of emotional breakdown. I found Philippa's story more complex and engaging than Evelyn's, I think because she was more flawed but still incredibly brave and caring. But both narratives were beautifully written and woven together with a single narrative drive that kept me turning pages. This is a great read. If you like YA fantasy and are also ready to follow an intense emotional journey I'd HIGHLY recommend this one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Lovely writing. Winsome characters. Leisurely pace. This novel explores the characters’ longings for another world & the ache they feel when separated from the place they truly belong. A strong YA novel with beautiful use of language. I look forward to another story from this talented author! (This is a very introspective novel. I was moved by the story but wished that the characters’ sojourn in the other world would have made them braver, stronger & more altruistic in this world—though Lovely writing. Winsome characters. Leisurely pace. This novel explores the characters’ longings for another world & the ache they feel when separated from the place they truly belong. A strong YA novel with beautiful use of language. I look forward to another story from this talented author! (This is a very introspective novel. I was moved by the story but wished that the characters’ sojourn in the other world would have made them braver, stronger & more altruistic in this world—though they did grow and change for the better by the end.)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Right. Where do I even start with this? How about here: there's only one other book (or series, rather) I've read this year that's made me cry as much as this one, and even now, days later, it's got me aching and drenched with its characters and their pains. I wondered if should take a month to sort out my feelings and write something that can be at least 10% of what this story is worth. Then I realized I could take the entire year and still have no "perfect" review to show at the end of it. Becaus Right. Where do I even start with this? How about here: there's only one other book (or series, rather) I've read this year that's made me cry as much as this one, and even now, days later, it's got me aching and drenched with its characters and their pains. I wondered if should take a month to sort out my feelings and write something that can be at least 10% of what this story is worth. Then I realized I could take the entire year and still have no "perfect" review to show at the end of it. Because this is one of those stories that feels too large to fit inside me. One of those stories that crawls through my skin to rip open old wounds and heal them anew, leaving me raw and open. And how do you deconstruct such a thing? Well, I know I can't do it justice. But I'll try anyway. The Light Between Worlds is a portal fantasy unlike any I've ever read. A re-imagining of Narnia and the continuation of it. The continuation of all portal fantasies, as it explores what happens to these children, who are no longer children, when they get dropped back into a world they've been absent from for so long. It's a bit like the Wayward Children series and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in that respect. But Light Between Worlds takes things deeper. Darker. It approaches portal fantasy with a brutal lens that refuses to sugarcoat the reality of war, depression, PTSD, and the kind, wise mythical creatures who would take oaths of service from the mouths of children. But most of all, it's about the love between sisters and finding a place--a world--that you can rightly call "home." One of the most brilliant things about this book is that it show how portal fantasies are, in many ways, tragedies. And it does that by being very light-handed with the fantasy. We only see limited bits of the Woodlands from Evelyn's flashbacks, and I don't think additional details are necessary (though it would have been welcome) seeing as how it's a world we've all seen before--if not in Chronicles of Narnia, then in some other fantasy tale. The real focus of the story is in present-day England, where we see all the ways that the Woodlands haunts these characters. It's been five years since the siblings came back from the other world and Evelyn hungers deeply for it. Every part of her bleeds Woodlands and she walks through each day like a ghost, keening for a home that's lost to her. You don't need to be a character in a portal fantasy to relate to Evelyn's struggles. If you've ever longed for a time you wished you could return to; if you've ever longed to be somewhere else--or if not somewhere else, then to at least find some kind of footing in the present because most days it feels like you're drifting above it; if you've seen your loved ones break themselves to keep you here, keep you whole; if it ever felt like you're watching your life through the mirror of a mirror, all distorted and foreign--and the suffocating loneliness that comes with it, and the sense of unbelonging, and the feeling that one day you're just going to float up and up away into nothing--and all that is enough to make you want to stop being...you will see yourself in Evelyn. I saw far, far too much of myself and when I wasn't tearing up or outrightly sobbing, I was turning pages with my heart lodged in my throat. And still I couldn't stop reading. Because while Weymouth doesn't shy away from the ugliness of mental illness, her portrayal is so honest and in its honesty there's validation. And the prose, at once simple and beautifully melancholic, compliments the subject matter so well and helps blunt the harshness. There's a thrum of sorrow that runs through the writing, but above it you can also find wonder and love--so much love--and the combination is breathtaking. And then we have Phillippa who's waging a different war of her own but finds herself just as lost as Evelyn. While I saw most of myself in Evelyn, it was the elder Hapwell sister who captured my heart. Phillippa is the pillar of the family. The one who tries to remain steadfast and strong even when she's crumbling inside. The one who has to hold Evelyn back from her darkness time and time again. And unlike Evelyn she's determined to carve a new life in this world and forget the magic of the woods and its great Guardian stag. Determined to wear a confident smile because she refuses to become what Evelyn's become, she cannot. I don't want to make a lot of Narnia comparisons, but with Phillippa the book does right by Susan Pevensie, taking Lewis' "lipsticks, nylons and invitations" line and turning it from a condemnation into a shield and a weapon. It's brilliantly done. The love shared between Evelyn and Phillippa is undeniable. But love can exist with razor-sharp edges; it can hurt as much as it nourishes. And sometimes love isn't enough to keep you from breaking when things get hard, and things can get so, so damn hard. The sacrifices these two make for each another despite the hurt and the hardship is the very definition of courage and what makes this story such a masterful one. All in all, The Light Between Worlds is a stunningly beautiful character-focused story about finding light amidst the grey. And I know, down to my bones, that it's one I'll treasure for a long, long time. Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review ~ Note: the author has a paragraph of trigger warnings for the book on her website--including self-harm and suicide ideation--which I didn't take seriously. Turns out I should have. And you should too. They're there for a reason. I had to binge-watch The Haunting of Hill House to recover from it, because being too scared to go to the bathroom is better than being too sad to get out of bed. Take care. <3

  23. 4 out of 5

    Drue

    Thanks, Edelweiss and HaperTeen for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. "The heart of a woman falls back with the night, And enters some alien cage in its plight, And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars." Oh boy, had I expected this book to be completely opposite of what I got? Yes. A thousand times. Weymouth has a way with words. Each sentence contained a deep thought and emotion. Some people thought t Thanks, Edelweiss and HaperTeen for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. "The heart of a woman falls back with the night, And enters some alien cage in its plight, And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars." Oh boy, had I expected this book to be completely opposite of what I got? Yes. A thousand times. Weymouth has a way with words. Each sentence contained a deep thought and emotion. Some people thought that this book is similar to Lewis's 'The Chronicles of Narnia'. I disagree, however. This book definitely has a similar concept to that beautiful series, and the characters are similar too. The thing about this book is that it says more about finding your way back home. The age-old question: Who am I? Where do I belong? Further, Weymouth also explores a bond of sisterhood. The book is divided into two perspectives told in the first person, which I thought was interesting. When I started reading the book, I wasn't able to follow the storyline. There is a past and then there is the present. When I realized what was going on, the reading was a breeze. It felt like I was in an ancient Britain. Find more reviews on: The Secret of Drue Isle

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    This book is 50% girl searching for her way back home and 50% girl searching for her missing sister. It involves a lot of emotional and physical searching. If you’re searching for a POW-wow-wow book, this isn’t it. It’s a quiet and character-heavy look at emotions and the repercussions of having to leave behind what you love, and I love the idea of it - because what does happen after the journey’s done and everyone is heroes - do you just go home? It was beautiful and simple novel that felt very This book is 50% girl searching for her way back home and 50% girl searching for her missing sister. It involves a lot of emotional and physical searching. If you’re searching for a POW-wow-wow book, this isn’t it. It’s a quiet and character-heavy look at emotions and the repercussions of having to leave behind what you love, and I love the idea of it - because what does happen after the journey’s done and everyone is heroes - do you just go home? It was beautiful and simple novel that felt very quintessentially British (despite an american author?) set in the 1950s during the after effects of WW2. The sisters return from the Woodlands; the soldiers return from war. It has heavy Narnia vibes, and a soldier with severe burns is one of the love interests and I adored this so much. It’s one of my favourite “quiet” character-based novels of the year (if that’s even a thing), but I know for a fact people will come to this book expecting something to happen the entire way through, for something to build up and explode, but it won’t happen, and that’ll leave them disappointed.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    and here's why this sounds good!! also, let's talk about this COVER. it's absolutely stunning.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔

    Love the cover!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    Rating: 5 stars When I picked this book up on a whim, I definitely never expected to find one of my top favorite reads of 2018 and possibly of all time. The Light Between Worlds is one of those books that I felt in my bones, in every facet of my heart as I turned each page. It's a story of belonging, sisterhood, love, and most of all, home. I'm going to start my review off with a very important note, however, which I think everybody needs to understand before they pick up this book. Although the Rating: 5 stars When I picked this book up on a whim, I definitely never expected to find one of my top favorite reads of 2018 and possibly of all time. The Light Between Worlds is one of those books that I felt in my bones, in every facet of my heart as I turned each page. It's a story of belonging, sisterhood, love, and most of all, home. I'm going to start my review off with a very important note, however, which I think everybody needs to understand before they pick up this book. Although the cover and marketing led me to believe that Light is high fantasy, I definitely would not put it in that category. You shouldn't pick this up expecting Game of Thrones-style world-building or Sarah J. Maas-style characters. Light Between Worlds is really a genre-defying novel, which is one of the reasons I loved it so much! While it has elements of fantasy and magical realism, its foundation sits clearly in historical fiction with a focus on character development like a contemporary. The book is broken into two halves, the first from the perspective of Evelyn, the younger sister whose every thought is consumed by her desire to return to the magical world of the Woodlands. The second half is told from Phillipa's perspective, the older sister who is forced to deal with the aftermath when Evelyn goes mysteriously missing. "As for me, I refuse to be pitied. I refuse to be anyone but who I've always been: Evelyn Hapwell, teller of truths and walker of worlds, friend of the Woodlands and enemy of tyrants, beloved of Cervus, the Guardian of the Great Wood." Initially, I was afraid that I wouldn't like Phillipa's half nearly as much as Evelyn's (or vice versa). But both perspectives were equally as strong and heart-wrenching with distinct personalities. Overall, the narrative is so in-tune with the raw, human emotions of each character, I've never read something that felt so deeply personal even though I couldn't relate to their issues from experience. The way Weymouth writes about life is utterly realistic and unabashedly true. The world of the Woodlands is fairly simplistic, we see it mostly through flashbacks (which are intricately and seamlessly woven into the present story). The world-building is what I would consider to be extremely minimal and mostly intuitive, it's very similar to Narnia. Because at the end of the day, this story is not about the fantasy world the characters are caught between, it's about their journey to discover where they truly belong and how to mentally cope in a harsh reality. Which brings me to another very important part of my review—content warnings. This book heavily discusses depression and suicide, and there are a few scenes displaying self-harm and disordered eating. If you think this book may not be safe for you to read, I encourage you to visit the author's website, she has a page that explains more about Light's sensitive content. Not only do we get to see ownvoices representation for depression, but we also see the very unique perspective of someone who has had to be the main caretaker of a family member with depression. I feel like we get to see the former somewhat often in YA literature, but never the latter. To have them both in one side-by-side narrative was truly breathtaking. Post-WWII London serves as the perfect backdrop for this melancholy and contemplative story. The oppressive tension and uncertainty in the atmosphere are reflected in Evelyn and Phillipa's struggles, as well as in minor characters from both our world and the Woodlands. The historical aspects made this feel right at home with classic stories like Narnia, Peter Pan, and even Wuthering Heights or other romantic British literature. Artwork and poetry are also featured very heavily in this book, which I adored! The art history nerd in me came out in full force as I sat googling each work of art mentioned and reading its description. "This world is asleep, and no matter how many times I've wandered and wondered and spoken and sang, I've never been able to wake a single thing." And of course, the romance. AHHHHHH the freaking romance!! (Or really, romances, I should say). Evelyn and Phillipa both have prospective love interests, Tom and Jack. The romance is completely understated and just a whisper compared to the main focal points of the book, but damn did those two boys manage to capture my heart entirely. They're both sweet, kind, patient, and deserve no less than the entire world. Finally, the writing is phenomenal. Weymouth easily deserves to be on the NYT list just for her pure talent, I'm so shocked that this is the first we've ever gotten to read from her! I used more than an entire stack of tabs in my book to mark the quotes that I loved. If you pre-order one fall release this entire year, let it be this book. I promise you will end up just as heartbroken and blown away as I am!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    (I rated this book 5 stars!) Holy shit. I can't believe how lucky I am to have stumbled across an ARC of this in the staff room at work, because I think if I hadn't it would have gotten buried under the rest of the new releases in October when it's slated to be released and I never would have picked it up. As someone who vastly prefers fictional worlds to real ones, sometimes to a very unhealthy degree, to cope with mental health problems... This book was endlessly compelling and relateable. I don (I rated this book 5 stars!) Holy shit. I can't believe how lucky I am to have stumbled across an ARC of this in the staff room at work, because I think if I hadn't it would have gotten buried under the rest of the new releases in October when it's slated to be released and I never would have picked it up. As someone who vastly prefers fictional worlds to real ones, sometimes to a very unhealthy degree, to cope with mental health problems... This book was endlessly compelling and relateable. I don't think I've ever cried so much and felt so much while reading a book before. Again, holy shit. And to be honest, I don't think I've ever seen such a raw, honest, realistic portrayal of depression (and possibly what also seems to be PTSD but that just might be aligned with my experience with having the disorder) and just the pure hopelessness that comes with it. I find that a lot of YA tends to... poeticize (not a word, but we'll go with it) depression and dumb it down and I can never quite relate to those portrayals. This is the first portrayal that has really hit me hard and deep, and not necessarily in a bad or triggering way. I could relate to Evelyn so strongly; the constant feeling of just not belonging in this world and that your real home is not here, in this universe, in this reality. It was always a feeling that I thought was specific to me, but it was put down in the pages of this book so accurately and in line with my own feelings that, quite frankly, I was a bit flabbergasted. Despite the fact that this is a deeply personal story to me, there is also a compelling and well-told story here. The characters and their relationships felt very real, natural, and organic, which in my experience is quite hard to find in YA fantasy. There is a consistent message spread throughout that it is never one person's sole job to ease the suffering of another, and I really appreciated the fact that it was constantly brought up. If you do decide to pick this one up, and you definitely should, be aware of the fact that there is triggering content in regards to ableism, PTSD flashbacks, realistic portrayals of depression, brief allusions to disordered eating, self-harm, and (view spoiler)[allusions to suicide (hide spoiler)] .

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rendz

    I can't even right now. I'm too happy and hopeful and also a little sad. I think this review might get a little personal because this book people....this BoOk. Full RTC

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lauren ✨ (YABookers)

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes. Trigger warnings (as given on the authors' website): "The Light Between Worlds portrays characters dealing with depression, self-harm, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, illness and disordered eating, and the loss of a loved one. It refers to possible suicide, contains scenes of violence and war, and brief mentions may be unsettling to readers with emetophobia." I had been hearing a little bit about The Light Bet Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes. Trigger warnings (as given on the authors' website): "The Light Between Worlds portrays characters dealing with depression, self-harm, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, illness and disordered eating, and the loss of a loved one. It refers to possible suicide, contains scenes of violence and war, and brief mentions may be unsettling to readers with emetophobia." I had been hearing a little bit about The Light Between Worlds before I went into it, mainly it's comparison to The Chronicles of Narnia. Whilst I've never read the books (I didn't read a lot when I was a kid, so I delved straight into YA when I was a teen), I am a huge fan of the movies, so I was super excited by this comparison. There's just something so great about ordinary people finding purpose in an extraordinary world. The Light Between Worlds follows three siblings who, when sheltered during an air raid in a London bomb shelter during WW2, were transported to another world called the Woodlands, and here they found refuge away from the war. When they found themselves returning to London five years, nothing had changed – except themselves. Now Ev is desperate to return to the Woodlands, the place she called home. She wonders the woods outside her boarding school, wishing to return, falling into the depths of depression. Her sister Philippa, however, wants to find a place in this world and shields herself behind a flawless exterior and popularity and even moves away to America to escape her past. Then Ev goes missing, and Philippa must confront the painful truths of their past. I wasn't too sure about this when I first started. A lot of the book is actually set when they're back from the Woodlands and dealing with their past, their feelings about being back, and in the case of Ev, trying to find a place in this world when all she longs for is to go home to the Woodlands. It came as a surprise to me that this focused more on the time after the Woodlands, than actually in the Woodlands (there are quite a bit of flashbacks throughout the novel, but that's not the main focus on the story). Whilst at first I found myself kind of disappointed, wow, this book really hit me. It turned out to be a beautiful exploration of sisterhood, grief and finding your place in the world. Weymouth's depiction of Evelyn's grief and depression was emotionally intense and definitely mentally exhausting to read about, but at the same time...moving, beautiful, raw, and real. It's difficult not to get emotional when thinking back because it is a book that hits deep. And it was hard not to fall in love with her because her narration is so touching. I adored her sister, Philippa, too, and the depictions of her anxiety, guilt, and feelings of responsibility. I have always, and will always, love stories about sisters, and this is a such a beautiful one and I can't help but recommend it. Laura E. Weymouth is an author I am definitely going to keep an eye on.

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