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Friends with ARCs | The Light Between Worlds + The Resolutions

Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

pub 10/23/18 by Harper Teen
Young Adult - Fantasy
Received from pub via Edelweiss
The Light Between Worlds is basically Narnia (specifically The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) except we get to see more of the aftermath. What happens after you’ve grown up in a magical place for five years to return to the “real” world and revert back in age? I remember wondering that when I saw the ending of the 2005 movie (I read the first two books in the series as a kid) and this delves into that. It’s actually pretty fascinating as a concept but I can’t say the narration always worked for me. Siblings Evelyn, Philippa and Jamie are hiding in a London bomb shelter when they’re suddenly transported to the Woodlands, who are on the cusp of war themselves. They each have different reactions to this new world they decide to stay in but when they leave (for reasons revealed later on), it’s Evelyn who can’t move on and wishes to go back. In comparison, Philippa wants to be in London and find out what makes her happy. Even though the book is so much about different worlds and the bond between siblings, it’s also very much about these two different women and the paths they feel are right for them. In terms of narration, I much preferred Philippa and I think in part it’s because I found her more relatable and better developed. I get why Evelyn was written the way she was but I have to admit, I found her perspective a tad frustrating at times and kind of one-note. It’s during the latter half of the book where I found myself the most invested and ended up liking it a bit more than I expected when I started.

Which world would you want to visit? • Green Gables from Anne of Green Gables.

pub 11/13/18 by HarperTeen
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received from pub via Edelweiss
The idea of four best friends picking out New Year’s resolutions really appealed to me and the execution was even better than I expected (though given how much I loved Mia Garcia’s debut novel, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised!).  Jess, Lee, Ryan and Nora have always been inseparable but with senior year looming and each of them making their own self-discoveries, they begin to drift apart. These resolutions and holding each other accountable is a way to keep them close and I loved that. It was the real-ness of this point in their lives and the honest portrayal of each character that made this book work. We switch perspectives between all four teens and they each going through something as they also try to stick with their resolutions (which almost felt like dares at times — one person had to kiss someone new). The book explores culture, sexuality, anxiety, the line between wanting to make your parents happy and following your own dreams, love, friendship and more. I was really impressed by how the author juggled these themes and perspectives in a way that always felt genuine.

What’s a New Year’s resolution you’ve made and actually stuck with? • The year I turned 30 was the first time in forever that I made New Year’s resolutions and took them seriously. I felt stagnant at the time and turning the big 3-0 was what I need to kick my butt into gear. My two main resolutions were to move out of my parents’ house and find a new job so I could finally switch careers. And I actually did it!


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