Sarah's Stars

Alyssa B. Sheinmel. The Beautiful Between
Knopf $19.99 ISBN 978-0-375-86182-6 185 pg.
Reviewed by Koryn, Age 12

How did Snow White deal with knowing that her beauty led another woman to such madness? How did Rapunzel survive being locked in a tower, not only imprisoned but never able to set her feet on the ground, something that would drive most people crazy? Did she ever run her hands along the stone floor, wondering what dirt would feel like? Did she ever consider jumping out that window? Did she ever want to cut off her own hair, a fairy-tale version of cutting off your nose to spite your face? And, most intriguing and damaging of all, what about her relationship with the wicked witch? How do we even know she was wicked? The witch fed her and put a roof over her head, high and solitary though it might have been.

Connelly Sternin is in high school, an only child with a dead father. She imagines high school as a royal kingdom of the fairy tale kind, and Jeremy Cole as the prince of it all. Connelly befriends Jeremy through a series of events. But Jeremy’s beloved younger sister, Kate, has a secret that threatens to tear Jeremy’s family apart-she has leukemia. Can Connelly help Jeremy cope and find out more about her dead father?

The back of The Beautiful Between is what intrigued me to read this story, and I was glad I read this book. The Beautiful Between is an interesting story about teenagers struggling with their problems and coming together to help one another. The characters are extremely realistic and detailed. I loved the plotline; it made me laugh and cry and feel connected with the characters. I did not like that Connelly smoked because she felt that she had to. I know that peer pressure is common with humans, and that made those parts of the books realistic, but I did not like the implications that smoking is okay. This book is a lot different than the books I would normally read, but it was excellent nonetheless.

I give Alyssa B. Sheinmel’s first novel, The Beautiful Between, four stars.

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