ARC Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefanoAuthor:  Lauren DeStefano
Genre: MG, fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
240 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Bloomsbury USA Childrens for letting me read this!

A Curious Tale of the In-Between is Lauren DeStefano’s first middle grade book, and I certainly hope it won’t be the last. This book is absolutely wonderful, enchanting, and full of life – despite the fact that Pram can see ghosts. I was drawn into Pram’s world from page one and read this one quickly over the course of two days (only because I had to work). It reads quickly and will keep you completely captivated the whole time.

Pram (short for Pragmatic – what a great name) is special – she can see ghosts. She was born dead and brought back to life so she hovers somewhere in that in-between place, which gives Pram her ability. She is anything but ordinary, which you can see as you read the book. She’s smart and curious but practical (hence the name). I want to follow her on more journeys – give me more Pram! Pram’s friends, Felix – a ghost – and Clarence – not a ghost, are just as wonderful. I wanted to reach into the book and hug Felix with everything I had. All of the friendships in this one were sweet and supportive.

Honestly, the best part of The Curious Tale of the In-Between is the fact that it’s…well, it’s dark. It’s not your average MG book. It has some really tough topics brought up (suicide, depression, death) and Pram and her friends are put into some harsh situations. But DeStefano realizes that kids can deal with these things and she doesn’t try to lighten it up or beat around the bush. It was refreshing to read, and I know a lot of kids reading this book will appreciate (and even need) that. The real world can be scary and sad, and DeStefano doesn’t shy away from those harsh realities.

The bottom line: Lauren DeStefano’s first MG book, A Curious Tale of the In-Between, is a dark, lyrical, enchanting novel full of ghosts, mediums, life, death, and pragmatic girls. A wonderful coming-of-age story. Bring on book 2!

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic