A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) by Lauren DeStefano
Publication date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: eARC provided by NetGalley and ARC obtained at BEA
Goodreads link: (click here)
What's it about?
Pram died even before she was born. Her mother killed herself while Pram was still in her belly, but doctors were able to save her. Ever since, Pram has been able to see things that normal people can't. Her brief time spent In-Between life and death opened her eyes to the spiritual world. Pram can see ghosts. She was destined from the beginning to lead an unusual life. She was adopted by her aunts who run an old-age home, she loves books more than people and her best friend, Felix, is a ghost. At the age of twelve, her aunts and the local schoolmarm begin to worry about her, so she's sent to school to interact with the living for once. At first, she finds it difficult to relate to the other children, at least until she meets Clarence. Clarence is different. He's full of light and she enjoys his company. The two become fast friends, but Pram fears that if he finds out exactly how strange she is, he won't want anything to do with her, so she hides her supernatural secret from him.
As Pram and Clarence build their friendship, they learn that they have a lot more in common than they thought. Clarence lost his mother in an accident and he's been searching for her in the great beyond. Pram also lost her mother, but she never knew her father and she's been looking for him in the real world. The two agree to help each other, but their quest leads them to the mysterious and dangerous Lady Savant's doorstep. Lady Savant promises to help them, but her true motive is much more nefarious. They are kidnapped and taken on a terrifying, ghost filled adventure that just may be their last.
A Curious Tale of the In-Between was a delightful and imaginative ghost story that fans of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events or Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book will enjoy. Fans of Lauren Destefano's Chemical Garden series will like this, too. It reminds me more of the second book in the series, Fever, but for a younger audience. A Curious Tale of the In-Between is a Middle Grade book with a dark twist that can be enjoyed by all, from children to tweens to teens to adults. It has a bit of a creepy, Gothic feel to it, but the story and characters are absolutely enchanting. Pram is a wonderful and smart main character and her story is touching and will tug at your heart. There are many secrets that she hasn't been told and things she needs to learn about in life, and this is how her journey to growing up begins. One of the main themes in this book is friendship, and I loved seeing how bonds are formed and tested in this book. It's a quick and enjoyable read that I highly recommend to people of all ages. Lauren DeStefano's first MG book was a definite delight to read!