The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth (Book Review)

Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count
: 352

TW: depression, self-harm, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation

You all thought I was raving about Echo North, didn’t you? Well, my enthusiasm for that one pales in comparison to all the feelings I have for The Light Between Worlds. I did not expect to relate to this book as much as I did and I definitely didn’t expect for tears to keep flowing for 100+ pages straight. I hope I can find the words to describe to you why The Light Between Worlds has managed to impact me so deeply. The book plays with your perception of reality, by adding fantasy elements in place of events that could be easily substituted by more ordinary things. So, you read something out of this world, but at the same time, your brain tells you that similar things happen for real all the time. You wonder about the meaning behind things and know that there is more to it.
I wasn’t ever whisked away to a Narnia-esque land, but I have lived and shared my life with people in other countries and on other continents. And sometimes, you leave a bit of yourself behind, you find home away from home but there are ties you cannot shake to your past regardless and it takes time and courage to find who you are at the end of the day. All the Hapwells struggle with finding themselves and keeping up appearances after something massive has happened to their lives.

“We’re all a bit frayed around the edges, aren’t we? It doesn’t surprise me and it doesn’t frighten me, finding out you’re only human like the rest of us.”

It was really easy for me to dive into the story, because the characters made it so easy to relate to them. This is a book for all the people who enjoy a good sibling-story (there aren’t nearly enough of those out there if you ask me). Family is always complicated and never easy and Evelyn and Philippa were the perfect example of that. Their love for each other went so very deep, but there are times when you have to take care of yourself and can’t continue to be the lifeboat the other might need. I wish they had included Jamie a little more in the tale, but I understand that the sisters had a special bond altogether. Still, he was an intriguing character nonetheless.

Once upon a time, I knew all the right words to say to Jamie, to my darling older brother who worked so hard to prove himself in the Great Wood, and who can’t quite stop feeling like he’s failing here. Now all I do is hurt him, when I want to offer words that heal.

Lastly, I also want to give a little shout out to the love interests in that book. These boys were so darling and kind and open-hearted. I wish I would meet more people like them in real life. Somehow they were there when needed, gave them space when necessary, understood being broken but still offered so much hope for what was yet to come. Love (especially the romantic kind) doesn’t fix everything, and the book in no way implies that, but if I needed a shoulder to lean on, these characters would be more than welcome.

I’ve seen war and death and darkness, but I’ve never before walked home with a boy, heart in my throat, knowing that at the end of the walk will be people who love him and who will take a measure of me.

I don’t know how else to tell you that I adore this book, except maybe by mentioning it’s brilliant use of paintings and poetry as metaphors and imagery that added to the story. It was a real treat of a read!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Used up my entire reservoir of sticky notes, because this book is just full of magic words.

I hope I could give you at least a little bit of a taste of what The Light Between Worlds is about. Have you read it? Do you want to? I am definitely here to talk if you want to!

My Heart and Other Black Holes Book Review

I still struggle a bit for words when it comes to Jasmine Warga‘s My Heart and Other Black Holes. Before buying the book, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and I was worried I might not like it because of the hype that surrounds the book. Man, am I glad that was not the case! This review includes minor Spoilers!

my-heart

My Heart and Other Black Holes revolves around 16-year-old physics nerd Aysel, who wants nothing more than to die. Yet, Aysel is afraid she won’t be able to do it on her own, so she searches the interwebs for a suicide partner. Coincidentally, a sporty and popular boy from a neighboring town, very much the opposite of her, is in a similar situation. Together they decide to help each other die, but in truth their relationship could change everything.

I guess my summary isn’t as perfect as the one on goodreads, but it’s succinct just the way I like it. So, where do I begin now? It’s such a smart, special, weird, insightful, sad but hopeful read. I went through it all rather quickly, even though the story had me close to tears several times. Never did I expect a book about potential suicide to harbour so much hope! It’s rare to find a person who truly and completely gets you and not just the good parts, but genuinely everything – Aysel and Roman seem to have had real luck in that department.

Depression is a serious topic and should not be treated lightly. Jasmine Warga manages this all extremely well in her debut novel. I cared and understood the characters from beginning ’til end and I like that she had such an easy style of writing. It was very much like people think and talk. Aysel had such an odd mix of a vivid, heartbreaking and at times hilarious voice and that made the heavy topic more relatable and bearable. Also, I really enjoyed her inclusion of poetry (such as John Milton‘s Paradise Lost) as well as Einstein‘s Theory of Relativity. It gave those sources new meaning as well.

If I had to complain about something, and this is seriously a minor “issue”, I think that I would have liked it a bit better if Aysel and Roman hadn’t fallen in love but rather just stayed friends. It’s not really bothering me and it definitely doesn’t hurt the story, but I just feel like it’s important to know that you can get out of a depression like that with the help of friends and not just finding true love.

Fazit: very authentic and heartbreaking story with a happy ending!

I’d love to read some more of Jasmine Warga in the future. I can imagine great things coming from her!