I have to start this review with me gushing about how beautiful the cover is. I am SO upset my ARC doesn’t have the cover art because my god it really is one of the nicest covers I’ve ever seen.
The author has provided content warnings for this book which can be found here: http://www.lauraeweymouth.com/books.
If you are interested in reading this book but are worried about the content please feel free to send me a message on any social media platform, I am more than willing to help you out with any info!
Title: The Light Between Worlds
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge.
When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves.
Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes.
Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was.
But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.
Spoiler Free Review:
Laura E. Weymouth’s debut novel starts off very strong before the story even starts with an incredibly enticing synopsis and an interesting format which jumps between present and past, with the past bringing the reader into the siblings’ ‘Narnia’ like experience – a fantasy world that they once called home for years.
Unfortunately, this book sizzles out around the middle, and becomes a very slow read in the last half, when the POV switches from Evelyn to her sister Philippa. It was quite a jarring switch to go from seeing through the world of one character to suddenly switching to another which we have had very little information on up until then. After this switch, the book becomes more of a mystery, and very little happens except the slice of life moments we follow Philippa through.
Evelyn, our first POV, started out as a very compelling character as someone struggling to find her place after feeling like she had been ripped away from her rightful home, the Woodlands. Her struggle felt real and her emotions were strong, it felt true to her experiences, and her all-over-the-place characteristics felt realistic in response to her feelings.
I began to have an issue with this novel when it switches to Philippa’s POV, where I felt distant from the characters and storyline. There no longer is any insight to the Woodlands time, but rather the times from after the Woodlands, taking away the really interesting fantasy aspects of this novel. Philippa’s storyline was bleak, with pretty much nothing happening except her going to work at a museum, a job she was just randomly given one day, and searching for her sister, which ends very anticlimactically.
I would have loved to see more character development for Philippa, she was impossible to understand and half of the novel followed her. Her personality was all over the place, and I never connected with her character. Because of this, I found it very hard to understand the sisterly bond between Philippa and Evelyn, which was such a big aspect of the core of this book, and could have been much stronger had Philippa been just as developed as Evelyn was.
Don’t go into this expecting lots of fantasy, as those aspects are in the short bits you get every other chapter, and only act as insights into the life they lived during their time in the Woodlands. The moments we do get are great and I think it was really well balanced, too much of these scenes could have been overbearing on the struggle that Evelyn faced upon her return to the real world.
It definitely is not a book everyone will enjoy, but I can really see some people loving this. It was a breath of fresh air from so many other books I have read as its creative aspects definitely set it apart.
In general, it’s a strong debut novel, but I had some issues with it. There were moments I REALLY enjoyed, but also some I found hard to get through because it was very slow. Besides moments of slowness, the writing is definitely very strong and I look forward to seeing what the author does next, I would most likely give it a shot.
Rating: I’m torn between giving it 2.5/5 or 3/5 Stars
read this review on goodreads HERE
– Wren ❤