My Rating ~ Three stars
RELEASED: 23 October 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.
I have to be honest, I came close to wanting to DNF this book at the beginning. It was SO Narnia-like, but super depressing. I ended up really enjoying the last third of it though (although, fair warning, it didn’t get any less depressing).
Siblings Evelyn, Philippa and Jamie are sheltering from a bomb attack in London, when they are suddenly transported to a magical land – but a land that is also on the verge of war. They agree to stay and help the Woodlanders, knowing that when they return to their own world, no time will have passed. (If this all sounds REALLY familiar, yes, it’s hard to escape the fact that it is maybe a little too close to the Narnia we all know.)
The book is divided into two timeframes, which are interspersed between chapters. One where the main characters are living in the magical world, and one after the time they have arrived back. Evelyn finds it particularly hard to cope with the fact that she has been unwillingly returned to a life she didn’t want to come back to and struggles to come to grips with being unable to return to the Woodlanders. The Light Between Worlds is mostly centred around Evelyn’s struggles in the real world, so if you’re looking for a book that spends most of it’s time in the fantasy world, this really isn’t it. To be honest, if it had been promoted as a Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe dark retelling I probably would have enjoyed it more. Instead it just felt a bit unoriginal.
Although I felt for Evelyn and her longing for the magical world, I couldn’t help being frustrated by her selfishness and self-absorbed personality. I liked the boys in the story – Jaimie, Tom and Jack much more than the girls and mostly felt sad on their behalf.
As I said, the last third of the book was much better than the first and I’m still glad I stuck with it until the end, to see how it all turned out.
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