The Light Between Worlds

The Light Between Worlds

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 the...

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Title:The Light Between Worlds
Author:Laura E. Weymouth
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Light Between Worlds Reviews

  • Melissa

    A yearning, achingly lovely take on what happens when you find your way free of your own world and into one that suits you better--then are forced back home again. This is a book for anyone who dreamed of being Lucy Pevensie or broke their heart over poor Susan, with the mystical, lonesome feeling of a clearing happened upon in the woods.

  • Cindy

    If you have loved Narnia, you MUST look this book up next fall. I don't even have words to describe how much I adored it; the lyrical, literary prose, the deeply flawed but eminently relatable characters, the utterly phenomenal premise. This book is like nostalgia incarnate, and not quite like anything I've ever read. ❤❤❤ DEFINITELY read it.

    If you have loved Narnia, you MUST look this book up next fall. I don't even have words to describe how much I adored it; the lyrical, literary prose, the deeply flawed but eminently relatable characters, the utterly phenomenal premise. This book is like nostalgia incarnate, and not quite like anything I've ever read. ❤️❤️❤️ DEFINITELY read it.

  • Korrina  (OwlCrate)

    A picked this book up on a total whim and absolutely loved it. The writing was fantastic, and the story made my heart ache in the best way.

  • Nemo (The Moonlight Library)

    I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Some people will see this as a loving homage to Narnia, with similar elements easily identified: Lucy, Susan and Peter are obviously Evelyn, Philippa, and Jamie, with Aslan recreated in Cervus the stag, and the Woodlands creatures shadows of Narnia natives.

    Others will see it as a Narnia ri

    I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Some people will see this as a loving homage to Narnia, with similar elements easily identified: Lucy, Susan and Peter are obviously Evelyn, Philippa, and Jamie, with Aslan recreated in Cervus the stag, and the Woodlands creatures shadows of Narnia natives.

    Others will see it as a Narnia rip off.

    For me, I like to think the author was so deeply inspired by Narnia and what happened after that this is almost an alt fanfiction. The similarities simply cannot be forgotten and unfortunately they pale somewhat in comparison - but then again, because we get to see from Evelyn and Philippa's point of view, it's also quite a modern YA take on a classic MG story, and it's an original story in its own right. It makes dealing with the aftermath of Narnia more intimate. Let's be clear: CS Lewis didn't like Susan, and that's why she couldn't go back to Narnia once she grew up and got interested in 'silly girly' things like makeup and boys. The Light Between Worlds treats growing up - an inevitability, despite what JM Barrie says about Peter Pan - very differently. Philippa wears lipstick and heels as a weapon.

    But I really struggled with this book. It has a fantastic elevator pitch: 'What happens to the children after they return from Narnia' - bam! Sounds amazing.

    But the execution of this highly sellable idea was severely lacking.

    If you want to read a book where nothing much happens, and then Evie disappears, and then MORE nothing much happens, then you're in for a treat!

    I found the lack of action very frustrating. I didn't so much mind that Evie gave us alternate chapters in the real world and in the Woodlands… except that what was going on in the real world was SO BORING. We followed Evie around in her pity party and I tell you, it was not a nice place to stay. Her behaviour was so odd, especially since she's very obviously depressed and no one gave a shit about mental illness in the 19050s. Everyone treated Evie like she's suffered some great loss, but no one would talk about it, they just let her mope about and walk in the rain with no shoes and do the school's gardening. But the thing I found was that ALL of the girls at Evie's school would have gone through some sort of trauma - they were all old enough to have experienced the war - but no one else was left a key so they could sneak out with the secret approval of a Literature professor. No one else was allowed to mope about in bed for days. No one else was allowed out to wander in the rain and off campus. Evie's pain obviously came from not being in the Woodlands, but other girls would have been experiencing a similar pain with the aftermath of a world war.

    Or maybe they all did suffer as much as Evie, but we were being held at arm's length from her - not close enough to know what she was REALLY thinking, but not far enough back that we could objectively see how other characters suffered, too.

    Basically the only reason I kept going was because I wanted to know if this was going to be a magical realism book or more of a drama: did Evie die or was her disappearance linked to the Woodlands again? So I kept reading, on to Philippa's section.

    After trailing Evie and her non-action moping, I really wanted Philippa to take action. Instead, she comes home from America, falls into a job, and basically does nothing. No investigating, no questioning, no going through Evie's things. She visits the 'crime scene' at night during a gale, barely glances at it, and goes away again. She goes to the police not to help with the investigation, but to take the letters Evie sent her that she never read, and get abused by the detective just to make her feel more guilty. She travels a long way to barely question the last person who saw Evie, taking the blame off them and placing it firmly on herself. I wanted her to DO something. What was the point of coming home from America? She doesn't influence anything, the plot doesn't move forward because there's nothing to act upon or react against. She even says,

    And I'm sitting there screaming because she hasn't done anything. She's asked maybe one or two people maybe one or two questions. She didn't really look where Evie disappeared. She didn't look anywhere else. She didn't really look at all, because she was too busy going to work in London and being sad.

    This was a novel of inaction, and it really frustrated me.

    But on the positive side, the sections devoted to the Woodlands were… basically rehashes of things we've already seen in The Chronicles of Narnia. I think the only reason we got such an in depth look at it was for the readers who haven't read Narnia… but then I wondered, is that who the target audience is? All of the obvious references to Narnia are there for us to recognise, but what if we don’t? Could this novel still be enjoyed by someone who hasn't read or doesn't love Narnia?

    That's not up to me to decide.

    For the record, I have read and did enjoy Narnia, but I don't think it's the pinnacle of children's literature.

    Another positive was that there is disability recognition in this novel. There really should be, because it's set so soon after the war, and there were a lot of disabled vets in London.

    The writing itself was fine enough, not really that memorable but nothing difficult or unfortunate to read. I did find it frustrating how confrontations fizzled out and went nowhere, and whenever we were building up to an interesting scene, it skipped over that part and ploughed on with more moping. There was a really huge deal out of some amazing big argument/throwdown Evie and Phil had that led to Phil moving to America... but it turned out to be a very gentle conversation.

    Overall I can't feel like I can offer a suggestion on whether I think you'll like it or not. Even if you did like Narnia, you might find this too unoriginal. If you've never read Narnia, you might not feel the same kind of affection that I wanted to feel for this novel. Although it was reasonably enjoyable to read, I found it lacking in certain areas and I finished the book just kind of wanting more.

  • Hamad

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found

    🌟 The moment I set my eyes on this cover I knew I was going to read this book. It has one of the best covers ever. I wanted the inside to match the outside, well it happened but to a certain degree.

    🌟 Let’s just say that the first thing that caught my attention was the writing style, Laura is a very good writer and for those who like poetical writing th

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found

    🌟 The moment I set my eyes on this cover I knew I was going to read this book. It has one of the best covers ever. I wanted the inside to match the outside, well it happened but to a certain degree.

    🌟 Let’s just say that the first thing that caught my attention was the writing style, Laura is a very good writer and for those who like poetical writing then this book is for you, it literally even had many verses of poem. The prose flowed easily which made this quite fast to read despite it being a bit heavy kind of book.

    🌟 The Edelweiss page says that this book genre is Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Wizards & Witches, but I actually disagree. I thought it was going to be like that which makes you think it will be action packed with wars and tactics and stuff but nope! I can’t find one genre to put this into as it was a mix of Magic realism/ fantasy/ contemporary and historical fiction. So think of this more as a quiet book rather than a fast action packed one.

    🌟 This was also a bit confusing at first because it jumps between the real world and the Woodsland world. between past and present and between Evelyn and Philippa. But after a few chapters I got the hang of things and that wasn’t really a problem.

    🌟 I saw mixed reviews about this when comparing it to Narnia, some said that is a must for fans of Narnia and some said that it is a big No for those fans. I say try it and have your own opinion. I never watched Narnia (I know!!) so I can’t judge but there are similarities as jumping into a different world where time flows different form our world. So the characters grow in Woodlands for a few years and then they go back to the real world as young children. I found this idea a cool one and so if you like it give this a chance.

    🌟 It is also more of a character driven book that deals with families, wars and sisterhood. I expected it to be like HP kind of book with more magic and creatures and adventures and that never happened. That actually affected my rating.

  • Nadhira Satria

    Boring and a complete rip off of Narnia.

    bleh

  • Joey Rambles

    You know, if you can get past the off-putting formatting and enigmatic writing style of this novel, there's actually a pretty interesting story in it!

    Too bad I couldn't get past the off-putting formatting and enigmatic writing style.

    This is going to sound like an angry review, so before anything else, I'd like to say this: everything I dislike about this novel is purely on a semantic level. I have no problems with its characters or its plot. It's actually pretty sophisticated for a YA novel.

    Lik

    You know, if you can get past the off-putting formatting and enigmatic writing style of this novel, there's actually a pretty interesting story in it!

    Too bad I couldn't get past the off-putting formatting and enigmatic writing style.

    This is going to sound like an angry review, so before anything else, I'd like to say this: everything I dislike about this novel is purely on a semantic level. I have no problems with its characters or its plot. It's actually pretty sophisticated for a YA novel.

    Like I said, I actually think the concept for this novel has some really interesting ideas. I moved a lot growing up, so the feeling of missing home when you're

    home is something I deeply relate to.

    But this was the wrong way of telling this story.

    This book is told through the POV of its two main characters: sisters Evelyn and Philippa. Philippa's POV takes over during the second half of the novel, but since that gets into spoiler territory, I'm going to focus on the first half instead: Evelyn's POV.

    Evelyn's POV constantly shifts from past to present,

    The whole "constantly-switching-from-past-to-present" POV doesn't need to be necessarily a bad or jarring thing. Tons of novels have used this format to great effect. But here's the thing: In most of those novels, the author usually picks a time period that's more important than the other one.

    For example, in

    , the past is very clearly the main focus of the story, and therefore the chapters about it are much much longer and more in-depth.

    In this one, the past and the present seem to be equally important, so these two time periods are

    for your attention. Both past and present chapters are of equal length

    so just when you think you're getting into the really good parts of a time period - WHAM! Suddenly, you're in a different time period, with different characters and a different story.

    The book also changes time periods chapter by chapter, and so some chapters feel really stale. There's this feeling you get with certain chapters: like the author didn't really know what to do and was really only writing the chapter because, well, the previous chapter was set in the past, so now this one has to be set in the present!

    So the present chapters just feature a lot of hackneyed romance, and the past chapters just feature a lot of talking. Man, I sure love all this talking. That's exactly what I started reading this high fantasy novel for -

    A lot of the chapters are boring and unnecessary is what I'm trying to say.

    This book also contains a

    of purple prose. Certain quotes feel like they're overwritten. Obviously, purple prose is never a good thing,

    The main problem is that some of these quotes come RIGHT THE F**K OUT OF NOWHERE.

    Like this one:

    GIRL, CALM DOWN. HE WAS JUST LEAVING THE ROOM.

    I'm serious. The boy she was talking to, Tom? All he did was ask politely to leave the room. I have no idea why Evelyn suddenly wanted her blood to turn to ice and there to be an eternal winter like she's Elsa.

    This happens

    throughout the book. It's crazy. It's like the author planned out all these great quotes before she wrote the book, and then she wrote it and had no idea how to blend them into the narrative seamlessly, so she just kinda...writes them out of nowhere.

    Everything that I've mentioned above makes the book feel

    It feels more like the first draft of a novel than the actual novel itself. Because of that, everything about this novel feels artificial. Moments feel pre-planned and quotes feel pre-written.

    And yes, I know all writers pre-plan moments and pre-write quotes, but the best writers make it seem like nothing is planned, and that the story is actually happening right in front of you.

    Just read books by

    and

    . They're

    at writing beautiful prose in fantasies.

  • Gaby (lookingatbooks)

    Update: I got an arc 🙆🏼♀

    Someone said this is like Narnia....

    Update: I got an arc 🙆🏼‍♀️

    Someone said this is like Narnia....

  • Hollis

    This book is achingly horribly painfully sad.

    The pitch for THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS is basically what would life be like for children, grown into heroes or saviours in another world, to come home (ie, post-Narnia). Or to what was once home. I'm not sure exactly what I expected from such a plot, and of course I didn't read the synopsis before diving in, but I was totally unprepared for this experience. In a good and a bad way.

    Weymouth's writing is stunning and I want more from this author; that i

    This book is achingly horribly painfully sad.

    The pitch for THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS is basically what would life be like for children, grown into heroes or saviours in another world, to come home (ie, post-Narnia). Or to what was once home. I'm not sure exactly what I expected from such a plot, and of course I didn't read the synopsis before diving in, but I was totally unprepared for this experience. In a good and a bad way.

    Weymouth's writing is stunning and I want more from this author; that is without question. However I found the first hundred pages of this story incredibly slow, even boring, and then the rest just.. hurts. This story is painful. It's about overpowering loss and grief and longing set post-WWII, which is already kind of gloomy, and I'm just.. well, feeling pretty depressed. There is so little hope in this story, which is less about their adventures and more about an emotional journey for two sisters -- one of whom moves on and the other who only wants to return -- and I basically read half of this book choking back tears and emotion and agony. So, you know, if that isn't your idea of a good time this might not be the book for you.

    Despite the slow start it isn't dull it's just lacking in any real happiness. Which I suppose is supposed to be the mood. And also why I'm not rating it. Again, this is beautifully written and the talent of the author is very present but holy god I don't want to put myself through this again.

    ** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

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