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A World Between Us

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Spain, 1936. Felix, a spirited young nurse, has travelled to Spain to help the cause of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. But she is also following Nat, a passionate young man who has joined the International Brigades fighting Franco. And George - familiar George from home - is not far behind, in pursuit of Felix ...

As Spain fights for its freedom against tyranny,
Paperback, 274 pages
Published October 4th 2012 by Hot Key Books
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Winter in Madrid by C.J. SansomThe Time in Between by María DueñasThe Assassin's Mark by David Ebsworth1984 by George OrwellA World Between Us by Lydia Syson
Novels Inspired by the Spanish Civil War
5th out of 56 books — 84 voters
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick NessHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingNoughts & Crosses by Malorie BlackmanHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Best #UKYA Books
119th out of 408 books — 291 voters

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Community Reviews

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There are certain things that I don't, as a general rule, approve of in young adult fiction. One of those things is love triangles. I won't go into the old love triangle argument here, but I just tend not to find this situation realistic in the slightest and a lot of the time, it just doesn't create the tension the author may have intended. Another thing is insta-love. I wouldn't say that I'm negative about this as the love triangle, but it needs to be done very well indeed to convince my cynica ...more
Here are two things about me you should probably know about me before I jump into this review:

(1) I’m a huge history nerd. (And proud). A by-product of this is a long and enduring love of historical fiction since I was old enough to check my own books out of the library.

(2) As a teenager I went through a period of being obsessed with all things war related. I read, watched, listened to just about anything I could on the subject, hoarding facts with an unprecedented gluttony for detail.

So, picki
Serendipity Reviews
I am not a great lover of historical books but I was intrigued by this one from the beginning. I was lucky enough to attend the Hot Key Books launch party and I got to hear the author Lydia Syson talking passionately about this book and the research she amassed while writing it. The author's passion for the Spanish Civil War made me want to read it.
The book is told in third person from three points of view, each character interlinked within the story. Felix is the main character - she is a pass
Stacey (prettybooks)
A World Between Us is an epic romance and historical adventure set during the Spanish Civil War, a period of history I am ashamed to say I knew almost nothing about. It was something I certainly hadn't come across before in young adult fiction. I am all for fiction that provide us with an educational experience as well as tell us a compelling story. I think it's essential in books if 'the whole world's inside them' (Cornelia Funke, Inkheart); not talking about history does not mean that it didn' ...more
A well-researched, beautifully-written book about an interesting, but often overlooked, period of history. Some wonderful evocations of the East End and Civil War Spain with some really engaging protagonists. I am disappointed that this novel has not been included in the 2013 Carnegie longlist.
I went into this well-written debut knowing nothing except that it is a YA love story set during a war. I was particularly surprised when I realised it was centred around the Spanish Civil War, a war, I regret to say, I did not know about until I came across this book. Lydia Syson had graciously included a timeline and what was happening during the war for important dates that also corresponds to the events happening throughout the book.

Kirsty (overflowing library)

I really enjoyed A world between us and was completely drawn in and fascinated by the story from the first page unit the last. It is a real example of the way in which I think historical fiction should be written and is certainly a book I shall be recommending regularly to others.

What I first,y loved about this book was the subject it covers. Even having studied for a modern European history degree I am ashamed to admit that I knew relatively little about the Spanish civil war and actually now
When I came across this title I found it to be unusual: a book for teenagers set during the Spanish Civil War, one of my favourite subjects in fiction and history. There is Winter in Madrid, there is Homage to Catalonia, and other books in English I tend to recommend to my students, but I had never seen something that, in just a few years time, my daughter could read to learn indirectly about her mother's country.
It is a well-researched novel. Training and battles happen in the correct places. R
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
This review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies

I'm absolutely surprised and blown away by A World Between Us by Lydia Syson! I'd only been vaguely aware of this book previous to a tweet by one of the lovely ladies at Hot Key Books, but when I was offered it for review, I said 'yes' straightaway. And even though I'm not always the biggest fan of historical fiction, something about this book appealed to me.

And when A World Between Us arrived, I decided not to delay any more and just
Emily B
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
According to the key on the back, A World Between Us is 50% Epic Romance, 25% History, 25% Drama. That, plus the fact that this book has been favourably compared to Code Name Verity and the Montmaray series, meant that I was really really excited to read this. In the end though I loved the concept more than the end product. It's by no means bad but for a book that had all the elements to be something that I loved (C20 war! Communists! Nurses! Romance!) it ended up falling a bit flat.

I quite like
Candy Wood
The Spanish Civil War setting is the only explanation I can think of for this book's inclusion on the 2013 Guardian Children's Fiction award longlist. Offhand, I don't know of any other YA books focusing on the International Brigade and the fight against Fascism in Spain, 1936-39. This one is well-researched, showing protests against Blackshirts in London as well as the experiences of soldiers, ambulance drivers, and nurses in Spain. The young characters are less convincing, though. Felicity, kn ...more
Not my usual read but it was set in the context of the Spanish Civil War so I started with interest. The setting of the scene and the enabling of the three characters to get to Spain was laboured, artificial and slow. It was difficult to believe that Felix, a trainee nurse, from suburbia would jump in a taxi on a whim. I am not a fan of instant love, nor love triangles, however, once in Spain the novel picked up and at last I wanted to know what happened to the three characters.

The problem with
George Lester
It was a good read. The speed at which Felix and Nat met at the start was unnerving and didn't give enough of a chance to connect with either character. Fortunately, the rest of the book more than made up for learning about the characters with it's immense detail. On the whole, it was rather quiet and quite a slow read.
A fine book. Not only a romance but a wonderfully researched novel of the Spanish Civil War. This book is well written and not difficult to read and would be suitable for older readers. The description Ms Syson provides of nursing under terrible war conditions is particularly insightful and moving.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really enjoyed this, the action, characters and portrayal of a war I knew so little about. Things I didn't enjoy so much: the love triangle (I never do though) and the length. I think by the end I felt like it was all over too quickly and I should have liked to have seen the characters develop more (eg Felix remained amazingly naive and innocent throughout the war etc). Otherwise, something I would recommend for a YA audience.
4 stars

I loved this story so much. I hadn't read wartime historical fiction in ages! It was an epic romance too, complete with a love triangle and emotionally tragic ending. I also appreactiated the author's list of references at the end - which encourages you to learn more about the Spanish Civil War. As a young adult novel, this felt very original.
Very disappointing and just far too short for the subject matter. The only reason that I kept reading past a point was to see how the love triangle would resolve. But the book has highlighted that I def need to read more about the Spanish Civil War.
Mark Jones
Exciting, moving and detailed. I've always been interested in the Spanish Civil War and this book really brings it to life, wrapping it around a love story. Left me wanting to find out more about the war and the characters. As a book should.
A gripping story of love and war.
May 27, 2013 Clay marked it as to-read
2013 Guardian Longlist
Dec 11, 2012 Olivia added it
Shelves: books-i-own
Review to come :)
Eric marked it as to-read
Nov 21, 2014
Sanna Bergin
Sanna Bergin marked it as to-read
Nov 04, 2014
Lianas Reviews
Lianas Reviews marked it as to-read
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Joanna Menda marked it as to-read
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Lydia Syson is a fifth-generation North Londoner who now lives south of the river. Writing a novel was a very early ambition, but it took her rather a long time to get round to her first, A WORLD BETWEEN US, which is set in the Spanish Civil War. In the meantime, she went from being a World Service radio listener in Botswana to a producer in London, leaving the BBC after her first child was born. ...more
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