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A World Between Us

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  164 Ratings  ·  37 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 (first published 2012)
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The Time in Between by María DueñasWinter in Madrid by C.J. SansomHomage to Catalonia by George OrwellFor Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway1984 by George Orwell
Novels Inspired by the Spanish Civil War
8th out of 68 books — 105 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
138th out of 533 books — 365 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 09, 2013 Reynje rated it really liked it
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
Feb 03, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Arila rated it it was ok

Meeehhh... No está mal. Cuenta una especie de triangulo amoroso entre tres británicos que van a España como parte de las brigadas internacionales en la Guerra Civil. Es un poco culebronesco y la verdad es que me ha sabido a poco. Se supone que es un libro juvenil/infantil pero no me ha parecido una historia atractiva para este público y como historia adulta es demsiado simplona y descafeinada. La ambientación está bien y la historia es más o menos entretenida, no es que me haya enganchado m
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
Serendipity Reviews
Nov 11, 2012 Serendipity Reviews rated it really liked it
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
Jan 09, 2013 Gill rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 22, 2016 Eve rated it liked it
3.5 half stars-
I really enjoyed this one, before reading this I really didn't know anything about the Spanish Civil War so I feel like this is a really great introduction to it, and I am now a bit obsessed about finding out as much as possible about this harrowing war of families upon families, religion vs state, and freedom versus fascism. I love the idea of all these different nationalities coming together to help Spain defeat the fascist military coup, and I feel like this book did a great w

Im Jahre 1936 herrscht eine dunkle und ungewisse Zeit, der Bürgerkrieg in Spanien gerät nach und nach außer Kontrolle und andere Länder kämpfen im Landesinnere erbittert für-oder gegen die Front. Die junge Lernkrankenschwester Felix wächst Zuhause in London behütet auf, der Krieg ein Tabu-Thema in ihrer Familie, diese möchte nämlich nur eines: Felix in einer sicheren Zukunft wissen, an der Seite vom jungen Berichterstatter George, einem guter Freund der Familie. Eines Tages gerät Felix in
Jayne Catherine pinkett
Dec 01, 2016 Jayne Catherine pinkett rated it really liked it
Review coming soon
Mikka Gottstein
Nov 10, 2014 Mikka Gottstein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Der Klappentext verspricht eine rührende, hochemotionale Liebesgeschichte mit geschichtlichem Hintergrund - aber tatsächlich steht deutlich der Krieg im Mittelpunkt, und die Romanze ist inmitten von Flankenfeuer, Tod und Elend eher die Begleitmelodie, die ihn manchmal erträglicher macht und manchmal noch tragischer. Wer sich nicht für Geschichte interessiert, wird daher wahrscheinlich mit diesem Buch nicht warm werden, aber wer bereit ist, das Thema mit einer guten Portion Wissbegierde und ...more
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
Oct 28, 2014 Manja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Die Liebe in Zeiten des Krieges: ein wunderbarer Sehnsuchtsroman.
Die 17-jährige Felix meldet sich freiwillig als Krankenschwester im spanischen Bürgerkrieg und hofft, dort Nat wieder zu treffen, der für die Internationalen Brigaden kämpft und in den sie sich zu Hause in London Hals über Kopf verliebt hat. Doch da ist auch noch George, den sie schon seit Ewigkeiten kennt und der schon fast genauso lang in sie verliebt ist. George macht sich aus Sorge um Felix ebenfalls auf den W
Nadine Mönch
Oct 30, 2014 Nadine Mönch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Die siebzehnjährige Felix lebt in London und macht eine Ausbildung zur Krankenschwester, als sie eines Tages bei einer Demonstration Nat kennenlernt. Sie ist von Anfang an fasziniert von dem jungen Kommunisten und seinem Plan, sich als Freiwilliger im Spanischen Bürgerkrieg zu melden. Als sich ihr wenig später die Gelegenheit bietet, beschließt Felix, ihrer großen Liebe nach Spanien zu folgen und dort als Krankenschwester zu arbeiten. Was sie nicht ahnt: George, ein Freund der Familie, de
Petra Donatz
Aug 04, 2014 Petra Donatz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Die Liebe in Zeiten des Krieges: ein wunderbarer Sehnsuchtsroman. Die 17-jährige Felix meldet sich freiwillig als Krankenschwester im spanischen Bürgerkrieg und hofft, dort Nat wieder zu treffen, der für die Internationalen Brigaden kämpft und in den sie sich zu Hause in London Hals über Kopf verliebt hat. Doch da ist auch noch George, den sie schon seit Ewigkeiten kennt und der schon fast genauso lang in sie verliebt ist. George macht sich aus Sorge um Felix ebenfalls auf den Weg nac
Aug 06, 2014 Cattie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Lydia Syson wrote an impressive book with "A World Between Us". It tells about love during the Spanish civil war and refers honest about the expieriences at the frontline.

London 1936: Felix is prospective nurse and doesn't care two figs about politics. But then she learns to know Nat and falls in love with him. Nat is on his way to fight in the Spanish civil war. Felix follows him and helps in sickbays, always hoping not to see Nat lying there. At least not dead.
Furthermore, George
Apr 08, 2013 Hannah rated it liked it
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
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
May 19, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
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
Emily B
Jun 16, 2013 Emily B rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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, ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Pamela rated it it was ok
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
Jillian Fox
May 23, 2016 Jillian Fox rated it it was amazing
When faced with a vast and largely unknown collection of international kid lit in a Dubai bookstore, I needed some help narrowing my options down, and Syson's newest work, Liberty's Fire, Googled onto my radar. In the end I chose to start with her earlier work, and was very pleased =) This book is a historical romance, centred around British involvement in the Spanish Civil War. A teen equivalent, perhaps, to Kate Mosse's Carcassonne. I thought the subject matter well-tailored to the young adult ...more
Sep 07, 2015 Ayakeyrow rated it really liked it
i expected to find a story with an overly described and rather lengthy, overwhelming historical facts which will overshadow the love story. that's not the case with this book. what i found was a moving love story that is set during a wartime. however, i do believe that the beginnning was not well developed that makes me feel bit difficult to connect with the 2 main characters, Nat and Felix. instead i was more connected to george and rooted for him. the ending was kinda rushing as if a few ...more
Jul 29, 2014 Danica rated it liked it
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.

Aug 28, 2013 Yoga rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2014 Cara rated it liked it
At times this was predictable, but not in such a way that it ruined the book for me as it wasn't like I knew how it would end from the first chapter. The characters could have been stronger, as I felt like I didn't really know much about them aside from their current actions and who they were in love with. Still it was overall an enjoyable enough read, and something straightforward and quick to read through was just what I needed.
Feb 11, 2015 Ayushi rated it it was ok
This would have been so much better of there hadn't been a love triangle involved. The attraction between the characters wasn't at all convincing for me. The parts of the book which focussed on the war were much more fascinating, and I would have loved to see the characters growing and evolving. As it stands, the tepid love triangle didn't do any of the characters justice, and the book made no real impact.

A Farewell to Arms for young adults, this is not.
Mar 14, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
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.
Feb 07, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
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.
George Lester
Apr 19, 2015 George Lester rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-may-2014
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 but beautifully written all the same.
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Lydia Syson is a fifth-generation North Londoner who now lives south of the river with her partner and four children. After an early career as a BBC World Service Radio producer, she turned from the spoken to the written word, and developed an enduring obsession with history. Her PhD about poets, explorers and Timbuktu was followed by a biography of Britain’s first fertility guru, DOCTOR OF LOVE: ...more
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