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The In-Between

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  276 ratings  ·  87 reviews
When Elanor's near-death experience opens a door to a world inhabited by bold, beautiful Madeline, she finds her life quickly spiraling out of control

Fourteen-year-old Elanor Moss has always been an outcast who fails at everything she tries—she's even got the fine, white scars to prove it. Moving was supposed to be a chance at a fresh start, a way to leave behind all the p
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  276 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Emily May
Sometimes a great idea is not enough.

Let me ask you: do you rate logically after weighing up all the literary pros and cons of a book and assessing its creativity and originality? Or do you rate emotionally based on your own personal reaction to a book? You see, I find it difficult to do anything but the latter. And I do appreciate that this book has a lot to offer. It's crept rather quietly onto the goodreads scene out of nowhere and is already making waves on Kirkus and in the early GR reviews
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook
Wow this book was… something. After a near-death experience, Elanor has a new visitor. Someone who becomes her best friend, almost like a sister. But this person is not actually real, is she? Is Elanor mentally unstable? Or is she being haunted? Also, what is happening during her blackouts? This story was so strange at times; definitely a mind-f*ck. Nothing is ever made clear, leaving you to question every single thing - her sanity especially. It's what I loved most about it, but unfortunately i ...more
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People that like vague and creepy
Recommended to Brandi by: Emily May

I'm going to discuss the plot in depth, but the nothing more than what the synopsis already tells us, though it might be slightly spoilery, it won't be enough to hide the review. Quotations subject to change as this is an uncorrected copy from Netgalley. I finished this a few of days ago, and I'm still struggling to figure out how to explain this book. Here goes nothing.

The story is about Ellie, and basically, her descent into madness. We never know if it's mental illness she suffers from
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This book is so real that's scary. I have several books that revolve around the same thing as this one but I have never felt the way I feel right now. My heart is in shambles and I'm not sure how long it will take it to mend.

The story, oh my this story. Ellie is trying to start over. She is in middle school and to put it nicely she is a social outcast. After her attempted suicide her family picks up everything and moves. Then the unthinkable happens, when Ellie wakes up her new beginning isn't t
Jodi Meadows
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-blurbed
My official comments:

Creepy and addictive, Barbara Stewart's THE IN-BETWEEN left me with both an acute distrust of what my eyes see, and an overwhelming fear of falling asleep. This psychological thriller definitely thrilled me.

My unofficial comments:

Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Original premise. Ambiguous and poignant story, with a surprising early twist and a subsequent, creepy crescendo.
Cons: Gloomy atmosphere. Flawed main character.
WARNING! Attempted suicide, self-harm, death of a parent, depression, fat-shaming, some ableism.
Will appeal to: Those who like eerie stories and unreliable narrators.

A couple of random thoughts before I start...1) despite the protagonist's age (she's 14) and the lack of se
Jenni Arndt
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-own
Actual rating is 2.5

What an odd little book this was. I had heard that it was a pretty good mind-fuck from a few people before picking The In-Between up and somehow I still managed to get even more than I expected. This is definitely a story that plays with your mind and makes you question what is real or not which made it a pretty good book to read just before Halloween. While I did find myself spooked and wanting to know exactly what was going on I can’t say that I connected emotionally to the
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I'm really envious of young people today, they have such a wide range of fiction to choose from, far more than was available when I was in my teens. I seemed to make the transition from children's books to adult fiction in one huge leap. One day I was reading The Famous Five and Nancy Drew and then all of a sudden my bookshelves were filled with Judith Krantz and Shirley Conran. Thinking back, that is quite a leap!

Barbara Stewart's debut novel The In-Between is not the easiest story to
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I'm just not sure how I feel about a book. Barbara Stewart's debut THE IN-BETWEEN is one of those rare books. Elanor Moss, her mother, and father were in a car wreck on their way to their new home. Ellie and one of her parents survived. But ever since the accident, Ellie's been seeing this girl, Madeline, around - her other half, who has a plan for her.

I liked the unreliability of the narrator. There's a question of whether the things happening are supernatural, all in Ellie's head, or
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Going by the blurb, this book had some real potential. The premise was well thought out and the style of writing feels like being trapped inside an obsessive and disturbed teenage girls' head. But the execution was a little disappointing. It started well and ended well but overall was not what I was expecting it to be.
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Stumbled upon this on NetGalley. Summary appealed, so I requested and was granted permission. Thankfully, I finished it before it could expire.

Maybe because they share the same publisher, Barbara Stewart's writing reminds me of Emily Murdoch's, with their poetry. But while If You Find Me's Carey's troubles were in the past, The In-Between's Ellie's are just beginning. An attempted suicide, a tragic accident, and Ellie's world changes. Are the happenings psychological or paranormal? Just when you
May 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I generally like supernatural stories. This book read like a diary of a very disturbed young individual. I finished the book without a real sense of what the story was about. It started like a book about teen depression and suicide. Then it became confusing with ghosts or multiple personalities (still not sure). It ended and it wasn't very clear if what she thought was true or made it all up. I wouldn't really recommend this book unless you don't like to know what is going on and just use your o ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: booksiown
A little too much teenage angst for me but otherwise ok.
Trish at Between My Lines
Different! If I had to find one word to sum up this book that is the word I would use. It is meandering, confusing and compellingly different. In an interesting but slow-paced way.

First Line:

“I was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.”

My Recap of The In-Between:

Elanor has a near death experience, loses one parent and possibly her mind. She gains a new friend Madeline who is visible only to her which leads to the premise of this Elanor possessed or psychotic?

My Thoughts on The
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Whoa....This is definitely a story that will only appeal to a certain amount of readers. I'm not sure how many will like it. I however found it pretty fascinating and couldn't put the book done. The story will have you questioning pretty much every thing that's happening whether or not it's real or in Elanor's mind. It was definitely a page turner for me and kept me thinking and guessing and had me second guessing myself all throughout the book.

We know in the beginning that Elanor and her parent
Heather Marie
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Seriously. I couldn't stop reading once I got started. Read it in one sitting and absolutely loved it! I'm not usually a fan of so much narration over dialogue, but in THE IN-BETWEEN it worked. Such an intriguing concept, and fantastically creepy. There were definitely moments when I felt watched and I rarely ever get freaked out by books. Everyone needs to check this one out. You don't want to miss the awesomeness.
Gemma F
This was a pretty confusing book. Especially between part one and two. I was hoping for more of a spiritual vibe. It's an interesting book but could have been a lot better in terms of explaining what the accident had to do with Ellie's state of mind.
Dichotomy Girl
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, ya, horror
Weird and Creepy, but somehow falls short.
Yara Hatem
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not even gonna bother writing anything.
Jill Davis
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
It's an odd book. I cannot tell if the main character can see ghosts or has a disorder that makes her believe she sees her sister. A lot of the book confuses me. It's a bit depressive.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Ellie, along with her mom, dad, and her cat, were in a car accident in the Poconos. They were moving from a small town in Pennsylvania to a smaller town in New York, where dad was taking a new job, mom was studying for her real estate license, and where Ellie could get a fresh start. Fourteen-year-old Ellie was -- and is -- troubled. Best friend Priscilla wasn't the friend she thought she was, and she went through her life in a state of unease, disappointment, and ultimately, she attempted s
Stephanie Ward
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
'The In-Between' is a creepy and mind-bending young adult debut novel. It follows main character Elanor "Ellie" Moss as she and her parents set out for a fresh start in a new state. On the way there, Ellie and her parents are in a terrible car accident. When Ellie wakes, she learns that her father survived the wreck but her mother did not. Ellie and her father move into the new house and try to move on with their lives, with Ellie's father growing more and more despondant and Ellie growing lonel ...more
Erin Forson
Sep 30, 2013 rated it liked it
The new house in Pottsville was supposed to be a fresh start for Elanor Moss, a place to put her failed suicide and unpopularity to rest. Instead, the new home becomes a place to recover from the tragic car accident that left Ellie near death and half of her family dead. However, Ellie’s new home does offer one good thing—her new best friend, the captivating and mysterious Madeline Torus. With Madeline’s help, Ellie may have a chance to be a new and improved version of herself.

Ellie has always
Eugenia (Genie In A Book)
I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

3.5 stars

I was actually really torn on how to rate this book, because it is so unique and unlike anything I have ever read before. This is definitely a novel that needs some psychological analysis, as it is one of those stories that will definitely make you think and question whether anything happening is actually real. That being said, the mystery and intrigue of this book kept me reading, and although some eleme
Kari Anderson
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
When Elanor’s near-death experience opens a door to a world inhabited by bold, beautiful Madeline, she finds her life quickly spiraling out of control

Fourteen-year-old Elanor Moss has always been an outcast who fails at everything she tries—she's even got the fine, white scars to prove it. Moving was supposed to be a chance at a fresh start, a way to leave behind all the pain and ugliness of her old life. But, when a terrible car accident changes her life forever, her near-deat
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm sick or I'm haunted. It can't be both.

Ellie knows how it feels to be left alone, standing awkwardly apart from the rest of the world, which seems to spin so easily on its axis while Ellie can't quite find a way to fit in the actions or the conversations of the people around her. The jagged white scars on her wrists remind her of past desperation, and Ellie knows how it feels to have your life flash before your eyes, scene by scene, a fragile cinema of events that replay through her memor
Nick Turner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it


The plot is very unique and has a definite creepy feeling. I had a good guess at what was going on a few chapters before it was confirmed, but it was still a very neat angle. I liked that the book seemed to be going in one direction only to completely change gears.


Most of the book takes place in Ellie's new house, though the town itself vaguely reminds me of the town I grew up in. The house felt very realistic, as well as what parts of the town were seen through Ellie's eyes.

Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For most death seems to be a long distant friend that will not come knocking until the later stages of adulthood. For others it is a close friend that has left them with the living for an unmentioned time. Those that come back from the dead offer many unique versions of their death. What most do not hear about are the years that come after a near death experience. The loneliness, anger, and frustration that comes from having to leave heaven and re-enter a living hell. Although most near death ex ...more
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark, life, not-graphic, ya, voice
I understand darkness. My father was consumed by it. I guess I am, too.


I have to give Stewart credit for her writing in this book: it made me feel. If a book is able to get me emotionally engaged, it meets my definition of a good book.

It's just that I wouldn't describe the feelings it evoked as good or enjoyable, so I can't say reading it was my favorite thing ever. And they weren't the kind of unhappy emotions that are important and necessary because they teach me things I'd rather not con
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This particular Barbara Stewart is the author of THE IN-BETWEEN and WHAT WE KNEW

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