Book Reviews, Young Adult

Review: In Between by Jenny B. Jones

Unlike most kids, teenage Katie Parker never got a fair shot at a normal life. With a mother in jail and a missing-in-action dad, she’s never known what it’s like to truly be loved. Low on options and family members, she’s soon shipped off to a foster home. Now in an unfamiliar town, Katie’s rebellious attitude is at odds with her new family, school, and classmates. And after falling in with all the wrong people at school, things go from bad to really bad after she takes the blame for vandalizing the local performing arts theater.

But in the midst of a dark situation, Katie finds light in the most unexpected places: through her new friendship with an eccentric senior, the commitment of her foster family, and a tragic secret that changed them forever. And as she inches closer to acceptance and forgiveness, she finds that God has been there all along.

— back cover of In Between by Jenny B. Jones

This book caught my attention from start to finish. It was hilarious and heartwarming, with enough action to make it interesting.

I loved that the main character was in foster care because I don’t think that foster kids are represented very well in YA fiction. I appreciated that she didn’t romanticize it either–she didn’t go into a lot of detail, but she didn’t pretend like life is easy for them. I think that she portrayed it well for her desired audience. I also liked that the author was not scared to tackle other tough subjects such as illegal activities. She didn’t sugarcoat what would happen in a situation like this.

The characters in this book were very relatable. I think that most teenage girls could relate to how Katie views the world. Her “eccentric senior” friend, Francis, was one of my favorite characters. I loved the slight bit of cultural difference here, and overall Francis was just lovable. I think that my favorite characters would have to be her foster parents. They were loving and accepting of Katie even though she was determined to make them miserable at first. I loved them even more after learning some of their tragic backstories. Overall it was an interesting and well-rounded cast of characters.

My only complaint is that I felt as if sometimes the author tried a bit too hard with her humor. The book was hysterical, but there were some points that the humor took away from the story, which I thought was annoying at some points.

I also appreciated that despite being Christian fiction it was not a preachy book.

Overall it was a  good read. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.