When rating In Between by Jenny B. Jones on a scale from 1-5, it definitely falls right in between.
In Between follows Katie Parker, a foster child sent to live with a preacher and his wife. Katie assumes that her time with the Scott family will be short, so to quicken the process, she falls in with a bad group of friends at In Between High School. When her new “friends” destroy the town’s theater and leave Katie to take the blame, she must help fix the theater before its grand re-opening.
In Between was the first book that I downloaded on my Kindle because it was free and I recognized the author’s the name. This book is the first book in a series, and if I was younger and just started reading YA, I probably would have downloaded the entire series. In Between is a cute, clichéd, and clean read that’s perfect for younger teenagers. It lacks, however, the depth and originality to make it a stand out book.
One of the major reason this book does not stand out if because many of the characters are flat and stereotypical. The main character, Katie, is your typical sarcastic teenager who finds a newfound love for acting. Add in a quirky grandmother, smart best friend, and a “dark” family secret and you have a typical YA book. The only thing missing is a cute love interest (although her future love interest in the series is hinted at in this book).
Even though I found many characters in this book unoriginal, I really liked how the author incorporated the Christian aspect into the book. Each character–the preacher, the foster mom, and Katie–was at a different point in their relationship with Christ. I think with this aspect of the book, the author went beyond stereotypes, which made the characters more real.
While I found In Between pretty typical for YA books, I know I would have loved this book when I first started reading YA and I probably would have marathoned the entire series. I recommend this book to younger YA readers looking for an upbeat, cute, and clean story. I give In Between three out of five stars.