Between Two Ends
Author: David Ward
Publisher: Amulet Books
4 out of 5 stars
Hot sand swirls all around you as the sun sets. You see the guards shouting, and gaining ground with each passing second. You glance around furtively, but there is nowhere to hide. All around you is the open desert, with the palace looming far in the distance. You’ve made it this far though. You can’t possibly turn back now. The guards are bearing down on you, and they’ll soon reach you. A tear slips down your face as you realize that this is how you will die… in a story. But then you remember that you can break your wish, and escape.
Yeats Trafford’s life is slowly crumbling around him. His mom is just about ready to leave, his dad suffers severe bouts of depression, and they are constantly taking trips to desperately try and “cheer up” his dad. It is on one of these getaways, that Yeats finally meets his grandmother. Yeats and his family have decided to spend the weekend with Gran, but things aren’t going quite as planned.
As soon as Yeats arrives, he knows that something is amiss. His parents both seem flustered and riled to be here, and no one is telling him anything. They all seem jumpy, almost as if they’re nervous about what might happen in this old house. Yeats tries to enjoy himself though, and he’s soon off exploring the mysterious house. What he finds is something unimaginable.
Yeats finds himself in the library, a grand room with books scattered about. But what catches his eye is a certain book that he’s heard his parents and grandmother whispering about: Arabian Nights: The Marvels and Wonders of the Thousand and One Nights, Collfield’s unexpurgated translation. Yeats can only wonder what the story behind this book is. His parents and grandmother said the there was a girl, Shaharazad, who used to live with Yeats’ father and grandmother when his father was only a boy. Shari and his father loved to explore and go on adventures, but one day while reading this particular version of Arabian Nights, Shari was taken. Suddenly she was gone, and it is thought that she might have been taken into the story. Impossible as it seems, Yeats realizes just how real it is, when he too is sucked into the book. Suddenly, his mission is to convince Shari to come back home with him, but will he be able too? Keep in mind that she’s been a part of the story for twenty years now. Will she even want to return? David Ward reveals all in this spellbinding adventure of one boy’s journey to return things back to normal and set things right again in, Between Two Ends!
This was an amazing tale to read, and I felt as if I were a part of it as well. David Ward introduces a whole new kind of magic with its own rules and restrictions. Between Two Ends is an action-packed adventure with all kinds of unexpected twists thrown in. Between Two Ends was given to me by Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, as an uncorrected proof for review.* Thank you so much Amulet Books! This book is a fun, and engrossing read for kids and teens alike.
What I really enjoyed was the idea of going into the story of a book. However, it wasn’t as simple as wishing yourself there. There were so many rules that had to be followed. Otherwise, your wish wouldn’t be fulfilled properly. Just getting into a book isn’t easy. The concept of traveling into a book, and becoming part of the story felt much more realistic because of this. Also, it added many elements to the story that probably wouldn’t have been included otherwise, such as the bookends that come to life, the sea of words, and having to “break your wish” to truly return home. Sometimes though, it was hard to keep up with all of the rules of traveling into a story, that not only Yeats, but myself as well, got confused.
The point of view in which the story was told switched at times as well. One page I would be reading about Yeats, and the next I would be listening in to what was happening back at home. I enjoyed this very much, as I got to see what was going on in the story world and the real world. One chapter was even focused on a raven in the garden!
I also felt connected to the characters and what they were experiencing. As I was reading Between Two Ends, I could feel Yeats’ frustration and forlorn hope at times. Also, Shari’s confusion was contagious, and I was as torn as she was on what decision to make. Each and every character in this book was splendidly unique and had a background and a distinct personality. I hope to see even more of them in the sequel to Between Two Ends.
Since I’m on the subject of sequels, might I say that I cannot wait to read book two! Between Two Ends ended at the perfect spot for a second book, and I can’t wait to see in what direction the story will go. I’m looking forward to it!
It would have been nice to get to know the world of Arabian Nights even better, as Yeats was in such a hurry, that he didn’t have much time to stop and notice things. I think that this would have added greatly to the story. It might have also made this quick read a bit longer, as I didn’t want it to end.
Between Two Ends is a fantastic tale of magic, risks, and the bonds of family. Join Yeats, as he tries to accomplish what his father could not, and bring peace to his family once and for all in, Between Two Ends!
-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!
*I received this novel from Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams. I received Between Two Ends as an uncorrected proof in exchange for my honest review. Thank you so much Amulet Books!
Check out David Ward's website at http://www.davidward.ca/.
Between Two Ends is available from Amazon here.