If you’re considering starting this series, you might want to check out my review of Book 1 since it covers certain things that I’m not going to repeat in this review.
I was kind of torn about this book because the writing itself was good, the characters had depth and seemed to act realistically given their crazy paranormal, apocalyptic, death- and horror-filled situation, and I was invested enough that I wanted to know what was going to happen, but…
– The paranormal stuff continued to get more inconsistent and confusing. I didn’t even know what was happening sometimes.
– I had a lot of issues with the POVs. The previous books were just Roman and Bryn’s POVs, but this time there was also Dani’s, Felix’s, Cole’s, Adham’s, a bunch of the random Dreamers’ they found, some of the Rogues’, and probably more I’m forgetting. Almost all of them were unnecessary, and many only showed up once and lasted a few pages. They did nothing but further confuse me because I didn’t even know who half the people were and some of them were in the past whereas some were in the present, but none of this was ever explained; you just had to figure it out as you were reading. The constant POV jumping also made it hard for me to keep track of things and remember what was happening in each part of the story. Also, the POVs almost all sounded the same.
– The plot got repetitive. So much of it was just Bryn finding another Dreamer. Bryn finding another Dreamer. Bryn finding another Dreamer.
– Bryn started to aggravate me because she knew time was limited, she knew they were in the midst of an apocalypse, she knew you-know-who was also looking for the Dreamers too, yet she constantly wasted time by trying to find out who their captors were and punish them, by talking to them, by hesitating, etc. which then allowed you-know-who to get to the Dreamers before her.
– As if wasn’t bad enough that Bryn altered her mother’s and uncle’s memories in Book 3, she did it in an even more extreme way this time. *SPOILER* First of all, even the first time, when she just had Cole erase the memory of her illness and make them believe she was away at college, her aunt still would’ve had the memories of her illness which would’ve created a really confusing situation. This time she erased the memory of her entire existence from her mother’s and uncle’s minds. Yeah, I’m sure that’s not going to cause confusion whenever they talk to anyone else who has ever known Bryn. *END SPOILER*
– Why didn’t Bryn, her grandma, her great aunt, and her father all just TALK??? I feel like so much could’ve been avoided if they had. *MAJOR SPOILER* If it was her fears that made things real, just talking would’ve taken away her fear of her father leaving again and her fear of dying from her illness, thus avoiding both those things. *END SPOILER* And I still don’t understand what her father had to do with anything despite the pseudo-explanation.
– As the series went on, each book got darker, but this one was really kind of depressing and tragic. Ok, I don’t necessarily consider that a negative thing because I like dark, it wouldn’t have been realistic for no one to die and for nothing bad to happen, but I’m just bitter because *MAJOR SPOILER* I’M STILL UPSET ABOUT ADHAM. HE AND COLE WERE FINALLY GOING TO BE TOGETHER :-((( And there totally could’ve been some way for Bryn to live since all the paranormal seemed pretty random anyway. *END SPOILER* Although, maybe it actually wasn’t that tragic? You see, I’m not sure since…
– I didn’t understand the ending. I was prepared to give this book 2.5 stars, which would’ve rounded up to 3, because it wasn’t all bad. There were definitely things I liked about it. But then it ended in a way that left me with no idea as to what actually happened. I think it was meant to be open to interpretation, which is something I don’t particularly like. If not, can anyone who also read this series explain the ending to me? *MAJOR SPOILER* Did she die, and that perfect life really was just a dream and is kind of like the afterlife for the Dreamers? Was the entire series just a dream and that normal life was her real life, but the nightmare about Dreamers and Rogues gave her a new appreciation for it? Was that some sort of alternate universe? Did Bryn alter time/the past and create a world in which all the Rogues and Dreamers just had normal lives and still managed to find each other in a soulmate kind of way and just got to be together without all the craziness? If it’s open to interpretation, I’m going with the last one, despite its logic flaws. But my preferred ending would’ve been them saving the world and finding a way to rebuild (and bringing back Adham because DAMN IT WHY ADHAM???) or maybe Bryn altering time but the Dreamers and Rogues still remembering everything since they underwent so much growth throughout the series. And because, if that all happened but Bryn is the only one who remembers… that’s awful. I couldn’t imagine going through something that traumatizing and terrible and then never being able to talk about it with anyone, plus having a bunch of memories with people that they don’t have with you. *END SPOILER*
So I’m not really sure what to say about this series overall because somehow I still enjoyed it? It’s clear that this author can write. The portrayal of the chronic illness in the first two books was absolutely phenomenal. The character depth and development was also great. I cared about many of the characters. Bryn became hard to connect with, but her changes were purposeful, so I can respect that. I also loved the darkness of these books. There was even a thought-provoking aspect to this final book about how we make our fears real by worrying about them and feeding the negative thoughts rather than the positive ones. And I wouldn’t have read four books if I didn’t enjoy something about them and wasn’t invested enough to want to know how it would end. But, despite all that, the paranormal stuff just got way too out of control, and the ending left me feeling confused and lacking in closure.
Would I still recommend this series? Yes, tentatively. If you’re interested in it, like all the positive things I just mentioned, and like or can be ok with endings that are open to interpretation, I think you might still enjoy the series overall despite the flaws in the last two books, like I did.
Fans of Books 1-3 in Laekan Zea Kemp's The Girl in Between Series. Anyone who likes dark paranormal fantasy and character development and doesn't mind changing paranormal aspects and an open-for-interpretation ending. Anyone who wants to read an amazingly realistic portrayal of chronic illness (in Books 1 and 2).