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Reviewed by Amy Powers for Readers' Favorite
In the Middle is a paranormal young adult novel by Jamie Handling that tells the story of a teenager trapped in a puzzling purgatory. It takes Camille a while to accept that she died in the car crash, but when she is finally able to acknowledge the truth, she still can’t move on to the next life until she receives her ticket. No one else seems to know how to get a ticket, and they have been trapped on this plane in the small town for a lot longer than she has. When Jayden’s football accident makes him the next arrival, he turns to Camille for support, much to her dismay. Camille had always despised Jayden and everything about him and his popular followers. Unfortunately, it looks as if the two of them might have to put their differences aside if they want to make it out of this place.
Despite being about death and the afterlife, In the Middle portrays a beautiful setting featuring coexisting planes of the living and the dead who have not yet moved on. Without bringing any specific religious ideals into the pictures (except for the use of the word “Heaven” on occasion), Jamie Handling has created a unique perspective about what happens after someone dies and what it might take for them to be able to move on from this world. This story is also filled with lessons and emotions that apply to those of us still living, such as teamwork, loneliness, and making judgments. With a satisfying conclusion, young adults are sure to enjoy this book.