Goodreads: The Inn Between
Published: March 22, 2016
When Quinn’s best friend Kara has to move away, she goes on one last trip with Kara and her family. They stop over at the first hotel they see, a Victorian inn that instantly gives Quinn the creeps, and she begins to notice strange things happening around them. When Kara’s parents and then brother disappear without a trace, the girls are stranded in a hotel full of strange guests, hallways that twist back in on themselves, and a particularly nasty surprise lurking beneath the floorboards. Will the girls be able to solve the mystery of what happened to Kara’s family before it’s too late?
I’m not quite sure how to describe The Inn Between. Somewhere between “creepy” and “quirky,” I mostly just want to call it “unusual.” And, in my opinion, its originality is the novel’s strongest recommendation. Though it touches on themes that other middle grade books certainly do, the execution is not quite anything I’ve read before.
Unfortunately, beyond that, I didn’t find the book particularly interesting. It tries to sell itself as something that’s part mystery and part friendship story, since it’s about two girl’s trying to figure out why the rest of the family has disappeared from their hotel, but it’s also part paranormal and maybe part sci-fi and…there’s just a lot going on that doesn’t always mesh together. I also found the characters a bit flat, so even the friendship tale didn’t speak to me.
I will say that the ending of the book was not quite what I was expecting, and it’s always nice to actually be surprised by a children’s book (or any book). However, this is partially due to the fact that Cohen lays on the red herrings very strongly, so it didn’t seem like a plot twist so much as a random turn in a completely new direction.
The Inn Between is a quick read, and it was interesting, but I can’t say it’s going to be on the top of my list of books to recommend, simply because I felt neutral about most of it.