Between - Dora Hilburn

Between is the debut novel from Dora Hilburn. It's a bit of an odd love triangle, a small town yet worldly boy, a big town innocent girl, and a ghost.


Anna Riggs, fresh out of high school, has just inherited an old, supposedly haunted house in Florida. Her father Walter, an archaeologist, comes along to help remodel the house so Anna can put it up for sale to finance her college education. But as soon as they get to Apalachicola, Anna meets Eric Bennett. Eric volunteers to help Anna renovate the house, hoping to "meet" whomever is haunting it.


During the beginning of the renovation, Anna feels like she's being watched. And she hears a strange voice. Enter Wyatt, the ghost in the house. Anna and Wyatt start spending every night together, talking. Until the day Wyatt decides to become corporeal. He and Anna spend the day together, but Wyatt notices something strange in the ether.


After becoming flesh, Wyatt warns Anna that he'll have to go away for a while to gain his strength back. While he's gone he meets the strange thing that he saw at the fort. It's something evil, something that wants Anna. And it's up to Wyatt to try to defeat it in the space Between.


While Wyatt is gone, fighting the being stalking Anna, Eric and Anna begin to spend more and more time together, introducing Anna to his family, and taking her to see FSU. Anna decided that she wants to stay near Apalachicola, after all, she has a house, she has friends, and she has Wyatt. At least she has Wyatt for now.


Between is a YA paranormal romance. It's not a bad book, it's not very well edited, and there are some serious formatting issues. At least there were in the ARC that I received. These may have been fixed, but there is at least one other comment on Amazon about the formatting and editing issues. That did distract from my being able to immerse myself in the book. Also, the character of Anna was extremely naive. For being a HS graduate from Chicago, she just didn't seem to have enough life experience.


I can't say that I didn't like Between, but it wasn't fantastic. It really had a great idea for a story, just some of it didn't live up to the promise. Anna came across as very desperate to be in a relationship, either with Wyatt or Eric. Eric had his moments, but just seemed to be the sidekick. For being an essential character, he wasn't that fleshed out. Wyatt was probably my favourite character. And he was just lost until Anna came along. He hung out in an unoccupied house for a century, being given several chances to "go into the light", but didn't because he felt he was missing something. And the something was Anna.


I don't have much of a recommendation for it. It didn't grab me enough to tell my adult friends about it, and I don't think there's enough action (for lack of a better word) to interest the young people I know. It's not a bad book, not at all, it just didn't grab me as much as I expected. Like I said, the plot has some awesome potential, and as Ms. Hilburn is currently writing the sequel, it does have an opportunity to grab that potential again.