March 18, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

Inn Between

[note note_color=”#69917D” text_color=”#ffffff”]The Inn-Between by Marina Cohen • March 22, 2016 • Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan)
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The Shining meets “Hotel California” in this supremely creepy middle grade novel about the bizarre things that happen to two girls stranded at a desert inn.

Eleven-year-old Quinn has had some bad experiences lately. She was caught cheating in school, and then one day, her little sister Emma disappeared while walking home from school. She never returned.

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?[/note]


[note note_color=”#BFD1D1″ text_color=”#ffffff”]I received this book for free from Macmillan for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.[/note]

First sentence: “The sound was faint at first.”

Never stop to rest in an old Victorian hotel in the middle of nowhere. You’ll end up losing people you care about.

What kinds of things can happen in a desert inn? Well, in The Inn-Between, you get a pair of friends on their last hurrah together before one of them moves away; these friends are stranded; their family members disappear without saying a word; staff members continuously smile eerily at them and won’t let them leave; creepy figures chase and grab at the girls; and many other weird things that just doesn’t make any sense.


  • It’s a creepy story that takes place in a hotel.

I’ve learned from many stories and films that a hotel in the middle of nowhere is a no-go. After hours on the road, Quinn Martin, Kara Cawston, and Kara’s family decide to rest up at a Victorian desert inn in the middle of nowhere. (Does your brain release warning bells? Because mines did! ;D) The hotel is filled with staff who always have smiles on their face as if they’re trying to hide something, room keys with bizarre numbers, and various guests who mysteriously disappear. What is going on?

  • The hotel is more than it seems.

It’s a resting place, of sorts. Many people are sent there, and many guests don’t know why.

When things are slowly revealed, and you start to piece it together, it’s absolutely thrilling!

  • It focuses on Quinn Martin, who battles her fears and guilt of losing the people she cares about.

What do you do when you feel so alone in the world? Quinn has suffered a lot of heartaches. First, her sister disappeared one afternoon while walking home alone, and then her best friend is moving to a new State far away from her. Her semblance of security is rocked by the changes in her life. What can she do? We get to see Quinn struggle to accept that things are changing. She clings tightly to her best friend, her last bit of hope by tying their friendship bracelet together even if it cuts into her skin. However, Quinn will learn a valuable lesson when she pieces together what is happening at the hotel and accept the unknown.

  • It shifts from the past and present.

In the present day, we see Quinn with Kara dealing with bizarre happenings at the desert inn and try to escape, and in the past, we see Quinn with her sister Emma and the events that led to Emma’s disappearance. You feel that insecurity, fear, and guilt that Quinn is feeling in both the past and present.

  • It deals with dark topics.

It gets dark, friends. It talks about child abductions and death. You will definitely get emotional by the end.

Should you read The Inn-BetweenYes! It’s not exactly like The Shining (hotel yes, crazy bizarre happenings, a bit), but it’s as close as it’ll ever be in a Middle Grade. Do not take this book lightly. I found The Inn-Between to be pretty frightening, especially the different dark topics it touches upon. It’s creepy, but extremely heartfelt and emotional.


4 Responses to “(ARC) REVIEW • Desert Inn Strangeness (The Inn-Between by Marina Cohen)”

  1. I’ve never heard this book before, but it sounds amazing! I really curious about the way the author would address the topic in middle grade book. It seems she nailed it pretty well though. Thanks for the recs!

  2. Jackie says:

    Cee, you put the most fascinating stories on my radar. Thank you yet again (although, my pocket book is grumbling). I’ll have to keep an eye out for the Inn Between. I don’t know why, especially since I haven’t read it, but reading this post about the Inn Between makes me want to re-read the Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo. Maybe it’s because I get a sense of magical realism from this? Hm…

  3. I like the sound of that setting! Victorian hotel in the middle of nowhere? You already knows things are bound to go bad.

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