Book Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Posted September 9, 2015 by Melissa in Book Review | 11 Comments

Book Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) by Lauren DeStefanoTitle: A Curious Tale of the In-Between
Series: Pram #1
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication date: September 1st 2015
Target Audience: Middle Grade
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Length: 240 pages
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
My Rating:

Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

Lauren DeStefano is beloved by critics and readers alike, and her middle grade debut is lyrical, evocative and not to be missed.

Book Quotes

“She wished that when her heart was beating double, she could give one of those hearts to him and then press her ear to his chest and feel it beating.”

“Felix had left his heart buried in the ground years ago, but he felt it crack apart.”

“He was now working his way through the many shades of grief. Sadness made everything gray, he’d learned, but there were different types of gray, some darker than others.”

“The clouds took on the shape of dancers; from somewhere far off, Pram heard music before the clouds became normal again.”

My Thoughts

I am very choosy about the Middle Grade that I read since I don’t read much and it can be very hit or miss for me to find MG titles that, I as an adult can enjoy. When I saw the synopsis for A Curious Tale of the In-Between, I knew it was one that I should read. I’ve really enjoyed Lauren DeStefano’s Young Adult titles and I adore her writing style and just knew that she would write Middle Grade beautifully. I’m so happy that I wasn’t let down with this 1st in her new Pram series.

A truly Gothic tale written in dreamy language…

A Curious Tale of the In-Between enfolds you from page one and carries the reader along as if drifting through grey cloudy skies and murky pond water.

Orphaned as a baby and raised and home-schooled by her spinster Aunts in an old house which they have converted into a retirement home, Pram has had a fairly isolated childhood. Add in the fact that she can communicate with ghosts…and the fact that one in particular Felix, is her best friend…and you have the makings for an incredibly unique main character. I loved getting to know Pram, seeing how her mind worked, and how she viewed the world around her.

Each relationship she develops is so beautifully nuanced…from her interactions with the Elders, to her aunts, to Felix and then her new friend Clarence. She smart and sensible, sensitive and empathetic beyond her years.

Felix and Clarence also make compelling secondary characters, each with his own interesting back story that unfolds as we get to know them. They are so very different yet the one thing that they undoubtedly share is their care for Pram.

The heart of A Curious Tale of the In-Between though is the amazing way that DeStefano paints a picture of both our world and the spirit world…and then still leaves room for a world beyond that.

Suicide, death, abuse, and abduction are all woven into this dark tale.

This is a read that deals with some pretty heavy subject matter, but it is handled with such sensitivity and finesse that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to my nieces.


If you enjoyed this review, please consider liking it on Amazon: A Curious Tale of the In-Between.


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11 responses to “Book Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) by Lauren DeStefano

    • Melissa

      I don’t read much of it myself…though I’ve been reading a bit more this past year. You definitely need to go into it with a different mindset as an adult. This one was definitely a win.

  1. This sounds like a heavy MG book – do you think it’s appropriate to be in the children’s room or should it be shelved in the teen room? With such heavy topics, makes me think. I know my library would be confused 🙂

    I’m picky on my MG, too. Very good review – you’ve got me thinking…. 😀

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