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The Sweet In Between

A Novel

By Sheri Reynolds

The Sweet In Between
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2008,
    224 pages.

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There are currently 16 reader reviews for The Sweet In Between
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BeachBoy (11/29/09)

Fantastic Character Development
This is a great book for a rainy weekend or a vacation. Kenny and Aunt Glo are beautifully developed characters. The plot is probably unlike any that you've ever read. It has tragedy, poor life choices and redemption throughout. You will love this book.
Rosalyn (10/20/08)

The Sweet In-Between
I enjoyed this book enough to read it in one sitting. I love to read books where you see the story from the point of view of a young girl who is trying to find herself. However, while the story did a great job of depicting a small town girl who is a misfit and has troubles that she cannot discuss with anyone, I didn't feel like the story really went anywhere. This is the first book I read by this author and while this isn't high on my list of favorite books, I liked her writing style enough to look at reading 'The Rapture of Canaan' from what I hear is a much superior story.

I would however recommend this book to readers who have a few spare hours and enjoy stories with about small town life in the South from a girl's point of view.
Mary (10/05/08)

The Sweet In Between
It’s true: reviews of well-written books write themselves. The ones that “suck like a Hoover,” however, are hell to critique. After struggling with this little essay way too long, I can only say I’d rather do the Turbo Tax Limbo on April 14 than read another book by Sheri Reynolds.

And that’s just sad.

Sad, too, that I suspect even semi-comatose readers could have easily detected what I stubbornly refused to admit throughout this ordeal: That The Sweet In-Between was going south by page 20. (Unfortunately, I possess an unhealthy case of low self esteem. I had to give the author the benefit of the doubt; after all, wasn’t she’s published? Widely acclaimed? Moreover, hadn’t Oprah bestowed a coveted perch in her Book Club? But, finally, I couldn’t deny my gut reaction. There it was: Clumsy writing, an unseemly number of dead-end subplots, and a mob of unattractive, unsympathetic characters surrounding a central character so weirdly drawn and unlikeable that, when I finally got to the end, I was just relieved to have survived the ordeal.

The few revelations about Kenny, the star of this sordid story, didn’t even make much of a ripple, far less impact, on me. On paper, at least, there’s seems to be something for everybody. Let’s see. Sexually ambivalent, a father in prison, living in a claustrophobic beach town inhabited by a parade of other, one-dimensional characters just made for a film school dropout’s rejected script. Even passing references to her sexual victimization did little to elicit pity, particularly when she herself reveals (yes, Kenny narrates her tale; another really bad idea) her own apparent molestation of a younger character. (The only term I can think of here is — sorry — “icky.”) Did I mention that she lives with her dad’s pill-popping girlfriend and her assorted offspring?

What did I learn from the experience? Less really can be more.1 I truly can’t recall feeling this devoid of feeling upon finishing a novel — unless we’re counting embarrassed and duped.

I can only recommend to the publisher removing that sweetly innocuous cover illustration — and maybe adding a warning label for the jacket.


1 An excellent example is Go With Me by Castle Freeman, Jr.; of course, if you really do want more, splendid examples also litter bookshelves — Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, anything by E.L. Doctorow, etc.
Sandra (10/02/08)

The Sweet In-Between
Great book. Wonderful metaphorical expressions. Methodical arrangement of emotions on many levels. Ideal book for book club discussions.
Tomarie (09/17/08)

The Sweet In-Between
I generally get frustrated with books about women who tell stories of "Woe is Me" and do not take responsibility for their lives. The subject of this book, Sheri Reynolds certainly does not fall into that category. Her maturity in decision making is amazing with the situations she encounters. When questioned about her "lifestyle" I love that she comes to the conclusion that she has no lifestyle she is just living her life. I did feel burdened with so many negatives that this young girl had to deal with and the author chose not to give her any breaks. There were many time that I had to keep reminding myself that she was 17 as she seemed younger in her interpretations. It is difficult to finish any book about a child where you have such concerns for her future.
Diane (09/14/08)

The Sweet In Between
This isn't Sheri's best book but it does have a message to people in all walks of life, it is easy reading, easy to put down and easy to pick up and start reading. Because of some language and sexual implications I would recommend for 17 years plus older readers. It has a personal message for many people so it can appeal to many readers. A book club would be able to discuss this book in detail about how other people in your life influence your behavior throughout your entire life. This book was not as interesting or moving as The Rapture of Canaan to me.
Deanna (09/13/08)

The Sweet In-Between
Deftly and realistically told from the perspective of an underaged, Southern protagonist searching for a sense of belonging, The Sweet In-Between is reminiscent of Bastard Out of Carolina. Like Bone Boatwright, Kenny Luogo has had more than her share of misery at a very young age. Having lost her mother to cancer and her father to prison, Kenny questions her gender, familial ties, and future as she comes of age in a small Southern town. Hard circumstances haven't hardened her, but manifest themselves in the form of insecurity, weak sense of self, and fear of abandonment. Her difficulties, painful to read at times, are brilliantly tempered with resiliency and hope. Intense, touching, and beautifully written, this book is highly and enthusiastically recommended.
Mary Beth (09/12/08)

Another beautiful coming-of-age story
"The Rapture of Canaan" is one of my favorite books, so I couldn't wait to read Reynolds' latest, which is the story of 18-year-old Kenny Lugo. As in her previous novels, Reynolds handles tough issues--sexual abuse, poverty, etc.--with sensitivity. Kenny is an engaging character, and her personal journey to find meaning in tragedy and face her demons is unforgettable.
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