Cover Image: The Worlds We Leave Behind

The Worlds We Leave Behind

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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This is a pretty dark fantasy for those who want a spooky vengeful fantasy. Greyscale illustrations enhance the already haunting story.

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This is a well written book, but ultimately I just don't think it's a good fit for my student population.

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First sentence: Hex wasn't entirely sure how the girl had come to be hurt. That morning he and Tommo had got on their bikes and they'd headed over the train tracks and down the hill, down to the woods. On a map, the woods were a fat finger pointing away from town.

Premise/plot: Twilight Zone times ten--that's how I'd describe A.F. Harrold's The Worlds We Leave Behind. It begins with two friends--Hex (short for Hector) and Tommo (short for Thomas) hanging out together. They had absolutely NO plans at all of hanging out with a "baby" (Sascha). But this neighbor-kid, Sascha, tags along despite the two trying their hardest to get rid of her. (Who wants to be responsible for a strange neighbor kid in the woods??? Certainly not these two.) Playing on a rope swing turns tragic--in more ways than one. She falls off the swing and breaks her arm--it is way more complicated than that...and the world (yes, the world) will never be the same.

Be careful who you meet in the woods. That's all I have to say about that. I know the jacket flap goes into much more detail....but why purposefully spill twists and turns?????

My thoughts: The Worlds We Leave Behind is certainly atmospheric and creepy. It isn't just horror lite. I think it could qualify as horror-horror. The pace was quick and intense. The premise and plot--stranger danger times a thousand--is uniquely odd and strangely familiar. It does feel like a blend of horror and fairy tale.

Sensitive readers might want to stay away. But for upper elementary grades and middle school who are looking for something spooky/scary/suspenseful/mysterious packed with twists and turns...this one might be a good fit. I do recommend it for adults who are nostalgic for the Twilight Zone.

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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read an eARC of this book.

Read it book in one sitting and stayed up way past my bedtime as I couldn't put it down. It was bizarre and disturbing and yet absolutely riveting. I was slightly terrified but really appreciated the moral of the story and the overarching themes.

While it's a children's book, I'm not quite sure what the target age range is. All I know is that reading this book is an experience and readers will not be able to put it down!

The illustrations are wonderful and add to the overall story.

All in all, a very compelling read. Difficult to talk about without giving away spoilers, but I think this book will stay with me for a long time. I can't wait to reread it when I can my hands on a physical version!

Side note - I'm finding it hard to rate as it was such a disturbing read but since I couldn't put it down, settling on 4 stars.

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I really enjoyed the illustrations in this book. They added to the complexity of the text, and are such an integral part. I can't wait to see the print version. This is one of the many stories that will be best loved in the physical format.

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Deeply unsettling at first, and then absolutely mesmerizing. This may be Middle Grade, or possibly YA, but it is one of the best, most touching, and most uncanny, alternate timeline tales you will come across. The gorgeous drawings support the story remarkably well, and the weight of Tommo's predicament will stay with the reader for quite sometime

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3.5 stars, rounded up. Beautiful cover and illustrations. Interesting premise and plot twists. While I fear younger readers will be confused by the numerous viewpoints and timelines/worlds, this was an enjoyable read.

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