Betwixt

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Overview

For three teenagers, dark mystery has always lurked at the corner of the eyes and the edge of sleep. Beautiful Morgan D'Amici wakes in her trailerpark home with dirt and blood under her fingernails. Paintings come alive under Ondine Mason's violet-eyed gaze. Haunted runaway Nix Saint-Michael sees halos of light around people about to die.

At a secret summer rave in the woods, the three teenagers learn of their true, changeling nature and their uncertain, intertwined destinies. ...

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Betwixt

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Overview

For three teenagers, dark mystery has always lurked at the corner of the eyes and the edge of sleep. Beautiful Morgan D'Amici wakes in her trailerpark home with dirt and blood under her fingernails. Paintings come alive under Ondine Mason's violet-eyed gaze. Haunted runaway Nix Saint-Michael sees halos of light around people about to die.

At a secret summer rave in the woods, the three teenagers learn of their true, changeling nature and their uncertain, intertwined destinies. Riveting, unflinching, beautiful, Betwixt shows a magic as complex and challenging as any ordinary reality.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Amy S. Pattee
Rising high school senior Ondine, her best friend Morgan, and Nix, a mysterious runaway new to their town of Portland, Oregon, have always known that they were different; however, neither has revealed the nature of their individual differences to anyone. Ondine, a gifted artist, has a vision that allows her to perceive magic in the air; Morgan, beautiful but heartless, feels a visceral connection to the wild; and Nix, confused and lonely, sees auras around humans that indicate their impending deaths. When the three are invited to attend a secret outdoor party in the wilderness, they discover their true natures: Ondine, Morgan, and Nix are "fay," changelings with fairy blood who live in mortal bodies and who will be called to their spirit homes in one year. They soon discover that other forces have special interest in making sure that the souls of the changelings never return home. Elements of traditional fantasy creep into Smith's contemporary third-person-omniscient narrative, and these references might strike a chord in the mind of the fantasy reader who is likely to recognize, for example, allusions to the character of Morgan La Fay in Morgan. Smith builds the mystery of the central characters' identities slowly, and as they learn the thoughts and actions of other corollary but in-the-know characters, readers are left to put the puzzle together. Fantasy fans familiar with the conventions of the genre will probably prove better at this mystery solving than others and will be among the first drawn to this new novel.
Children's Literature - Jennifer Mitchell
Ondine, Nix, and Morgan are about to discover that they are different. Ondine's parents have been transferred across country. They are leaving her alone, in charge of their house. She has been accepted into a wonderful summer art class. She and some friends decide to host a party to remember. Things could not be more perfect; then, she discovers a life-shattering secret. Nix has run away from his home and commenced to using drugs to try to quash his visions; he sees rings of light around people who are about to die. Things fall apart for him as he tries to come to grips with his drug use, a budding relationship, and a seemingly unavoidable tragedy. Morgan is perfect—the perfect student, the perfect sister, the perfect beauty—except for one thing. She has midnight wanderings that leave her afraid of herself and what she may be doing. If only she could remember…. All three kids find their lives intertwined after a summer party in the woods that seems to go terribly wrong. The three find that they have a unique gift. Whether they are ready or not, they must find out how to use their unique gifts to save a friend from a horrible evil. Be aware that this book has egregious language, sexual overtones, and implied excessive drug use.
School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up- Morgan, Ondine, and Nix are unaware of the special link they share. Morgan and Ondine-both beautiful, intelligent, and artistically inclined-know they are different from those around them, but don't know why. Nix drifts from place to place and uses "dust" to escape seeing the rings of light forming around people about to die. At an underground concert, the three discover that they are changelings. For Morgan, this knowledge provides answers to her questions about her differences and an exultation of power, while Nix finds answers about his visions and Ondine rejects the information. In the end, the teens form a ring, using their abilities to save a human "pet," Neve, from the clutches of a "cutter" (a fairy bent on destruction) with the outcome leaving the door wide open for a sequel. Except for Nix and Moth, the fairy "teacher" of the three new fairies, the characters are unremarkable, with the majority being vague stereotypes-Bleek, the cutter, is the fairy gone bad; Neve, the helpless girlfriend; K.A., Morgan's brother, the overachiever. For the first half of the book Morgan's and Ondine's characters could be interchangeable. The fact that Ondine is black comes up late in the book and seems irrelevant until the question of her fairy heritage arises. That said, Smith's story is edgy and compelling. Readers will want to find out about Nix's visions and whether or not Morgan will join Bleek or stick with her ring. Language, drug use, and implied sexual acts make Betwixt most appropriate for older teens. Readers of Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" or Bill Willingham's "Fables" graphic-novel series (both DC Comics) will be the audience for this complex, but flawed,debut.-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316060332
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Pages: 496
  • Age range: 15 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Tara Bray Smith's autobiographical adult novel, West of Then, was published in 2004 to critical acclaim. She was born and raised in Hawaii, and now lives in New York City and Dusseldorf, Germany. Betwixt was Tara's debut novel for young adults, and she is currently working on its sequel, Broken, coming 2010.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 72 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Do not judge a book by it's cover.

    The cover looks awesome! The inside sucks! I didn't even know what the hell was going on. It is so all over the place and a mess. I only read a 100pgs and gave up.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2010

    Betwixt

    This book is definitely different. The overall story was interesting, but it was also very busy and it took me a bit to digest it. It's a quick interesting read about fairies or fay, and i thought it was alright.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Eh...

    I found the whole thing to be totally confusing. I think Miss Smith got too stuck in the mythology of fay and didn't really step back to think about what the casual reader may think of what was going on. I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly don't want to have to stop reading and Google the mythology behind what's going on so that I understand it. The writing is pretty well done, but I thought a couple of the characters, specifically Ondine, were pretty vanilla.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 6, 2009

    I liked it.

    I beg to differ to the other critiques on the book -- I actually really enjoyed. The characters, I thought, were actually a lot of fun, like Nix and Ondine. They were awesome, and I also liked the girl -- the blonde one with brown eyes? The daughter of that guy? Niamh, or Nieve, or whatever her name was. I liked her, too, for some reason.

    I enjoyed it, and yes it did drop off at the end, but I found that to leave an air of mystery to it. It showed you that they were all heading the right way in some small ways. I enjoyed it -- and I think, really, that's what it is. An enjoyable book. A book you read for passing some lame hours.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Betwixt

    It started out good and pulled you in but then was a little hard to finish

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2009

    Edgy but Sensational!

    Many people who have read Betwixt didn't like it. <BR/><BR/>I recently bought the book from Hastings, and to tell the truth, it's my type of book. I'm sixteen- so the whole, "supernatural" ordeal was actually pretty interesting. However, many parts seemed a little confusing, yet I still got the moral of the story. Delivered and Received.<BR/><BR/>Three teenagers, completely cryptic yet amazingly gifted in unique ways, discover their destinies and how they combine with each others. Nix-Saint Michael sees shadowed lights cast around people doomed to die. Ondine Mason watches paintings come alive and resurrect in her dreams and imagination. Morgan D'Amici, beautiful yet hostile, hears whispers in the forest, and sleep-walks into her scariest nightmares. <BR/><BR/>When Moth, a strange yet handsome man, invites them each to a secret rave in the woods- each teenager learns of their true meaning and paranormal discovery. All three, different yet the same, enhance on a journey that will change their lives forever.<BR/><BR/>I highly recommend this book. For ages 14+. Drug-use, Sexual approaches, and heavy vulgar use.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

    Three teens, Ondine, Morgan, and Nix, find themselves alone in the world -- and a party thrown in the absence of Ondine's parents changes their lives. <BR/><BR/>They come into contact with Moth, who crashes the party with the purpose of bringing the three together and to a mystery party held later in the summer. <BR/><BR/>The mystery party is held in the middle of the woods. There they learn the truth about themselves and about the special powers that they've been noticing. <BR/><BR/>Unfortunately, someone else makes it his mission to turn the friends against each other. His task becomes easier with a rift already between the girls. Will they figure out their powers and reconcile before it's too late? <BR/><BR/>Tara Bray Smith enters the writing world with a bang and spins a good beginning of a supernatural tale which will leave readers thinking about the book long after they've finished it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2008

    Mesmerizing

    This book is honestly amazing. I have to admit that there some times in the book, although very few, that are a little slow, but once you finish it, it becomes obvious why those scenes were written like that. Other people may say that it's not a good book, but that is simply because they do not appreciate the complexity of the characters and the storyline. The characters are so intricate and so rich and deep. They are presented in a completely original way with a fresh writing style. It is a book that much be savored when read, and maybe reread a couple of times, so that you get the full impact of the story. Really good, overall. I'm reading it for the fifth time and I still think it's beautifully written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2007

    Telling it like it is....

    Okay, first things first this book wasn't AMAZING, but it definetly wasn't HORRIBLE either. It was pretty good. This author has amazing description and does turn this 'farie' genre (which has been used thousands of times) into her own a bit. The characters are very human and different from your average. This book is definetly for 15 and up with language, mild sexuality, and drug and alcohol use (which I should add is all underage). The ending is confusing leaving only certain questions answered (which gives the book room for it's coming sequel). To wrap it up, this book is good with plot twists, romance, action, mystery, suspense and amazing description. Though may leave you confused on some parts and is a bit slow in the beginning. I say it's worth the buy and once you get into you'll be hooked.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2007

    amazing!

    oh my gosh!! i love this book!! my eyes are glued to the pages!! everything in this book is all true, with drugs and what people do with their lives now a days. And how people have to deal with reality! i freaking love it!! im not completely done reading it yet, because i got a little spooked when i got to the middle! things got confusing, because everithing happened so fast. But after the rave, i think the actual real story is just beginning! i cant wait to read the rest, i really hope theres another one after this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Different in a good way

    There is nothing out there like this. It is a bit slow, but overall has a well thought out plot. I would recamend this book for anyone who is loking for something different than vampires and secret notes from "A".

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 22, 2011

    Snooze Alert!!

    This book was so boring I just could not get through it. It was also confusing. Her writing style I really liked, but it just couldn't make up for how slowly paced the book was.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not at all

    This was so confusing. The idea itself,so original, but i really think the author did a horribe job turning into a book. She expected the reader to KNOW what these new words meant, and to know what was happening in all of the confusing chapters. Really poorly done. I was looking forward to a great book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 14, 2011

    A MUST READDD!!!!

    I don't understand what all these negative reviews are about. This book is AWESOME!!!! The characters are so real with each and everyone of them having a flaw about them and I seriously almost passed out in the end. I absolutly ADORE this book and I think this is seriously a MUST READ! She said she is working on a sequel and I seriously cannot wait even though it is taking a while....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2010

    Kind of weird

    I totally expected this book to be awesome, judging by the cover. Unfortunately it let me down. The whole story line was really confusing and hard to understand. It was really messy, the author didn't do a really good job at explaining what was going on and why. The characters where pretty cool but other than that the book was weird and confusing. After a while, it became tortuous to read because you just get so lost and it fails to be enertaining or meaningful. I finished the book but barely!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2010

    overall disappointed

    I'm a serial reader, making my way through books in hours as opposed to days. The cover looked really intriguing so I decided to give it a shot. I've been reading this book for WEEKS! I just can't get myself to WANT to read it. The story line isn't horrible, the writing isn't terrible, the characters aren't boring...I don't know what it is. I find myself bored instead of entertained and overall disappointed with it. It's borderline cliche.
    I try to finish every book I start and won't let this be the exception. Praying it can grab my interest...I've got a long list of books I really WANT to read.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Positive and Negative

    Betwixt is one of those books that in my opinion you will either really like or really hate. I found that the beginning of the book was easy to follow and I got pulled into the story very quickly, but by the end of the book I was a little confused and found myself having to go back and reread whole chapters. Some people really don't like rereading, but I think it's good to reread and clarify things you don't quite understand. Even though rereading was definitely needed, I still found Betwixt overall a very good book for those who like books that have a little bit of darkness in them.

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This Book...

    Was an easy read, I guess. However, it wasn't anything like I thought it was going to be. The characters were well developed, but when it came to their "powers", I had a hard time understanding what exactly Morgan and Ondine had. And the ending, well, let's just say that the ending wasn't all that great.
    And although it says that the book "Appeals to the Twilight fans", I don't think that it really does. (I've never read the Twilight books, but I think I know enough about them to say that they would be better books than this one).

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  • Posted November 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    not what it could have been

    this story had a lot of good points and the writing wasn't bad. what made this book horrible and hard to understand was the pacing. i think this book needed better editors or the writer was rushed into finishing it. other than that i think it would have been original. i still liked it despite its many flaws. The plot was good, the characters were good, and the setting was fitting to the story. if you plan on reading this just know that you will have to reread several parts in order to understand what is going on. you must be a patient reader for this book.

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  • Posted October 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    WARNING!!!!! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS PATHETIC PECICE OF CRAP!

    ON THE BACK U SEE A REVIEW SAYING TWILIGHT FANS WILL STRONGLY APPEAL TO IT. WELL I GOT ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ IT AND ALL OF US ARE TROWING UP WITH THE TERRIBLE WRITING AND STUPID PLOT. IT WILL WASTE YOUR MONEY. AND YOUR TIME. DO NOT BUY.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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