The Hotel Between by Sean Easley, a review

The Hotel Between by Sean Easley, a middle grade fantasy published 2018 by Simon and Schuster, 341 pages: a review.

Cameron, age 12, lives in Texas with his grandma and twin sister Cass, who is confined to a wheelchair.

A vacant strip mall he passes every day on the walk home from school suddenly has a fancy new sign on one of its doors: The Hotel Between. Cam peeks in at the door and is amazed to discover an elegant lobby with a multi-story chandelier, somehow packed into the one-story building. Explore? Not now. Duty calls him home.

A kid his age, Nico, pays him a visit and invites him to the Hotel. Cameron has always wanted to find his lost dad, and this might be the way to do it. So, even though Cameron is anxious about pretty much everything, he goes with Nico to explore the magical hotel –where walking through a door instantly takes you across the globe to someplace else.

Intrigue shows up quickly. Cameron strikes agreements with Nico and friends, who label the man in charge of the hotel as the bad guy.  But things happen that cause Nico to seriously wonder which side is the bad guys. The plot unfolds with plenty of surprises.

While I love the basic concept of the Hotel Between, I found myself confused at multiple points in this book, about the bad guy question and especially about how the magic system works.   The book is packed with lovely literary descriptions of the hotel and the places it can take you. I wonder whether a typical twelve-year-old reader would find the descriptions too long and the pace too slow.

Three stars ***

#mgbookclub

Click icon for more
book review blogs
@Barrie Summy

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, a review

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, a review Published 2015 by MacMillan, 245 pages Genre: Middle grade, realistic with a touch of fantasy Crenshaw, a huge cat, used to be Jackson's invisible friend -- when Jackson was three years younger. So now … [Continue reading]

The Hate U Give movie, a review

In the movie "The Hate U Give," 16-year-old Starr is an African-American living in what she calls "the 'hood," a place called Garden Heights, while attending a nearly all-white high school. She lives in both worlds, trying to fit in both … [Continue reading]

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, a review

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, a review Published in 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Genre: Middle grade historical Not till I got to the end of this book did I realize how autobiographical it was.  It features a 12-year-old boy, Jack, in … [Continue reading]

My Year in the Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver, a review

My Year in the Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver Published 2018 by Candlewick Press, 268 pages Genre: Middle Grade historical It's April, 1970, in Red Grove, Alabama. Lu, a sixth-grade girl from a Venezuelan family, just wants to get along … [Continue reading]

Greetings From Witness Protection! by Jake Burt, a review

Greetings From Witness Protection! by Jake Burt, a review Published 2017, MacMillan Publishing Group, 358 pages Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Thirteen-year-old Nicki woos the reader with her strong and quirky personality. We quickly fall in … [Continue reading]

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr, a review

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr, illustrated by Katie Hartnett Published by Chronicle Books, 2018, 299 pages Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Grisha the dragon had a very unfortunate encounter with a sorcerer named Leopold, and as a result … [Continue reading]

The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters by Kara LaReau, a review

The Jolly Regina and The Uncanny Express by Kara LaReau, Books 1 and 2 of the Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters, a review. Published 2017 and 2018 by Amulet Books, New York, each about 160 pages, illustrated by Jen Hill Genre: Middle … [Continue reading]

Little Bigfoot, Big City by Jennifer Weiner, a review

Little Bigfoot, Big City by Jennifer Weiner, Book 2 of the Littlest Bigfoot series, a review Published 2017 by Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing, 317 pages Genre: Middle grade fantasy, aimed at readers approximately 12 years old I was … [Continue reading]

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, a review

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz series #1, a review Published 2007 by Scholastic, 308 pages Genre: Middle grade humorous fantasy, aimed at readers approx. 12 years old This engaging and funny book promises to … [Continue reading]