A World Between by Emily Hashimoto [in Booklist]
Eleanor and Leena meet in 2004 in a Boston college-dorm elevator. Eleanor is a hapa Californian – her mother is white, her father Japanese American. Leena’s traditionally immigrant Indian American family is a few towns over in Lowell. That fall semester is spent intensely falling, if not in love, then in intense lust. By semester’s end, however, the relationship ends.
Fast-forward to 2010, when Leena flies from New York, where she’s in grad school, to meet her fiancé-to-be, who lives in San Francisco. Paths cross again when she and Eleanor meet on the street, and, this time, friendship ensues, leading to living together as roommates back in New York City, until they’re not. Seven years later, a wedding enables another possibility for reunion.
The unsettled pair’s on-again, off-again romance is never quite right, not least of which because Leena can’t admit to her family, or even to herself, who she really is. Alas, over the story line’s 13 years and more than 400 pages to wade through, even the most devoted readers are likely to face tedium in order to arrive at book’s end.
Readers: Young Adult