Since getting a Kindle for Christmas has made getting and reading multiple books at once easier, I decided to check out the free Kindle books Amazon offers. One book I came across was called In Between, by an author named Jenny B. Jones. The story is about a teenager in foster care named Katie Parker who is sent to live with a new family in the town of In Between, Texas. Although this story may sound a bit cliche at first, there were several refreshing plot elements that made reading it worthwhile.

The foster care element of the story interested me, a departure from the stepfamily and divorce aspects present in most young adult books. Instead of having to deal with new stepparents or rivalry with siblings, Katie has to adjust with being sent to live with an entirely new family, people she does not know and struggle to explain her past to those she meets. As someone who’s been around some kind of familiarity for most of my life, the idea of having to cope with a completely new environment at a young age made me think about how people have to deal with that every day.

The plot did remind me of a Sarah Dessen novel in some ways, with the main character being an independent, strong-willed girl who initially doesn’t want to be in a new place. However, the romantic subplot did not involve Katie meeting some guy. Instead, it involves Katie encouraging her foster grandmother to pursue a relationship. That’s not the kind of typical romance formula I’ve found in most books.

The setting is another change I appreciated. Many of the stories I’ve read lately have taken place in the Eastern or Western United States. In Between is located in Texas. The location didn’t contribute a lot to this book, but knowing there are sequels means it could play a part in one of Katie’s further stories.

In conclusion, it’s nice to come across a book that surprises you with new and engaging story points. It also proves that my theory of free ebooks being self-published mediocre stories isn’t exactly true.