Title: The Middle of Somewhere
Author: Sonja Yoerg
Source: Review copy from publisher
With her thirtieth birthday looming, Liz Kroft is heading for the hills—literally. Her emotional baggage weighs her down more than her backpack, but a three-week trek promises the solitude she craves—at least until her boyfriend, Dante, decides to tag along. His broad moral streak makes the prospect of confessing her sins more difficult, but as much as she fears his judgment, she fears losing him more. Maybe.
They set off together alone under blue skies, but it’s not long before storms threaten and two strange brothers appear along the trail. Amid the jagged, towering peaks, Liz must decide whether to admit her mistakes and confront her fears, or face the trail, the brothers and her future alone.
The Middle of Somewhere by Sonja Yoerg is a very well written book with a lot of potential. The problem is that it tries to be so many things –a self-discovery, a romance, and a mystery- that at then end it is only a fraction of what it could have been.
Liz is not a very likeable heroine. She starts the story as a strong woman, but by then end is easy to see it was all just a façade, she is weak, self-destructive, selfish, and does things knowing they are not right to then later regret her decisions.
I really don’t know how she thought she could have done the John Muir Trail alone. If it weren’t for her boyfriend, Dante -who she didn’t want with her- she wouldn’t have finished.
Dante was the most likeable character in the story. He is a good man with a good heart. At times I thought he was too good for Liz. Although this book is supposed to be about Liz self-discovery it felt more like Dante’s journey.
For me it was very difficult to understand their relationship. It felt like Dante was more in love with Liz than she with him. She said many times she was afraid of losing him, but she did everything she could to lose him. She lied to him, she treated him bad, and didn’t value him until she thought she has lost him. As I said before, I felt Dante was too good for her.
Yoerg also add to the story two weird brothers. They are creepy and you know from the beginning they are not right. The problem is that they didn’t feel like an organic part of the story, they felt forced in. Almost like a needed plot to make Liz confront her past, her lies and her mistakes. Also, the end felt a little too rush and too perfect to be real.
One thing I really liked about The Middle of Somewhere was the setting. Yoerg brings to live the John Muir Trail. It was easy to imagine it thanks to her vivid descriptions of the terrain and the hiking experience. I’m not a hiker and my idea of a perfect vacation doesn’t include camping, that doesn’t mean I cannot admire people who do it and love it; but I can almost say, The Middle of Somewhere made me wonder a little bit about it.
There were things I liked about The Middle of Somewhere and other things that didn’t work for me, still The Middle of Somewhere has many things that could appeal to other people.
My Verdict: 3 Paws
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