Here and Only Here by Christelle Dabos

Here, and Only Here by Christelle Dabos, Hildegarde Serle
Published by Europa Editions on October 10, 2023
Genres: Coming of Age, Paranormal
Pages: 200
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The new novel from the million-copy bestselling author of The Mirror Visitor Quartet Welcome to the School of Here, an unsettling and peculiar place that is nonetheless familiar to us all. A place full of codes and unspoken rules that are passed down from year to year.At Here, society is highly stratified, the pairs, friend groups, and outcasts are all ruled by a godlike prince. This year—as all other years—things are not at all as they seem. A self-effacing first-year student vanishes into thin air. A persecuted outsider delivers himself into permanent exile. A tyrannical upperclassman meets his match. A newly-minted prophetess tests her powers. And, behind the scenes, a cabal of students conducts a top-secret investigation into the unexplained phenomenon at the heart of it all. Back to school season marks the start of a time-honored cycle of revolution and rebirth in which each must play their part. With Here, and Only Here , Christelle Dabos – author of the international sensation The Mirror Visitor Quartet – gives readers an intriguing and penetrating novel that explores the difficulties of fitting in and the private, individual choices that make up the sometimes abhorrent, always unpredictable Collective.


Reading Here and Only Here by Christelle Dabos was honestly a bit of a struggle to get through. I was asked to read and review this short novel, and despite it being a middle grade book, I thought the premise was interesting enough that I agreed to give it a shot. I should not have.

For such a short book (approximately 200 pages), there were way too many different points-of-view. This is one of the things that made it so hard for me to get into this book until about 40% in. I had no idea what was going on or who anyone was. We jump from one character, to another, to another, to another. And each character has their own situation going on so that it isn’t piecing together one story, but multiple stories going on at once that are only tangentially related. Another small difficulty in reading was the obviousness of Here and Only Here being a translated story. It didn’t feel seamless or natural, which made it clunky to read through.

Once I passed the 40% mark, things started to get interesting. I still had trouble keeping track of each of the characters, but the storylines became progressively darker, which obviously sucked me in. If there’d been less points-of-view, or a more cohesive overarching story from the beginning, I think I would have really loved this more than I did because it actually did turn out to be compelling and interesting.

I’m not sure who I would recommend Here and Only Here by Christelle Dabos to. Mature middle graders for sure to maybe freshman/sophmore high schoolers. If you’re someone who can keep track of numerous POVs that are not interconnected, you’ll like this. And possibly, if you can read this in the original language, I bet it would be a lot more enjoyable.


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