Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 288
Themes: teen depression, ethical tourism, elephants, Thailand, mother-daughter relationships
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 10/Sep/2019
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Sixteen-year-old Valentine is devastated by the death of her boyfriend in a high-school football game. She stops going to school, quits seeing her friends and won’t leave her bed. After Valentine’s accidental drug overdose, her desperate mother takes her on a jungle trek in Thailand. In the mountains north of Chiang Mai, Valentine meets Lin, a young elephant keeper with a mysterious past. After stumbling on an elephant massacre, Valentine and Lin find themselves running for their lives with an orphan calf they vow to save. In the safety of their growing friendship, Lin speaks of his dark past as a child soldier, kidnapped into the brutal Burmese army. He confesses to acts that Valentine isn’t sure she can forgive. As she digs deep for compassion, Valentine is forced to confront herself. With newfound courage, she faces a choice: to hide from life forever or become who she wants to be.

Barbara Radecki, author of The Darkhouse
"Air. This exquisite novel will have you gasping for it. Valentine's heartbreak and her desperate race through the jungles of Thailand had me holding my breath, smiling and weeping, despairing and hopeful. The World on Either Side is a heart-pounding journey to healing and love."
Trilby Kent, Governor General's Literary Award finalist for Once, in a Town Called Moth
"With a compelling voice and eye for evocative detail, Diane Terrana captures the rawness of grief and the dislocation of being a stranger in a strange land. Valentine's journey is part vivid travelogue, part healing odyssey, part high-stakes adventure, astutely narrated and punctuated with poetry, geopolitics and humor. A work of refreshing moral complexity about characters seeking atonement and redemption—and finding the courage it takes to love and to live."
Kirkus Reviews
"[An] ultimately hopeful tale of grief and redemption."
School Library Journal
“The characters are well developed...an exciting read with a compelling plot.”