About The World on Either Side

Sixteen-year-old Valentine Joy cannot recover from the sudden death of her boyfriend. After an ‘accidental’ overdose, her desperate mother takes her to Thailand to trek in the mountains and force her back in the world. Once there, Valentine encounters a world she didn’t know existed, where elephants still roam wild and houses are on stilts. She learns about the Burmese civil war and the relentless violence against the Karen and the Rohingya people.

Then she meets Lin—a mysterious young elephant keeper tormented by his secret past—and Mohawk—an orphaned elephant calf, pursued by violent poachers. Together, the three flee into the jungle, looking for refuge and redemption.


"The visceral first person narrative moves fluidly [in this] often grim, sometimes lyrical and ultimately hopeful tale of grief and redemption."     Kirkus Reviews

"An exciting read with a compelling plot."     School Library Journal

"A thrilling adventure story, a heartbreaking romance, and an engaging current issues exploration."   5 stars/Highly Recommended  CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"The World on Either Side is a powerful novel about love, heartbreak and forgiveness,..[one] readers will not soon (if ever) forget."     Resource Links

"A book that spoke to my heart."      Past Midnight Book Reviews https://pastmidnight.home.blog/2019/07/28/arc-review-the-world-on-either-side/

"Educational, thought provoking, and brilliant - this young adult book will find many adult fans as well. A voice to watch!"     https://barbarianlibrarian1.blogspot.com/search?q=the+world+on+either+side

"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 humour. A work of refreshing moral complexity about characters seeking atonement and redemption - and finding the courage it takes to love, and to live."     Trilby Kent (author of Stones for My Father, winner of the TD Award)

"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."     Barbara Radecki, (author of The The Darkhouse, shortlisted for the Kobo Award for Speculative Fiction)


Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People  | 2020 | Commended

CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens  | 2020 | Commended