Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Publication date: May 1st, 2013
Number of pages: 336 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Bookworld Australia

Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is...

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.

With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?

Jessica Shirvington has debuted her very first standalone, YA contemporary, but with a twist novel. If you loved her Violet Eden series and waiting her final book, then you are sure to love this novel.

I found the premise for this story very compelling and interesting from the very first moment Jess spoke about it. I personally don't know how I would deal if I were in this kind of situation, so Sabine is a strong female character on that merit alone.

The story brings us to Sabine, who is about to turn eighteen and looking forward to what the future brings her. But her life is  not like anyone else's. For she, you see, has two lives. She doesn't know how it came or be, or when it started, but after midnight she switches from one life to another, never missing one moment of each of her lives.
She is the same girl. Same name. Same physical appearance, but different family and friends. Different life.
When Sabine realizes that things have started to change through each Shift, she becomes to the realization that this may be the time she will have to choose ONE life, but the question is, which one?

In one life.. she has everything she could have wanted. Friends, popularity, wealth, the perfect boyfriend. But everything is not as it appears to be, because the boyfriend she can't stand, her brothers she doesn't really get along with.
In the other, her family could not have been any different. She isn't popular. She is more like a rebel. But she has a best friend. Her parents are on hard times financially, but she has a bright spot and that is her little sister who she adores and who adores her. But when it comes down to deciding.... how does one decide which life to lead?

The moment she meets Ethan, changes everything. Everything she wanted to feel in her 'perfect' life's boyfriend happens with Ethan. If only she could take him to her other life if she decides to choose that one. But who said ANY life was easy? Most of us only have one to deal with day by day, but Sabine has twice the trouble as she deals with not one, but two of them.

This book is equally as addicting, compelling and heartbreaking as Jessica's  VEC series.  It has love. It has family, and heartbreak.
There was something that involved Ethan that I should have seen coming, but  I didn't. Maybe I just didn't want to believe it. But what Sabine has to deal with is so heartbreaking and tragic, I don't envy her for a moment.
I did love that by the end Sabine got closer to her brothers than she was before. She goes through a traumatic experience that will bond them forever, and she will never have to worry about going back to the relationship she had with them before ever again. And by the end of the book... while Sabine goes through everyone one could ever imagine---  there is hope for something for the future.

There could have been more to this story, but I did like the end how it ended on a note of hope.. just enough to leave you satisfied, but also enough to make you yearn for more as well.

Jessica can write the bible and I'd read it. She has this special knack at getting you involved in the world that she creates. I'm a fan for life, for sure.

Rating: 5/5

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