Author: Jessica Warman
Published: August 2nd 2011
Summary: "Elizabeth Valchar --- pretty, popular and rich --- wakes up the morning after her 18th birthday on the yacht where she’d been celebrating with her closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, she finds her own drowned body is hitting the side of the boat. Liz is dead. She has no memory of what happened to her, and can only observe in horror the fallout of her death.
She’s also soon joined by Alex Berg, a quiet boy from her high school who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The two keep each other company, floating in and out of memories and trying to piece together the details of what happened to each of them.
In her regular life, Liz was a runner. It wasn’t abnormal for her to run 8-10 miles per day. But as memories from closer to her death begin to surface, Liz finds that she’d been running much more than normal, and that she’d all but stopped eating. Liz’s mother, who died when Liz was nine, had battled with anorexia as well, and those around her worried that Liz was following in her mother’s footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out..."
Thoughts: When I originally picked this up, I saw the release date and though "Oh no, I need to read this soon." What I didn't expect was to like it as much as I did. It's no joke, for fans of Before I Die and The Lovely Bones, you're in for a treat... an addicting and amazing treat!
Liz is your stereotypical mean girl and Queen Bee. She might not be the one making fun of others, but she doesn't stop her friends from doing it either. It's better to be a part of the clique than out of it, right? At first, Liz's character did bother me. How can someone be so conceited and pretentious? As the story unfolds and Liz begins to witness more events from her past, she also becomes more human. The truth does not justify her actions, but she does become more likable.
And Liz's love for Richie was so sweet and genuine and, of course, heartbreaking. I just wanted to jump in the book and give each one of them a hug. True love torn apart so young and far too early. How very Romeo and Juliet! If that doesn't touch you, then I don't know what will.
Though the story mainly revolves around Liz, there's also a bit of a side story as to why Alex is guiding Liz through her death and memories, and what exactly happened to him. I honestly don't know which story is more heartrending, Liz's or Alex's. Alex hated Liz when they were both alive, but I love the way their relationship grew in the afterlife. There's a scene at a dance where I actually had to put the book down for a minute and take a deep breath. I can't tell you how much compassion and raw emotions are in this book. You'll just have to read it and find out for yourself.
While Between does focus on the subject of love, there really isn't a lot of romance in it. It's more about a love a father has for his daughter, the love soul mates share, and the love people have for their friends. Betrayal, mystery and intrigue play a huge role in this book as well. It's a bit predictable in some aspects, but lets be honest,if you're an avid reader, what actually surprises you nowadays? Point made? I think so.
The copy I have of Between is a little less than 500 pages. No joke, this book is a little thick, but it's well worth it. I'll admit, some of the bickering and cruelty became a bit annoying, but the ending alone is worth the time spent reading it.
Thanks to Kate from Bloomsbury, I am giving away a copy of Between by Jessica Warman. Just fill out THIS FORM to enter. This giveaway is open to US participants only (also, sorry, but no PO Boxes). If you are an international participant, but have a US mailing address the publisher can ship the book to, feel free to enter.
Giveaway will end August 16th. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!