Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington: Book review

Between the Lives
Book title/ Author: Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington
Publisher/ Year: August 7th 2014 Orchard Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: No
Pages: 339
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

*This review may contain spoilers!*


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 that bring her dangerously close to the life she's always wanted. But if she can only have one life, which is the one she'll choose?

My review

The thing that first drew me to the book was seeing who wrote it. Jessica Shirvington, of course. I have wanted to read The Violet Eden Chapters series for a couple of years now, so when I saw it was written by the author of that, I requested it straight away and was lucky enough to be approved.

What I liked about Sabine was how she was always only one person inside. I mean of course she had to act differently, especially in her Wellesley life, so as to fit as the person everyone thinks she is. However she always remained the same Sabine inside, which helped the story to not be confusing in the slightest, which I originally assumed it would be. Another thing I like about Sabine is that you could never call her weak, even though she had been through so much. She definitely wasn't stupid either. She pulled through every bad situation, even when there was a possibility she could die.

The only negative thing I have to say about Sabine is that she put everyone else before her. Specifically I'm talking about the fact that she was going to go on with her decision to lose her virginity to Dex, even after she'd admitted to herself that she was in love with Ethan.

Speaking of Ethan, how perfect is he?! It takes a special kind of love to believe someone who says they live 2 lives, let me tell you. The fact that he let Sabine put all of her problems first, and didn't even mention the biggest problem that anyone could face, that he was facing, is just unbelievably thoughtful and nice. Jessica Shirvington's writing got me so invested in Sabine and Ethan's relationship that I cried when Sabine got told the news, and I almost gave up on the book. Thankfully I didn't because it turned out to be a very pleasant ending.

I love how the book never stuck to one day per chapter, seeing as in this book that would mean alternating Sabine's lives every chapter. It spoke about the day for as long as deemed necessary, and I enjoyed the fact that it may not have been conventional.

Although looking back and realising the ending was quite predictable, I didn't guess it at all. I actually believed I had predicted the ending already when I first started reading it, but let me tell you, I was miles off. This fact makes me very pleased indeed, because it just shows the brilliance of Jessica's writing as I typically tend to guess plots a lot.

This book wasn't quite a 5-star read, unfortunately, mainly because of 2 points. One being that I felt really conflicted when reading about Sabine's parents admitting her into hospital, because I honestly don't know how I would handle being a parent in that kind of situation. Part of me agreed with her parent's decision, and part of me didn't which just left me confused for a while.

The other main negative point I have about this book is that sometimes I got confused as to who was who, which isn't surprising, seeing as there is essentially 2 sets of characters in this book.

Reading this book has made me want to check out Jessica's other books and see if they are as good as this one. I think most young adult readers would love this book as it isn't too heavy on the paranormal aspect, despite the premise.



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