Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington
Rating: 4 out of 5
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publishing Date: August 7th 2014 (first published May 1st 2013)
Publisher: Orchard Books
Provided by: Hachette Children's Books & Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads)
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?
Some things are so real you can feel them in your core. It doesn't matter where you go, they go with you.
I loved this take on the coming of age story. Having two entirely different worlds to connect and merge so that Sabine can figure out who she wants to be was really interesting. Okay, so it's a bit of a slow burner and in all honesty it took a couple of chapters for me to really get into it but once I did? I fell hard for this book. I had this knot in the base of my stomach the whole way through reading it and even though I found the second half a smidgen predictable it didn't take away from the fact Sabine's story will turn you into an emotional wreck. Seriously, I was a mess!
My main concern when picking this book up was that I'd get stuck with a winy teenage girl complaining about her life when, in fact, there isn't anything wrong with it. But what I actually got was a very determined leading lady who would do anything to be free. She doesn't see her two lives as a second chance, it's more like they cancel each other out.
Sabine has to make some difficult decisions throughout the story which - at times - had me cringing. The beginning of the book had me questioning whether or not she was brave or just plain stupid but it wasn't long before I settled on brave. By the end of the first half all I wanted was for Sabine to find a way to live one full life. But I couldn't shake the feeling it was never going to work out that way and by the time my Kindle read 66% I knew exactly how it was going to end. I read the last third biting the inside of my cheek and hoping I was wrong.
You said you wanted someone to know you. Maybe I just want to have someone know me too. Without you in this world, the memories of every moment we've shared together will be gone.Ethan... with your mop haired, ocean eyed perfection. His story broke my heart into a thousand little pieces that I'm still struggling to put back together. He is, without a shadow of a doubt, the heart of this story and if anything, the reason I enjoyed it as much as I did. I can't tell you much else about him in fear of spoilers, but this is another guy to add to your fictional crush list.
Overall this is a slow paced story, but I think it's part of it's charm. The tentative introduction makes the ending all the more powerful and I have to say it's probably one of the best endings of a book I've read in a long time. And even though I was able to guess what was coming there were still some shocking moments. Moments that had me holding my breath.
Shirvington doesn't shy away from the gritty reality that Sabine would have gone through in this impossible situation. An emotional YA novel, that will have you reaching of the tissues. I recommend it highly!
You were right. I was lost. But you found me, between the lives.
I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.
Above are looks inspired by the two lives of Sabine at the beginning of the book and bellow is my take on her style at the end of her story.
**Looks created using Polyvore**