Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Between by Jessica Warman (+ Giveaway!)

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
The buzz book of the international market, already sold to 9 countries, about a girl stuck in between life and the afterlife, trying to piece together the mystery of her death.

Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect-wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht, where she'd been celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent. Critically acclaimed author Jessica Warman brings readers along on a roller-coaster ride of a mystery, one that is also a heartbreaking character study, a touching romance, and ultimately a hopeful tale of redemption, love, and letting go.
Review: 

Ever since reading Where the Truth Lies, Jessica's second novel, last year, I've been dying to read another book by her, so when Between landed on my radar I knew I had to read it. Not only because I was pretty sure I would love it, but also because it had been compared to two of my favorite YA books, Before I Fall and If I Stay. Luckily, it was pretty darn SPECTACULAR to say the least.

It all starts with a jarring noise. However, when Elizabeth (also known as Liz) goes to find out just what's making that sound, she gets much more than she garnered for: the sight of her body lying limply in the water. Shocked, Elizabeth begins to realize that she is officially dead and gone. Not knowing how this could be possible, she teams up with an unlikely ally to find out the truth, but everything, she's about to find out, isn't nearly as picture perfect as she thought. Her friends are hiding secrets, her stepsister, her supposed best friend, is moving in on Liz's boyfriend, and her boyfriend is weirdly enough going along with the advances. What's a girl to do? Will Liz figure it out before it's too late? Or will she forever be stuck in this between? Only more time and pages can tell in this complex and intricate new tale of secrets, second chances, soul mates, and the heavy price of popularity.

Similar to Before I Fall's main character, Liz starts out as an incredibly unlikable and selfish main character. However, even though I wasn't necessarily rooting for her at those times, it was part of the reasons why Between was so intriguing and hard to put down. You see, I had to know why Liz had turned out that way, what made her become to standoffish towards others and so reluctant to ask for help. In addition, when the pieces did start to come together, I was constantly surprised and shocked, making this book all the more fantastic, in my opinion. I also like the addition of her boyfriend Richie, more specifically, the bond the two shared. Unlike most things in Liz's life, their relationship was very innocent and very, very sweet. There weren't many people in Liz's life that saw who she was deep down, but Richie was one of him. I just adored his character to pieces, even though their relationship and ache for one anther throughout did make me tear up a little at times.

The premise of this is fascinating and the execution of the said idea is even better! For one, I loved that Jessica made the primary focus of this book on friendship, family, and redemption instead of just romance. It gave it a truly unique edge, especially when all the surprising twists and turns where thrown into the book. The addition of Alex Berg, another dead student from Liz's school, was another great addition to the plot, and while he severed more as a device at times then a character, he still managed to change Liz in ways that others couldn't.

Jessica's writing was also simply stunning! I loved how she switched between present situations to the flashback of Liz's life throughout the years, as it allowed more affect to be left than Liz just telling the reader what had occurred. I also appreciated the ending she gave. It was extremely bittersweet and emotional but it was just the way the novel should end so I can't really complain.

Beautifully written, introspective, and just all around fantastic, Between is my new favorite novel of '11, which gives me all the more reason to highly, highly suggest you pick this one up. It may not be for everyone but for people who enjoy a good story (similar to If I Stay, Before I Fall, and The Everafter) it's well worth a read. However, quick word of warning: grab some tissues before you start this one because if one thing's for sure, it will probably make you cry, especially when all the craziness comes out at the end.

Grade: A+ 

Between is now available!

Source: Publicist at Bloomsbury/Walker Books- thanks Kate!

To find out more about the Between and its author, head on over to Jessica's website.

Thanks to Bloomsbury/Walker Books, I also have ONE copy of Between to giveaway to one lucky winner. To enter, the giveaway please fill out the following form. 

Official Giveaway Rules:

~ Must be 13 years or older
~ Must have a US mailing address
~ This giveaway will close on August 31, 2011 at 12:00 PM EST
~ For an extra entry, tweet "Enter @Lauren817's giveaway for Between by Jessica Warman http://bit.ly/qcePwi"

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER.*

12 comments:

  1. Just seconding Lauren's recommendation, this is one of those books you don't want to miss. I learned about it from Lauren, and it's def as good as she says it is! Don't enter me in the giveaway, though, I couldn't wait and already bought it. Good luck to everyone else though!

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  2. I've heard a lot of good things about this one. Good to know you really liked it too. Thanks for the awesome giveaway & review. :)

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  3. Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway! (:

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  4. This one looks very interesting! I read Before I Fall and really enjoyed it, and if Between has been compared to that, then it must be pretty good, haha. :) Great review! I've heard many great things about Between. Also, thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  5. I like a book that has flashbacks in it. It always brings more depth to the characters. :) Good to know that it's spectacular, causse wow, I need that! :) Great review.

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  6. Sounds so good! I love that it has been compared to BEFORE I FALL. I adored that book and now I really want to read this one.

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  7. Sounds like a beautifully written novel. Can't wait to read it!

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  8. That's great that Between kept you surprised and shocked...I adore stories that keep things interesting :)

    Fabulous review!

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  9. Thanks for the awesome review. I can't wait to read and adding to my wish list.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  10. Thank you so much for the great giveaway!

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