Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Review: Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington


Title: Between the Lives
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Author Info: Website|Blog|Facebook|Twitter
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: 7th August 2014

Tell Me About It
The perfect life or the perfect love. You choose.

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?

A compelling psychological thriller about a girl who lives two parallel lives - this is Sliding Doors for the YA audience.
My Thoughts
Prior to reading Between the Lives, I have read a few other parallel world books, and I enjoyed them all, so I went into reading Between the Lives with an idea of what to expect, but I had no idea that Jessica would squash my heart to pieces by showing me a promise of what could happen, only to have it cruelly stolen away from me. Since Between the Lives is told in two stories, from both of Sabine's lives, my review will be also told in two stories, sharing my thoughts of both of Sabine's lives.

Wellesley Sabine
Sabine lives with her Mum, her brothers have moved out, and her Dad is around but not really mentioned much. This family is well off, living in a great house, and having money to buy expensive cars, fashionable clothing, and go to a great school. She has a few close friends, and a boyfriend who she doesn't particularly feel anything for but is perfect for her in every way.

Even though Sabine is the same person on the inside, I didn't really like this version of Sabine much. I know she has to fit in with her surroundings, and she is putting on a show every single second, but I just felt like this version was more fake. Saying that, I do think that even though she has everything she could ever want, Wellesley Sabine still finds it hard to fit in, to actually feel like she belongs.

When we got to a certain part of this book my heart was in my stomach. After everything that Roxbury Sabine does to try to make a decision, she is suddenly faced with one being made for her. I felt sick with nerves, shocked that this could happen so quickly. I cried both during and after this event, and when we were sent back to Roxbury I could not read fast enough, I HAD to get back to Wellesley Sabine to see what happened.

The last pages of this chapter of Sabine's life had me crying with happiness, I was so relieved, and while I was still torn up about it in her Roxbury life, I was glad that she had this moment of happiness, this moment of possibilities after everything she has experienced.

Roxbury Sabine
Roxbury Sabine's life is in the less well off area, her best friend Capri, who she hangs around with has a unique sense of fashion, and this Sabine fits in perfectly with it. Roxbury Sabine also lives with her Mum, but she now has a sister and her Dad is around more in presence, but not in person. This family don't seem to struggle for money, but they do have to work for it, saving for college etc.
This version of Sabine I did like, although she is still pretending, this one felt more natural, more at home in her own skin, even though she doesn't particularly like this life.

When we first met Ethan I didn't know what to think of him. I like how he is willing to believe Sabine but also feel like part of him doesn't, all the testing he gives her to bring back. Once he starts to believe something, I did like the messages he wanted translated, I thought it was a nice touch.

This life is harder for Sabine, and I truly felt for her. What happens to her broke my heart, she put trust and faith into the people she cares about, and they threw it back in her face, she really only has two people left, Maddie and Capri, but when it all comes down to it, she can't really open up to them and tell them the truth.

Roxbury Sabine has a lot to struggle through, and a lot to survive for, but this is the life that actually broke my heart. Deep down inside I knew something was coming, I just didn't expect it to happen to fast. It wasn't till it happened that I realised how emotionally invested I had become in Sabine's life, and another's life. It felt like my heart had been torn out of my body, stomped on, shredded, and put back into place. Even after the reading the last few pages of the book I was still hurting over what had happened.


Between the Lives is a fantastic read that really holds it's own among the other parallel world books I have read. You HAVE to read this.

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