Thursday, 7 August 2014

Review: Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

Review also available on my blog!


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. - Goodreads

Published: August 7th 2014
Publisher: Orchard Books
Source: An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
My rating4 of 5 stars

Hi everyone!

So Between the Lives is about Sabine, who lives each day twice, in two different lives. I was already captivated by this idea, it’s so unique and there are so many different directions Shirvington could have taken. As quite a sci-fi sort of idea, it was described wonderfully - even details such as meeting her other self and wounds in either life were addressed. But it wasn’t so detailed that you get confused, Shirvington clearly and concisely sets the scene which lets the readers fully immerse themselves in the story.

The writing is really easy to read and this along with many tense moments makes this a very gripping read. I read it in less than a day. I also loved how there were tense moments at midnight in one life, then she woke up in the other life and you really feel her frustration, anticipation or fear to return to the other life. Throughout this book you want to know more and more and so this was an incredibly quick read. I was also thankful that each chapter told the reader what life she was in and what day it was. I was starting to understand the confusion living through days twice could cause!

The characters were fab. I could really relate to the struggle of Sabine as she often felt it was hard to fit in and we’ve all felt that at some point. I loved how different she was in her lives, goth in one and blonde and popular in another. This mix of personalities I felt gave her character depth. Shirvington uses Sabine and her lives to talk about issues such as self harm and suicide and I thought she dealt with them in an appropriate way considering the YA audience. Ethan was lovely as a heartthrob but he wasn’t anything too new if that makes sense? He is a great character but I didn’t feel it was refreshingly new. The minor characters such as Capri and Lucy I totally fell in love with as they are light and genuine.

The reason this book is a four is because I was disappointed with the lack of explanation of Sabine’s condition. It never really explains why she is living two lives. With references to ‘glitches’ I thought this book might develop into something bigger but considering this is a stand alone, I think Shirvington did tread the right path. I just was left with many unanswered questions which could have perhaps developed this book into a trilogy or a series. But for a stand alone the plot was understandable. However, I do think this book has lots of potential to become a series.

Overall, a gripping, emotional and unique story with surprising reflections of our own lives and bundles of potential.

4 stars.

Have you read this book/going to read? :)

-Molly

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