Sunday, August 7, 2011

Between ~ Jessica Warman (ARC) review

(When I picked the 7th for my Between tour/review post date, I thought it was a week day (I don''t now) - so you get the review today and a reminder/link tomorrow!)

Walker Children's
August 2, 2011
464 pages

Between, Jessica Warman's new novel, is an amazing read that just gets better as it goes. Emily Valchar is awoken early the morning of her eighteenth birthday by the sound of something persistently knocking against the side of her family's boat. Well, yacht really, the Elizabeth. The yacht where she and six of her friends have just spent the night celebrating her birthday.

When no one else wakes up, Liz goes to investigate on her own.

The things making the noise isn't a fish like Liz first thought; it's a body trapped between the dock and the boat.

Liz's body.

As Liz is forced to unravel both her life (which she can't remember very well) and her death, she learns that she may have been pretty and popular, but her life wasn't as perfect as it appeared to be. Nor are her friends all that they seem - or all that she thought they were.

Fans of Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall will want to check out Between. As in Before I Fall, Elizabeth is the popular, pretty girl with the close group of friends. But, like Oliver's Samantha character, Liz is also not a very likable person. In Between, though, Liz is shown - through another character and memories - just how unlikable she is/was.

The memories are a great way for the readers to learn about Liz's life/her past and how she's gotten to be who she is now - or at least who she was when she died.

The way that Liz's life is slowly unveiled, almost unraveled, for both Liz and the reader is brilliant. Things aren't remembered consecutively so it's hard to know what to trust in a given situation or what each statement really means until you're later given more information. Readers are really taken along with Liz as she discovers who she was in life and what it's going to mean for her in death.

Parts of the story and parts of the characters' personalities that don't seem to fit or don't seem right (or even healthy) you have to wonder if it's a mistake the author made . . . or something we just don't know about yet. It's really magnificently done.

One of the best character studies I've read this year for sure - and maybe ever - Between is also a great mystery that builds and builds and builds until the ends, leaving you wishing you could turn the pages faster and faster. And then sorry that it's all over because it means leaving Liz behind.


Huge thank you to Kate at Bloomsbury for my review copy of this book

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