Sunday, 10 March 2013

Between by Jessica Warman

Title: Between
Author: Jessica Warman
Publisher: Egmont Books
Released: August 2nd 2011
Pages: 437 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Elizabeth Valchar wakes up after spending her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht to investigate a thumping noise. 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.

So there's a bit of a backstory as to how I came across this novel in the first place. I work in my school's library, and I came up with the idea to host a book poster competition, where someone would design a poster advertising a favourite book of theirs, and would have to give a brief synopsis and explain why they liked it so much. I was part of the judging panel at the end, and the definite winner was a girl who designed a poster for Between. As soon as I read her reasoning for loving it, I knew I had to read it - and voila! The next week, the library had a brand new copy.

The synopsis gives nothing away, but it leaves you intrigued, so I'll try not to spoil things either. Thumping - what an earth could be so terrible from some thumping? Well, for those who haven't watched horror films before, a lot of terrible stuff can happen due to some strange noises. As Liz went to see what it was, I was practically screaming (I say practically, because if I had started yelling on the bus I think I would have been kicked off) at her to stop, turn around, and go back to sleep. This novel gave me some immense feels.

In some senses, I don't think I realized a lot of the plot twists - certain obvious things came as a bit of a surprise. But then I did figure them all out, but only mere pages before it was actually revealed, which I think was a great author technique - you know what's going to happen, and as the character's are working out the truth you're giddy with the excitement of getting it right. Instead of just reading someone else's account of things, you were journeying alongside the characters, which is the best pace for a mystery.

A problem I did have with this read, however, was believing that the character's were realistic. Most of them were eighteen years of age, taking drugs and smoking and getting drunk and having sex - but they acted like three year olds! I swear there was a quote in there somewhere where the main protagonist, Liz, declared how popular and gorgeous she was. CAN YOU NOT? I hate when characters are pretty and they know all too well that they are pretty. I hate it even more when they boast about it. Modesty costs nothing, people! However, despite despising Liz and all her friends, I did actually love both Richie and Alex. Now both of them I found realistic. They were just your normal, average teenagers (well, I say "normal"...) and I felt that I could relate to both of them for different reasons. Alex was an outcast, and what he went through was tough - Richie made some bad decisions, but he wasn't a bad person. I thought those two did make up for the poor characterization of everyone else.

To sum it all up, I'm not sure whether I liked this book or not. It took me about a day to read, and the storyline was pretty good...but it didn't give me that wow factor that other similar books did - not the shivers I got from Before I Fall, nor the tears caused by The Catastrophic History of You and Me. But it was good, and I'd definitely recommend it if you liked the above two books.
Rating: 3/5

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