Review: Between by Jessica Warman

(**Reviewing a manuscript)

Elizabeth Valchar — pretty, popular and rich — wakes up the morning after her 18th birthday on the yacht where she’d been celebrating with her closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, she finds her own drowned body is hitting the side of the boat. Liz is dead. She has no memory of what happened to her, and can only observe in horror the fallout of her death.

She’s also soon joined by Alex Berg, a quiet boy from her high school who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The two keep each other company, floating in and out of memories and trying to piece together the details of what happened to each of them.

In her regular life, Liz was a runner. It wasn’t abnormal for her to run 8-10 miles per day. But as memories from closer to her death begin to surface, Liz finds that she’d been running much more than normal, and that she’d all but stopped eating. Liz’s mother, who died when Liz was nine, had battled with anorexia as well, and those around her worried that Liz was following in her mother’s footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out..

I am really trying to find the right words to describe Between. No matter what you read from me, I promise you these words do not do this book justice. At all.

I went into this book wanting to slap the main character, Liz. She’s spoiled, popular, and stuck up in that nasty I’m-better-than-you kinda way. As the story progressed my attitude changed along with her development as a person. After everything, you can’t help but like Liz. Warman does a phenomenal job pulling you into the lives of the characters. The emotions flowed freely off the page and into my heart, really causing me to feel for each and every one of them.

After reading the summary, I bet most of you believe this is just another story where the ‘perfect’ girl isn’t as perfect as you learn more about her. Honestly, I thought that too. What I didn’t expect was for this book to be so much more. Every miniscule detail came together like a puzzle. All of the characters’ actions were realistic enough to have me yelling and rolling my eyes at Liz, Alex and all of the friends.

Between is a book that makes you think. All the memories, all the what-ifs, and all the should-haves come bursting to the front of your mind at once. Yes, this book is fiction. Yes, it leaves an impact. Warman has constructed a tragically beautiful novel you would be insane not to read. Ah-may-zing.

Rating: 5 / 5


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