Publisher: Walker & Company (August 2nd, 2011)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Elizabeth Valchar--pretty, popular, and rich--wakes up the morning after her eighteenth 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 Liz was following in her mother's footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out. . . .
Review: I was a huge fan of Jessica Warman's book Where the Truth Lies, so I had to read this one once I heard about it. I'm new to books that explore death in this way but I was not disappointed.
Between is from the perspective of a ghost, Liz. Liz just turned eighteen and her and her friends spent a wonderful night on her dad's boat. But then Liz wakes up and soon realizes maybe more happened that night than she can recall because somehow she ended up in the water, dead. But Liz is not alone. Alex is there with her and they soon learn that although they had a similar end, they were completely opposite in life. And, maybe something else unknown is bringing them together in death.
One of the things I liked about this book is that I hated Liz. Yes, that sounds strange. But Liz was not a nice person, at all! She was selfish, cruel, childish, and an all-around mean girl. It's rare to read a book where a character can be hated so much, but enjoyed at the same time. Liz is taken on a journey that explores her death and her life. She soon realizes the errors she made and seems to feel for the pain she caused.
Alex, on the other hand, was incredible! He is a character I just wanted to hug. I felt so horrible for what had happened to him but he was so mature and strong. Alex and Liz had some interesting conversations and they helped build a great foundation for friendship-- even if it was a little late.
Much of this story explores the mystery surrounding Liz's death. She can't remember what happened on the boat, or many of the details of her life. As time passes she slowly puts the pieces together, but in the end, the picture is not a pretty one. I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters in this story. They did seem to represent the "typical" high school mean crowd but a few of them really learn a lot about each other after Liz dies.
Between brings in a heartwrenching story of a boy trying to find peace, and a girl trying to find out who she is. Jessica Warman delivers a book full of twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the end.
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