Review: Between the Lives, by Jessica Shirvington

Between the Lives
by Jessica Shirvington

Edição/reimpressão: 2014
Pages: 336 (Ebook)
Publisher: Hachette Children's Books

 
Summary: 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.

Rating: 4/5 

Review: 
"Between the Lives" was given to me by Escape Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was such a good surprise. In fact, at the beginning I was feeling a little confused and not getting along with it, but then it got catchy and easy to go on. I guess my first issue was to really understand how the changing was supposed to happen. Not the physical part but the meaning of it. The way the first pages describe it, it looks like Sabine would live one live and exist in the other at same time but having the soul out of that body, when in reality it was something more simple: she would return to exact same point where she was during the switch. Which means that if she was falling in live A and if she shift during that time, she would live the exact same day in the life B (with other family and other people and context) knowing that at midnight she would really fall on the "previous" life. After understanding the mechanic, the book started growing on me and I could feel comfortable reading both realities of Sabine´s life. 
At first, it was a little confusing to understand why she would create almost different characters in each live until I figured that was her safe mechanism to keep going and trying not to mix up her realities, which only means Sabine was never a real person, not even for herself (at least from my perspective). 
It was fun to understand and see the dynamics she had with both families, and how she was connected with her parents, her siblings and her friends, from whom I would love to had time to learn more about. Even so, I didn't felt that was something missing there, or that the book had plot holes in that level. 
I didn't really felt she was the reckless delinquent the summary wants to sell, she was simply someone with different opportunities and more space to try to exist in one life than in the other. After the glitch, it was fun to understand the consequences of her actions while she also did, but even so I guess the author sometimes forgot Sabine didn't knew already what was going to happen and she looked to me stressed out with stuff less important than another. 
In another instance, when she starts the experiments, it isn't clear for me why she is tending in one direction, because the life where she seams more real and complete and with more possibilities of happiness is the one she is putting apart. 
Also, it was a nice change the big twist that happened in the middle of the book (I will not mention it to don´t spoil the story to everyone) and it kept me reading the book all night long. It created a nice dynamic in the story and made it different and original, which is something that we need in more books! Nearer to the end, there is another big plot twist and for a while I thought the book was going in a different direction, but since it's an young adult story, it turned out to a less troubled path, but even so enjoyable. 
The end was a little predictable but not boring or dishonorable to what Jessica Shirvington created and finalized in a sour and sweet conclusion. I will be watching Jessica´s future books! Well done.  


Cláudia
About the author:
 
Addicted to the library Claudia loves to read on the move and we can usualy find her sitting in a train or bus reading while commuting to and from work. But don't be fooled she is also keeping an eye on the landscape and all around her. She is an avid defender of sustainability and volunteering and it's as easy to find her starting a new project as it is to find her chatting with her friends. She is a dreamer and loves good stories so she keeps looking for them in her personal life.

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