Monday, 4 August 2014

Review: Between the Lives

Between the Lives
Publication Date: July 8th 2014        
Publisher: Orchard Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

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.

While I did really enjoy Between the Lives, there was something missing for me that kept me from really loving it, I don't even know what it was either, or maybe it was just a few little issues, but still, it was different from what I was expecting (in a good way). A girl who lives two lives, a parallel world type, so you think fun, right? That's what I thought, turns out it's not as fun as you think.
Sabine, our main character, lives two lives in a very different way, not quite a sliding doors way, she lives one day out in her one life, then come midnight she shifts into her other life starting off from where she left it 24 hours earlier. She lives the same day twice, in one life, where the only thing that seems perfect is her relationship with her little sister, her parents there aren't very supportive, she has a few friends, she acts and talks and dresses differently, the only thing that seems different when she switches to the second life, where her family life seems pretty much perfect, everything goes her way there, the only thing she doesn't really like is her boyfriend of two years, Dex. The whole shift thing is pretty unique, and though I don't read many parallel world types anyway, but I haven't come across one quite like this. Sabine's memory stays the same, she's done a lot of tests to test theories of how far she can push things, the clothes and thing she keeps with her in one life doesn't shift over with her in the next life, but cuts and bruises or hair changes usually do, until one day that drastically changes.

Sabine's a really complicated character, you can get her and feel for her but I can't say I could connect to her, probably because she herself doesn't exactly know who she really is. Those two lives, she acts and becomes the character hat life demands her to be to please everyone, but in-between all of that, she doesn't act like herself because she doesn't know who that is. She's a lost character, but meeting Ethan in one life changes everything in a good and bad way because up until that point, she was building up to cut off one life and choose what one she wanted, and Ethan confuses that for her. I really liked Ethan, he has his own story he's hiding from Sabine, and later on in the story it becomes pretty obvious what it is, but I didn't really mind because when he was first introduced I thought it would go down this one path that some usually do, that being he could do exactly what she could do, and thank you Jessica Shirvington for not going down that cliché.
Between the Lives was an inspiring look into someone who lives more than one life that subsequently she's looking for her own identity.  It took a darker turn than I expected, but it gave added depth to the story of Sabine and her journey, not her two other lives.

Rating: 4-4.5/5