Between – book review

Between by Jessica Warman

Between is the spellbinding and alluring book, written by Jessica Warman.

Elizabeth Valchar has everything. She’s pretty, popular, rich and has everything she could possibly desire. She and six of her closest friends had been celebrating her eighteenth birthday party on her family’s yacht when a persistent thumping noise woke her. When Elizabeth goes to investigate, she finds something that will change her, her friends and her life forever. Secrets will be uncovered and Elizabeth will find out that nothing is ever as it seems…

I enjoyed reading this book. The beginning really captured me and I was really curious about finding out what was going to happen. After the spectacular beginning, the plot slowed down and nothing much happened for a while. I wanted this book to be action-packed all the way through, but it just seemed to drop off after the start. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy that particular part of the book, I’m just saying I wasn’t glued to the pages and it didn’t feel like a huge loss if I had to put the book down to do something else. However, after those 50 pages or so, the storyline redeemed itself and I started loving this book. One thing that really stuck out to me about this book was how much flashbacks it had. I’d say that the book was over 70% flashbacks. Normally, I get really bored reading flashbacks in other books, but I really liked them in this book and understood how necessary it was to have them. Without the flashbacks, I wouldn’t have been as connected with the characters as I was and I wouldn’t understand fully what Elizabeth was like before the night that ended life as she knew it.
For the most part, the plot in this book was fantastic. I loved seeing what happened as time progressed and I was shocked on many occasions. As well as being shocked, there were a few times that I knew what was going to happen long before Elizabeth worked it out. That was really frustrating. Toward the end of the book, I realised what had happened about 80 pages before it was finally revealed that what I had already assumed was in fact correct. Perhaps I’ve just read to many YA fiction books and so it’s easy for me to tell what’s going to happen. Perhaps it was just too obvious in this book. But it left me thinking: Really? Did it take you this long to figure out the final piece to the puzzle? It’s not that hard!! Even though it was pretty easy to figure out what had happened that night, getting to the end point was still a fun journey. The second half of the book was definitely the better half. More things happened and it became increasingly important to find out what had happen. I felt a sense of urgency to find out what really happened and I loved it how little hints and clues were dropped into the story. Seeing everything unravel was really amazing. Most of the time, I felt like a bystander, watching everything play out in front of me. As I watched everything, I loved to speculate about what was going to happen. Half of the time, I was wrong. Half of the time, I was right. But I realised it didn’t really matter either way because getting there was worth it. This book was very well written and the jumps from present time to the past were surprisingly smooth.
Another thing I loved about this book was the complexity of the characters. No two characters were alike and each character had secrets that they were hiding. Every character had their unique personality and their own story. The characters were so cleverly created and that was definitely one of the best parts of the book. From the beginning, I thought Elizabeth was snobby and self-centred. The more I got to know her, the more I both hated her and sympathised with her, which is probably a strange combination. I hated her for the way her and her friendship group treated others and how all they seemed to care about was looks. But I felt sorry for her because of her under-eating/over-running problem, the fact that her mother died when Elizabeth was young, and because of what had happened to her. At the start of the book, Elizabeth cried and carried on, but as the book progressed, she became stronger and more determined to find out what had happened. All of Elizabeth’s friends weren’t truly terrible people. It was nice to find out that however horrible they may be, they have reasons for being that way because they are safeguarding secrets about their lives that can never be known. I loved characters, and I loved to hate characters. Whatever way, I loved them all and loved the stories that came with them.
Although the first half of the book was a little slow and some things were relatively easy to guess, I really liked reading this book overall. I’d give Between by Jessica Warman a score of 8 out of 10. I’m looking forward to rereading this book sometime soon.

Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!