Between by Jessica Warman
Published by: Walker Childrens
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery
Date Read: 23/01/2016
Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, perfect- wakes up after spending her eighteenth birthday party on her family’s yacht to investigate a thumping noise. What she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent.
Liz was perfect in life. She had the looks, the friends and the money to buy popularity and keep it. Beneath the surface though, Liz was more than just a pretty face. Born to a mother plagued by anorexia, Liz learned from an early age that eating equals control, and when her life spun out of control, she controlled her eating habits. On the morning of her 18th birthday, Liz wakes up to see her body floating in the water, but she has no recollection of what happened. As she wanders the “between,” she meets a fellow classmate, Alex, and together they begin to unravel the mysteries of their deaths.
Between was a beautiful book that crosses genres, giving us the best of contemporary, love and ghost stories in one fast-paced read. The adult themes of drugs and eating disorders should, however, be known when approaching this book.
This is a mix of social drama, mystery, romance and family issues. It moves between the past and the present as Liz and Alex attempt to put together the jigsaw pieces of the past to understand and move past what happened to them. Liz is a great character, dimensional and real, while still being somewhat repelled by her mean and reckless actions in the past.
The supporting characters become real enough that you care about them, too. Another element I like was the way the author worked in references to literary works which foreshadowed, illuminated or ironically commented on the action. Even though this is a sad book, it’s not depressing or grim, and ultimately it’s uplifting and very satisfying. I highly recommend it to fans of YA and adult books, especially those who enjoy mysteries, contemporary fiction and ghost stories.