Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Early Review: One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

Release Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Name of overseas edition of Between The Lives.
Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.
Until now, that is...

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 which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?

Really interesting idea you have here, right? One girl. Two lives.
Verrry cool.
I think I would have rated it higher If I hadn't seen the ending coming from a mile away. Not that it's a bad ending! Far from it, but I just...knew it would happen. Exactly like it happened.
So I'm thinking that maybe I've just read too many books? Is that possible?
Nonsense! Sacrilege!
Hear me out before you burn me at the stake, though. I mean, we've pretty much determined that I'm not smarter than the average bear, so it's not like I puzzled it out with my Sherlock-like deduction skills. The only possible explanation is that I've seen this plot in action before.
So. The 'shocker' would work out well for any readers who are younger, haven't read a million books, or frequently have the wool pulled over their eyes while reading stuff. Otherwise, go into this knowing that you'll probably not get a GASP! moment out of it, and you'll be fine.

I also felt a little let down by the lack of explanation for Sabine's condition. I know that not everything has a nice and tidy answer, but I was hoping for something. Even an educated guess would have made me happy.
Alas, no. The reason she lives two lives is because...she lives two lives.

The story revolves around Sabine, and whether or not she can (or should) pick one life to live. Which basically boils down to whether or not she should kill herself. The whole broken arm thing (see the blurb) leads her to believe that she can end it in one life, and still live happily ever after in the other.
Ooooooh. Tricky.
See, in both lives she has some reason to want to stay, but it's unbearably hard for her to keep switching back and forth. And for this reason alone, you kinda want her to be able kill herself in one life. Which was weird, 'cause I don't actually think suicide is a good idea. But at the same time, that whole switching back and forth thing sounded awful.
Don't worry, though, the author doesn't seem to condone killing yourself either. Which is nice, considering this is a young adult title.
Ok. So if she can make it so she only has one life, then the question naturally turns into which life she should choose.
At first it seems pretty easy. Go with the life where your folks haven't stuffed you into a psyche ward, right? 
Naturally, she meets and falls in love with Mr. Wonderful while she's stuck in the loony bin. And, of course, Mr. Wonderful is the only person who actually believes her about the whole Two-Life thing. But Mr. Wonderful has a SECRET! He repeatedly tells Sabine he doesn't want her to chose not to kill herself because of him, even though it's obvious they have feelings for each other.
I'm pretty sure you'll figure out the SECRET if I give you any more information about the book, so I'm just going to shut up now...
Anyhoo, he wants her to choose to keep both lives because it's a special opportunity.

I have to say, I was satisfied with the ending, even though I saw it coming. Also, this is a stand-alone novel, which made it quite a breath of fresh air for me. It was nice to be able to close a book and just be finished with it.
All in all, not a bad way to pass the time.


fishgirl182 said...

I don't like it when I can see the ending from a mile away either. I enjoy the surprise of it all. Sounds like an interesting book though. I also wonder why she has two lives though...

Lori @ Romancing the Dark Side said...

This doesn't sound like something I'd pick up on my own but it sounds interesting, living two lives? One is enough...LOL Predictable endings aren't my thing either so I get your frustration with that aspect of the story. Great review!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Hmm. Interesting. I've not heard of this one before. Thanks for sharing about it.


Hope you like it, if you decide to try it out!

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