Publication Date: August 2011
Acquisition: BEA 2011
Elizabeth Valchar--pretty, popular, and rich--wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday on the yacht where she'd been celebrating with her closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, she finds her own drowned body is hitting the side of the boat. Liz is dead.She has no memory of what happened to her, and can only observe in horror the fallout of her death. She's also soon joined by Alex Berg, a quiet boy from her high school who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The two keep each other company, floating in and out of memories and trying to piece together the details of what happened to each of them. In her regular life, Liz was a runner. It wasn't abnormal for her to run 8-10 miles per day. But as memories from closer to her death begin to surface, Liz finds that she'd been running much more than normal, and that she'd all but stopped eating. Liz's mother, who died when Liz was nine, had battled with anorexia as well, and those around her worried Liz was following in her mother's footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out. . . . (from Goodreads)
Ghost story, murder mystery, love story - Between has a little of all of these and more. I know I was in for a good read when after, only intending to read a page or two, I realized I had read about 100. The story was always moving and there seemed to be something waiting around every turn of the page that even with the slightly hefty weight of almost 450 pages, Between never dragged along. Instead I was pretty much at the edge of my seat the whole time.
I'm actually surprised I liked Between as much as I did because I really did not like it's MC, Liz. She's conceded, shellfish and shallow and she thinks she is better then pretty much everyone else. And after she dies, she doesn't really get much better. I almost felt like, as a reader, we were suppose to feel sorry for her and I never did. Even after finding out all the details of her life and her death, I didn't have much compassion for her. Might sound harsh, I mean, she is dead and all but...read it for yourself and maybe you'll see what I mean.
Between was a really easy book to get lost in. After Liz dies, she has very little memory of her life. She knows who she is and who her friends are but the details are all a little fuzzy. When Alex appears he explains to her that it was like that for him at first as well. By revisiting old memories, Liz might find out what exactly happened to her life.
As a reader, we're seeing things as Liz remembers them. Her knowledge is ours. I really liked knowing I would get answers only when Liz did.
I had figured out the 'twist' ending before it actually happened but it didn't really take away from the overall quality of the book for me. Some things might have been wrapped up a little too neat and clean and quick but again, it kind of worked with the story so it didn't really bother me.
All in all, I very much enjoyed Between. A different take on a ghost story mixed with a pretty classic murder mystery. Don't be daunted by it's size as it's definitely worth your time.
4 / 5 Stars