Aly in Wonderland

Between the Lives

Between the Lives - Jessica Shirvington Check out reviews and more at The Beautiful World of Books!

**ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Welcome to another episode of Inside Aly's Jumbled Brain! Here is a warning for you: read this if you have trouble sleeping at night. Seriously. It'll bore you straight into Snooze Land.

Insomniacs, who?

Let me get to the point: It was boring. SO boring. Terribly, stupidly, braincell-destroying boring. I couldn't get into it and struggled to get to 80% after four days. Sometimes, I would even forget I was reading it. Other times, I would stare at my Kindle in silent desperation, willing it to throw up something more entertaining, something better, anything to keep me awake.

Alas, it was not to be. Unfortunately, I have a rule that I don't DNF ARCs because if the publisher put the effort into sending me a copy, then I should put the effort into reading it no matter how awful it turns out to be.

The good thing is that this isn't the worst book I've read this year. The concept had me intrigued.

But that's about it.

Poor little Sabine has two lives. At midnight every night, she is shot into what I assume is a parallel universe where she lives a life that is the polar opposite of the life she leads primarily.

Before midnight, she lives in Roxbury, Boston and after midnight she is flung in Wellesley where she lives the life of #richwhitegirl with #richwhitegirlproblems like graduation, a boyfriend and popularity.


I assume it's a parallel universe because we are never given an explanation as to why this happens. A sense of mystery works well in some books and if this had been done better, it might have worked here too, but it didn't. In my opinion, if you're writing about something so complicated, the reader should be told how it happens, if not why. I admit, by the time I hit 80% I began to skim read, hoping against all hopes that somehow it was explained somewhere, but it never was, which bugs me.

Because of that, the story made no sense.

In Roxbury, her parents are the managers of a pharmaceutical store, she has a younger sister called Maddie and a best friend called Capri. For some unknown reason, in this life, Sabine acts out and is a rebel.

Then we're shown Wellesley, where Sabine is as good as gold, with a future at Harvard, two older brothers and divorced parents. Her boyfriend, Dex, is perfect and she is popular. Ooh la la.

That's about it. Until a second love interest is introduced in Roxbury, nothing happens. I'm not even talking insta-love here. I'm talking insta-get-in-my-knickers-NOW. It was forced, pathetic and really quite sad to see a relationship rushed within a week and for them to then have sex.

Oh, is that a spoiler? Come on, it was obvious!

I couldn't relate to Sabine at all. She was very self-centred, always complaining about her two lives (when some people would pay for that sort of thing) and she never paid attention, which is really sad considering what happens at the end. The side characters may as well have not existed whatsoever, because there was no point to them being there with Sabine all wrapped up with her own silly problems.


If you want to read a book that resembles very much the diary of an attention-seeking eighteen year old girl, then this is for you.

If, instead, you're expecting sci-fi, explanations/answers, some closure, then this is NOT for you.

For that, two stars.


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