Review: Between by Jessica Warman

Published by Walker Books
Released August 2, 2011
464 pages
Where I got it: ARC received from publisher at BEA
Rating: 3 stars

Liz seemed to have everything: her boyfriend was the hottest guy in school, she was the queen bee of the cool crowd, her father bought her anything she wanted, and she was incredibly beautiful.  She was all these things, until she died on her 18th birthday.  Now, she’s stuck in limbo on earth with a boy from her school who was killed a year before.  Together, they slowly regain memories of their lives, and try to piece together who killed him, and why Liz died.  In the process, Liz learns many lessons about how to be a good person that she never learned in life.

After picking up Between, I immediately felt like I’d read this book several times in the last year.  Pretty popular girl dies, life is revealed through flashbacks, we see that she wasn’t nice, and she learns the error of her ways.  Some books with similar plots: 7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando, Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison, and The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade.  Even though I felt like I knew exactly what to expect, and how the mystery would resolve (I was right), I still found myself getting sucked into this book.

At the beginning, main-character Liz is downright obnoxious.  She feels superior to everybody around her, and seems more concerned by the state of her water-logged body as they fish her out than the fact that she’s dead.  However, the book slowly goes into a character study revealing why she is the way she is, and how she’s created a persona to protect herself from something terrible that happened to her early in life.  Like Liz, many of the supporting roles in this book turn out to be fully fleshed-out characters, complete with flaws and layers.

If you haven’t read any of the books I mentioned above, pick up this book.  It’s less intense than 7 Souls, but much more serious than Here Lies Bridget or The Ghost and the Goth. And even if you have read those books, you may still really enjoy Warman’s writing and the way she teases out the solution to the mystery of these two deaths.

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2 Responses to Review: Between by Jessica Warman

  1. I skimmed your review so I did not know anything I had not read yet…. I have not read the otheres you mentioned it was like so hopefully it will not be a repeat for me. :)

    • Audrey Audrey says:

      I hope I managed to not spoil things. I try to keep the reviews relatively spoiler-free. And if you haven’t read those other books, you should be good to go. I think I would have bumped it up a peg if I hadn’t felt like it was a retelling of something I’d already read a few times.

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