Between by Jessica Warman
Walker & Co., August 2, 2011
Summary from Goodreads:
Elizabeth Valchar --- pretty, popular and rich --- wakes up the morning after her 18th 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 that Liz was following in her mother’s footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out...This is one of those books that you really can't say that much about, without giving too much away. As a huge fan of If I Stay and Before I Fall, I was very much looking forward to reading this when I picked it up at BEA. So, following that logic, I proceeded to put it aside until August. :)
I. Loved. This. Book. I think the size was a little daunting--it's a thick book! But once you get into it, man, you cannot turn the pages fast enough! From the beginning we know that Dead Liz is not nearly the same as Live Liz, but we're so intrigued to learn how she got from there to here.
I love Jessica Warman's take on afterlife--Liz is stuck between life and death, but she doesn't know why. She can go back to certain memories, but she has to figure out why those memories are important. And, oh yeah, Alex is there to help her. Alex was killed a year earlier in an as-yet-unsolved hit and run accident. And Alex was definitely not part of the upper crust of society, like Liz was. Neither one knows why they were paired up in this in-between stage, and I loved the tension between the two.
I fluctuated between love and hate for Liz. She was an awfully spoiled little princess, and a lot of what she says to Alex is just downright mean. However, she starts to grow in the in-between, and begins to realize WHY she acted that way--and discovers the ramifications of her actions.
The actual mystery that Liz is trying to solve seemed pretty obvious to me, as an outsider, but it was still quite interesting both to watch Liz make that realization and see if the living would come to the same conclusion. I highly recommend this book--it's got romance, it's got mystery, and it's an excellent read.
ARC picked up at BEA.
Enjoy your reading!