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REVIEW: Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington
Published by Orchard Books on 7th August 2014
Pages: 336
Source: *Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The perfect life or the perfect love. You choose.

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 that bring her dangerously close to the life she's always wanted. But if she can only have one life, which is the one she'll choose?
 
A compelling psychological thriller about a girl who lives two parallel lives - this is Sliding Doors for the YA audience.
*Spoiler review*

Emotional, thought-provoking and truly imaginative, you won't be able to stop until the very end! The cover is what originally made me want to read this novel, it is simplistic yet mysterious.

Sabine has two lives, but only she knows about them. At midnight one life is frozen and the other begins, this repeats every midnight. In one life she is the perfect daughter, popular with amazing friends and a cute boyfriend, whilst in her other life her parents are disappointed in her, and she is not popular; they are completely opposite lives. But then everything changes as she breaks her arm in one life, but then it is not broken in the other; this causes Sabine to experiment and decide whether the risk of her dream to only choose one life, is a risk worth taking.

Sabine was a complicated and very vulnerable character, though at the same time she was strong and intelligent. All she wanted was love from her families and their trust, but most importantly, for them to believe. She wasn't a protagonist who was too spontaneous, though she was definitely someone who wanted those discouraging her to just understand! The romance between Sabine and Ethan in this novel was not overpowering but sweet and a brilliant addition to the novel. Their friendship built as their trust for one another expanded; it was beautiful.

There was certainly a serious aspect to this novel as Sabine, because of her two lives, wants to commit suicide in one of her lives in order to only live the other to avoid the further complications as she get older. I felt Shirvington dealt incredibly well with it as this subject is a sensitive subject for some, the addition of Ethan truly made the novel and reasoning, also making it thought-provoking and emotional; I was very close to crying!

The plot was engaging and captivating, you were able to understand the complications of two lives brilliantly alongside how you can never really trust anyone fully. Trust and relationships were strong subjects throughout this novel, how she put her trust in her parents to tell them what was happening to her and being sent to a clinic, trusting Dex but turning out his most kept secret is turned on her, trusting Ethan to believe her and not talk about it to anyone else, trusting her older brother to keep her safe in the end, and her best friend to help her when she was desperately in need.

This novel was exceptionally emotional, thought-provoking, and gripping. It was a truly captivating story of love but most importantly, not taking your life for granted and making the most of every day, even if you have to live it twice.

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