Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

Published May 1st 2013 by HarperCollins Australia

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 which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?

Rating: 4/5


Between the Lives is a parallel universe story.  For 24 hours, Sabine lives one life.  Then, for the next 24 hours, she relives the same day in her other life.  The two lives occur in parallel worlds, making it impossible for her to run into herself or anything like that.  As a result, it is very difficult to prove to anyone that she does, in fact, have two seperate lives.

Sabine's extraordinary situation gives rise to ordinary teenage emotion that is easy to identify with.  Sabine feels that she is different, that she is alone, that she doesn't know who she is, and that she cannot live up to the expectations of each of her lives.  These emotions motivate her to conduct risky, self-injuring "experiments" and try to choose between her two lives.

There's a bit of an overuse of the word cheeky, and Sabine vomits more than I believe possible.  But other than those and similar minor issues, this book is very well done.

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