Wednesday 23 November 2011

Guest Review: Between - Jessica Warman

Today I have a guest review for you from my very good friend Poppy, she isn't a blogger (and has no intention of becoming one) but I'm hoping to convince her to make regular appearances on here as a guest reviewer.  Thanks for a fab guest review Poppy, I'm looking forward to more of them in the future!

‘It’s funny,’ Alex says. ‘I always thought you guys had such simple, perfect lives. Everything seemed so easy for you.’

Elizabeth Valchar is young, beautiful and popular. Everything is right in her expensive, glossy life…until the night of her eighteenth birthday party, on her parent’s yacht. A persistent thumping noise from outside the boat wakes her.

What Liz finds changes everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and what lies in-between…

Visit Jessica Warman's website for more information

Poppy's Review:
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book except that like in The Lovely Bones, the main character Liz is actually dead. I was intrigued as I assumed that like The Lovely Bones, Liz had been murdered and the book would be in her narrative until the reader found out who committed the crime. However, what soon became apparent was that the narrative would reveal much about the lives of the people Liz knew and her own life in the past and leading up to her death. I was no longer sure whether it would reveal any more about her death than was revealed in the opening chapters and in a way I didn’t care.

From the first chapter I could tell that the book was aimed at a teenage audience, but I was completely transfixed by the content and wanted to keep reading even though I am no longer a teenager! Liz came across as a spoiled ‘mean girl’ type of teenager who was used to getting her own way and had a clique of like-minded friends, a loving boyfriend, a step-sister she adored, a stepmother, her father and anything she wanted that money could buy. Liz came across as superficial and spoilt, but rather than finding this annoying to read about, I was pleasantly surprised because the book itself is far from superficial.

As I continued to read [and struggled to ever have to put the book down for any reason], themes started to emerge including bullying, social economic and high school status divide, drugs, trust, anorexia, guilt, loss, betrayal, deceit, lies and more. The narrative was a combination of Liz seeing events following her death in real time and dream like immersion in memories from her past. Initially Liz cannot remember much about her life or how she died, and the memories are a way for her to recall and start to piece together the story of her life from childhood.

What I didn’t expect from this book was to be challenged about how easy it is to judge people on face value, making assumptions based on outward appearances. The notion that you can never know or understand a person without having walked in their shoes rings very true. Morality is also questioned and the human nature of not wanting to get involved in other people’s problems. If you can see there is a problem, do you have a moral responsibility to help? There were times where I felt that more should and would have been done in certain situations…not everyone would pass on having to address some of these issues surely? Unfortunately real life shows us every day that this can be true. In many cases the people needing help don’t always want to ask for it or know how to at times and when they do it can be poor timing to find the right person who is prepared to listen and/or act on what they hear.

Between was a compelling read from start to finish. I changed my view about many of the people within the narrative as more became revealed about them, further to their outward actions and appearances. Some characters made me feel frustration, others anger, sympathy, understanding and disbelief. Overall I could see how the character’s lives intertwined and their behaviour, choices and actions mixed with various events to continuously affect their unwritten futures. Jessica Warman shows us that life is complicated and we have choices and we should take responsibility for our own behaviour. Within a well written intriguing novel, is woven much food for thought to help each of us re-assess ourselves and the bigger picture of the life in which we live.

Source: Received from Egmont in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. What a fantastic review. I really hope you do continue to make more guest review posts. If you want to review for me you would be welcome anytime :D

  2. This is such a great review! This is definitely on my Christmas wish list, so hopefully it turns up haha. I certainly hope to see more of Poppy's guest reviews around, this was awesome. :)

  3. I finitely need to read this one!! Great review

  4. Thanks again for a fabulous guest review Poppy!

    @ Emma - you'll be pleased to know Poppy has already written 2 more reviews for me that will be coming in the next few weeks! But no trying to steal my guest reviewer now or we'll have a falling out LMAO :op

    @ Rachel - I hope someone does get you this for Christmas & that you enjoy it as much as Poppy did! She has already written a couple of other reviews for me so watch out for them coming soon.

    @ Raimy - I'm glad you like Poppy's review, I don't read a lot of contemporary but this one does have me curious :o)



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