25 October 2011

Review: Between

Between by Jessica Warman
Official Website
Description: Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect- wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht, where she'd been celebrating with her five closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she discovers will change everything she thought she knew about her part, her future, and what lies in between.
As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she finds that no one, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent. And that some memories never stop following you, no matter how hard you run.

Review: I really enjoy reading about spoiled brats who murder people or get in serious craploads of trouble. It's just entertaining to see them screw up and try to weasel their ways out of murder and stuff. This has nothing to do with anything, but yeah. It's very amusing.

Between tells the story of Elizabeth Valchar, perfect queen bee of her small Connecticut school. She causes mayhem for other students with her best friends Josie, Mera, Topher, Caroline, and her boyfriend, Richie. They're bitches, plain and simple. They tease others for not having designer clothes, or bring bagged lunch to school. Lunch is 4.00 a day at their school. Jesus, that's $20 a week just on food. And crappy lunch food. But this isn't about economics. It's really good. Now I will back up on that lame-o statement.

When I started reading this book, I didn't know what I was getting into. I'd been off the blogosphere for a few weeks, and I saw this book around but didn't read into it. And when it came into my library, I grabbed it. I just knew it was something worth reading. It starts with this spoiled brat dying, and she's confused and there's this boy, Alex, who died a year before. Warman never really clarifies Alex's job, but he helps her remember her previous life, because all of her memories are wiped. Like I said before, she was a total bitch to him, so it's tense at first. And it seems like it's that totally played-out story of rich girl turning nice because the boy she bullied has to help her out. And at times, yes, it did seem like words right out of an afternoon special. Some of the things that Liz said and did look scripted. It was like a dictionary example of bullying and stuff like that. I knew that that was going to be a recurring thing throughout the book, and I was alright that. I also knew it had to go deeper than that because this book is over 400 pages, and if it was going to be 400 pages of, "You didn't have $10,000 to just throw around?" "No, you spoiled brat.", well that would have been annoying.

Sometimes Liz did take it too far. She really was a terrible person. But she has her reasons. This would not be a young adult if she didn't have reasons for being a selfish person. Her mother died when she was nine, and her father just wanted to please her, even going to the extent of getting her a different kitten each time she outgrew the last one. (Which is really terrible, I am an animal lover, and that is just plain cruel.) He didn't know how to raise a child. So he married his high school sweetheart, Nicole, who is Josie's mother. There are so many little things, and so much detail in this book, that I feel like I'm giving something away with each sentence. So many family problems in this book, which is great in fiction, but shitty in real life. Liz did something terrible, Josie is a jealous girl, and Nicole always wanted Liz's father. Even when he was married to Liz's mother. They have serious problems.

Liz is one of those characters that I can never forget. Her story was so terrible. I sound pretty two-faced right now, but Liz did have a hardship. It's no excuse for her shitty attitude, but she did do terrible things to herself in exchange for the terrible things she did to other characters. This book is literally golden. I loved everything about it. The cover. The setting. The problems. The names. (Names in young adult books are my favorite.) The way it was written is beautiful. It's such poetry, even though it's not poetry. It flows, everything makes sense. Something I really enjoyed and appreciated that Warman did was repeat facts. I have a habit of forgetting minuscule details, like that Topher's father was the most respected (and only) dentist in the town. But she repeats it 2 or 3 times so you remember. It's clever. Very clever.
The story was magnificent. I saw who did it, a while ago. You could tell from like the third page who is guilty. And then clues come along in the book, but you never know their motive until like the last page. The characters were real, and each had their own unique personalities. This book is an example of how amazing young adult can be. That it's not just giant orgies and teen pregnancies and vampires. It's serious stuff that teens can relate too, and that's why we read it.

Sophomore year, this girl got hit by a car and died right outside my school. She was senior, leaving for the day. Teenagers feel as if they're invincible. We don't think of the consequences, we only care about the present. This book really showed that one day you could be living and breathing, and the next, you're not. It's a terrible thing to waste, a human life. And Liz Valchar had to learn the hard way. This crew, and I think popular crews in every high school, feel they're above the laws. They don't follow the rules as the rest of us. And when one of them gets hurt, it's a big thing. Teenagers don't think they're doing anything wrong until someone gets hurt. And then it's too late.

I would recommend Between to anyone who hasn't read a good book in a while, someone who is looking for a long read, filled with characters whose personalities fly off the pages.

"She was a very sick girl. That’s all. Sickness and sadness dressed up in expensive clothes and covered with makeup."
-Between; Jessica Warman

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