Between Here and Forever

Between Here and Forever

4.0 46
by Elizabeth Scott
     
 

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A romantic but dark coming-of-age teen novel by the author of Perfect You and Living Dead Girl.

Overview

A romantic but dark coming-of-age teen novel by the author of Perfect You and Living Dead Girl.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Revisiting territory she explored in Love You Hate You Miss You (2009), Scott weaves angst, tragedy, and romance to tell the story of 17-year-old Abby, whose older sister, Tess, is in a coma following a car accident (the protagonist of Scott's earlier book was mourning a friend killed in a car accident). Depressed, grief-stricken, and self-hating, Abby desperately wants Tess to recover, in large part so that she can get on with her own life. Enter gorgeous hospital worker Eli. When Eli speaks, Abby sees Tess's eyes flutter, so she persuades Eli to visit and speak to Tess regularly. The idea that a guy's sexy voice might awaken Tess is as romantic as it is ridiculous, though it handily sets up the possibility of an Abby/Eli relationship—if only Abby felt she deserved happiness. At times, Abby's low self-esteem is so intense as to feel like caricature, but her growth comes across as natural and genuine, as she slowly begins to put her life in perspective. Readers will appreciate that Scott resists a too-perfect, too-neat ending. Ages 14–up. (June)
From the Publisher
"Compulsively readable, this novel will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman."
—SLJ

"An emotionally wrenching exploration of hope, acceptance, and pride, and Scott’s messages—that it’s quite possible to break your own heart and that everyone deserves love—will resonate strongly with teens navigating their own first romances.
Booklist

"Teens who like other realistic dramas will enjoy this book, and underdogs will root for Abby as she discovers her own sense of self-worth." —VOYA

"The author creates well-developed characters in Abby, Eli and, eventually, in Tess, as Abby learns much more about her sister than she ever had expected to know. Supporting characters, too, easily stand out as real individuals.... Abby’s emotional growth from her experiences, conversations and introspection...will satisfy many teen readers." —Kirkus

Children's Literature - Lisa Kuehne
If you take a mixing pot and throw in grief, teen pregnancy, lesbianism, love, jealousy, inter-racial relationships, OCD, and low self-esteem; you will have created this latest coming of age novel by Elizabeth Scott. Although Scott does wonderful writing in a first person point of view, the plot of this book is as painful at times as the emotions the main character Abby endures. Abby's older sister, Tess, has been in a coma since her car accident six weeks ago. The prognosis is grim, but Abby is not about to give up. Knowing her sister was the center of attention and every guy's fantasy, Abby finds the perfect boy, Eli, working in the gift shop at the hospital to bring her sister back to life. She is convinced Tess's lifeless state slightly changed when Eli speaks. Abby's plan: if she keeps having Eli talk to Tess, then Tess will wake up and life can be normal again. Scott makes Abby relatable and readers understand the emotional turmoil Abby endures. The problem is half of this two hundred and fifty page book is Abby repeating over and over how jealous she is of her sister and how having the perfect sister makes her feel. It can be easy to grow tired and irritated with Abby and her low self-esteem instead of feeling compassion. In trying to show teens Abby's every low esteemed thought and emotion, Scott underestimates her reader's ability to understand and connect with this character. It is fantastic for Scott to address topics such as lesbianism and teen pregnancy in a nonjudgmental way and point out the challenges for the characters. Abby eventually learns that everything may not always be as it seems and with the help of Eli's falling for her, she finally starts liking herself instead of comparing herself to Tess. Reviewer: Lisa Kuehne
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Seventeen-year-old Abby lives in the shadow of her talented and beautiful older sister. But when Tess is left comatose after a car accident, she finds that her sibling's shadow looms even larger from the confines of the hospital. Convinced that her eye movement implies a full recovery, Abby persuades an attractive stranger from the wealthier neighboring town to lure Tess to consciousness with his good looks and conversation. Abby works hard to deny herself the pleasure of Eli's company, but as she learns more about her sister's past and prospects for recovery, she begins to rely on Eli's companionship. However, the emerging romance is threatened when Abby is unable to be honest about her feelings and pushes him away. By piecing together her memories with the stories from Tess's former college roommate and estranged high school best friend, Abby learns a shocking truth about her sister that also reveals her own issues with trust and intimacy. The story moves along at an engaging pace. Flashbacks maintain the suspense and build a compelling sense of mystery. Abby's voice becomes frustratingly self-deprecating, almost to the point of stretching believability. However, the sense of self-doubt and guilt she feels will be relevant to many teens. Compulsively readable, this novel will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD
Kirkus Reviews

As she watches over her older sister lying in a coma following a car accident, 17-year-old Abby sorts out her own jealousies and fears in a feast of introspection.

Abby's real relationship with the seemingly perfect Tess belies her younger sister's concern. Abby envied Tess' beauty, confidence and ability to attract the approval of everyone she met. She even pushed herself into a relationship with one of Tess' cast-off boyfriends, although she knew the boy loved Tess and not her. At the hospital, Abby meets Eli, an extraordinarily handsome boy who, it turns out, finds Abby attractive. Abby, however, won't allow herself to encourage him, even though Eli entrances her. Scott slowly unfolds Abby's damaged psyche as the girl grows in her understanding of both herself and of her sister. Abby's ability to accept herself as an attractive person develops in parallel to her slow acceptance of the reality of her sister's injury. Most likely, Tess will never emerge from her coma. The author creates well-developed characters in Abby, Eli and, eventually, in Tess, as Abby learns much more about her sister than she ever had expected to know. Supporting characters, too, easily stand out as real individuals.

Abby's emotional growth from her experiences, conversations and introspection emerges ever so slowly but will satisfy many teen readers. Leisurely but gratifying. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416994855
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Publication date:
02/21/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,174,517
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

one

I lean forward and look at Tess.

She’s still.

Silent.

The machines that keep Tess alive beep at me. I’ve been here so often that sometimes I think they’re her way of replying. But today that’s not enough. Sunday is a day of prayer after all, isn’t it? So here’s mine:

Today I want Tess to wake up.

Today she has to wake up.

I lean in, so close I can see the tiny blue lines on her eyelids marking where her blood still pumps, still flows. Shows that her heart still beats.

“If you don’t do something, Tess, I—I’ll sing for you.”

Nothing.

“I mean it,” I say.

Still nothing. Tess’s eyes stay closed, and her body lies limp, punctured with needles and surrounded by machines. I used to visit Tess with Mom and Dad, used to wait with them for the doctor, but the news never changed and I got so I couldn’t bear to see my parents’ faces, washed out and exhausted and sad.

Like a princess in a fairy tale, Tess is asleep. Deeply asleep.

I guess “coma” doesn’t sound as good when you’re trying to sell stories where everything ends up okay.

Sleeping means you’ll wake up.

Coma … well, coma doesn’t. And Tess has been in this bed, in this room, in this hospital, for six weeks. She was in a car accident on New Year’s Day, driving home the morning after a party. She’d waited to come home because she didn’t want to risk getting into an accident with a drunk driver.

Instead, her car hit a patch of ice and slammed into a tree.

Tess was always so good at being safe. At doing the right thing, at making people happy. And now she’s here. She turned twenty in this room, four days after the call that sent us all rushing here. My parents got her balloons. They floated around for a while and then wilted, fell.

Tess never saw them.

I turned seventeen in this room too. It was two weeks and two days after the accident. I was still visiting Tess with my parents. They got me cupcakes from the vending machine and sang when I opened them.

Tess didn’t say a word. Didn’t even open her eyes. I chewed and swallowed and chewed and swallowed even though the cupcakes tasted like rubber, and my parents watched Tess’s face, waiting. Hoping.

That’s when I realized I had to start coming by myself.

When I realized I had to bring Tess back.

“Wake up, Tess,” I say, loud enough for my breath to stir her hair, and pick up the glass unicorn Beth brought the first time she visited. She said she knew Tess would like it, that it was all about impossibilities. I thought that sounded a bit beyond Tess, who dealt in the here and now and in being adored, but when Beth put the thing in Tess’s limp hands, I swear she almost blinked.

Now Tess doesn’t do anything, and I put the unicorn down.

I miss the little ledge where it sits though, and it hits the floor. It doesn’t break, but a crack appears, running from one end of the unicorn to the other.

A nurse comes in and frowns at me.

“Accident,” I say, and she says, “Love is what your sister needs, not attitude,” like it wasn’t an accident, like she knows me, like she and all the other nurses who have only ever seen Tess in this not-life, this twilight state, know her.

They don’t, they can’t. But I do. Tess believes in happily ever after, in dreams come true, and I’ve decided that’s how I’m going to reach her.

Now I just have to figure out how to do it.

I leave the hospital and ride my bike down to the ferry.

Once I’m on board, I stand by the side of the boat. Most people stand up front; the wind in their hair, the river all around them, and Ferrisville up ahead looking almost quaint and not like a big pile of nothing.

I look at the water. It’s dark, muddy brown, and slaps hard against the ferry. I can see my shadow in it, all chopped up, bits and pieces scattered among the churning waves. I turn away, because I already know I’m broken, that there’s nothing in me worth seeing. I already know there’s nothing worth believing. It’s just how I am.

© 2011 Elizabeth Spencer

Meet the Author

ELIZABETH SCOTT grew up in a town so small it didn't even have a post office, though it did boast an impressive cattle population. She's sold hardware and panty hose and had a memorable three-day stint in the dot-com industry, where she learned that she really didn't want a career burning CDs. She lives just outside Washington, D.C., with her husband, and firmly believes you can never own too many books.

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Between Here and Forever 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
An emotional read that kept me turning pages or clicking the next button on my nook until the very end. A tale of two sisters that hit close to home with one sister a perfectionist and the apple of her parents eyes and another sister who feels like she just lurks in the shadow and will never live up to the spot her sister has left vacant. I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster with one moment hoping that the sister woke up from her coma and at the other moment just wanting her family to choose to end the suffering. I still don't know where I sit, but without ruining the story, I can honestly say that I am not sure whether I liked the path the author chose. I don't always dive dip in my reviews about the normal book review topics - but just this once I have to talk about the character development of Abby, the younger sister. It was such a joy to see her develop from the sister in the shadow to her own full person, with her own thoughts and opinions. I felt as though I was taken through a complete journey of her discovering how she fit in the world. I loved it. As far as who I would pass this book onto - I think my age group would enjoy the read, but it would definitely be a great book for our high school and college readers who may find themselves in Abby's shoes trying to find where their place is amongst their family and friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really sweet book! Is shows how you never know if you truely know someone or not. I would recommend it to any one :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dazzlamb More than 1 year ago
Abbey has a plan. Caring and ambitious sister that she is, Abbey wants to win the beautiful boy she's seen in the hospital to help her wake up her sister Tess out of a coma - and that's what the story is mostly about. That boy is Eli. He is the perfect candidate to make every girl's dreams come true. He is charming and selfless. Now Abbey wants him to flirt with Tess and bring her back. But of course her plan doesn't work out as it should. And Eli is falling for her instead of Tess just as Abbey can't deny her feelings for Eli. All the time we've got an unwanted- quite bothersome-kind of love triangle between the three of them. Tess' ghost always floating above their heads and Abbey refusing to acknowledge her true feelings. Tess is a difficult character and although she isn’t really present, she’s still there all the time, influencing Abbey’s moves. What we learn about Tess in the course of BETWEEN HERE AND FOREVER is a complicated story, a mixture of lies, secrets, sadness and wrong intentions. And then Eli's got issues himself that make him insecure about his every move. So with their individual problems combined, his and Abbey's relationship isn't as easy as it should be. They are two very interesting characters and I really liked to see them growing closer with each heart-warming talk. THE VERDICT BETWEEN HERE AND FOREVER- A slightly romantic and thoughtful read about finding love and learning lessons in the most unexpected place and time.
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wordforteens More than 1 year ago
Considering that the novel I read before this was The Fault In Our Stars, I enjoyed Between Here and Forever much more than I expected to. It's not that I didn't expect to like it; I do enjoy Elizabeth Scott's writing (her darker works more than her contemporary fluff), but I didn't know which way this novel would swing, and normally I have little tolerance for characters who don't think that they're as awesome as they are. Normally because I want to shake them until they realize that they're fabulous, just like I do with some of my friends who have the same problem, but that's not the point. However, Between Here and Forever ended up being a happy medium of Scott's works. It deals with serious issues, but balances it out with just the right amount of teenage relationship angst/fluff. The plot itself isn't that difficult to figure out - I knew who would end up with who and the big plot twist involving Tessa by the end of the third chapter - but it's worth hanging in there just to see Abby's character develop. I adored Eli, though I wish he wasn't OMIGODthemostgorgeousmantowalktheplanet. (Though considering he wasn't the stereotypical white boy, I can see why he would come across as the most gorgeous man to walk the planet, especially in a town like that.) His character development was absolutely fabulous as well. The best character, by far, was Clement. But I'll let you read the book and enjoy him (and his hilarious comments) yourself.
RainyDayReader9 More than 1 year ago
Being that this is an Elizabeth Scott book, I was excited to begin this read. Her books are always intriguing and have a lesson. But, I figured out the plot after three chapters, and I found myself skimming half the book just to get to the end. The elements of the book should have written themselves. With the diverse characters, questioning sexuality, and sibling relationship issues, the book should have been a winner. However, there were massive amounts of repetition, and I could not get myself to like the main character. Every other line she was complaining about her older sister's perfection. Towards the last 20 pages the book was actually interesting, then the ending. Overall, extremely disappointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WishStealer More than 1 year ago
I thought this book would be amazing, but it fell a little short. Tess' secret life was very surprising, but it was Abby who I got irritated at. I understand how she felt, but the book's ending wasn't very good and neither was the rest.
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Goose17BW More than 1 year ago
After her sister is in a car accident, the main character spends every moment that she can in the hospital with her "brain-dead" sister. Her sisters past, promiscuous and boy crazy at first implies that she was wild and crazy. So the main character sets out to find her sister the perfect boyfriend, with hopes that it will bring her out of her coma. But secrets fly when the boy she has chosen for her sister falls for her and secrets about her sisters life are revealed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my opinion this book is repetitive but one of my favorites. Its a good story and shows you that even though you are afraid you can still have what you want.
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