Between

( 68 )

Overview

Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, perfect- wakes up after spending her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht to investigate a thumping noise. What she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent.

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Between

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Overview

Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, perfect- wakes up after spending her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht to investigate a thumping noise. What she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Alissa Lauzon
Liz Valchar thought she had it all—beauty, popularity, money. Things change quickly, however, the morning she is awakened by a persistent thumping noise and discovers her body hitting the side of the yacht where she had been celebrating her eighteenth birthday with her closest friends. Liz has no memory of what happened to her and is forced to rely on the help of Alex Berg, a boy from her high school who was killed by a hit-and-run driver a few months earlier, to piece together the mystery of her death. As Liz observes life after her death and begins to revisit memories, readers will quickly discover that nothing about Liz's life is what it seemed. Warman has created another dynamic and interesting character. Liz is so much more than the stereotypical popular, rich girl that she initially appears to be. Her story starts with a bang and draws readers in immediately. Part ghost story, part mystery, part coming-of-age, Warman has blended a variety of appeal elements to attract a variety of readers. While elements of the mystery are well-foreshadowed and predictable, there are still enough unexpected twists to maintain the intensity of the mystery. Though the story is familiar, there are enough new elements to help it stand out in the pack of stories of dead girls needing to make amends. Pass this on to fans of If I Stay (Speak, 2010/VOYA February 2009), The Lovely Bones (Little, Brown, 2002/VOYA December 2002), and Before I Fall (HarperCollins, 2010/VOYA April 2010). Reviewer: Alissa Lauzon
VOYA - Mary Boutet
This novel is like Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall if it had been a murder mystery. The characters were all shades of gray; no one was perfect but it was impossible to completely condemn anyone either. The boot metaphor with Liz, while sometimes a little too obvious, was ultimately a very clever and interesting motif. Combined with Liz's running, it was especially cool. The intimacy between Alex and Liz while they shared their memories was beautiful. Alex's journey shows that peace comes from forgiveness rather than revenge; he did not spend his time haunting Liz but instead stuck around to help her discover the truth about her own death. Liz learned much about what it means to be a good person, as well as what it means to let go. There is a lot to think about while reading this book, the least important being who-done-it (even though that is fun, too). 4Q, 4P. Reviewer: Mary Boutet, Teen Reviewer
Children's Literature - Caitlyn Payne
"I know it sounds hypocritical since we've been drinking but...we're good kids." At least, that is what Elizabeth believed before she died and found herself looking down at her body floating in the water. Elizabeth is a ghost, and she has no idea how she died or why. She is "between"—not in an afterlife, but no longer living. And now Elizabeth has a task: to unravel the story of how she died. As Elizabeth begins to examine what happened to cause her untimely death at 18, she is joined by Alex, the ghost of a boy from her school who died the previous year, and says he is connected to Elizabeth. When Elizabeth and Alex start uncovering the clues to Elizabeth's demise, they find more secrets—and learn hard truths—than either expected. What Elizabeth learns will forever alter her perception of her life, her family, and the lives of her friends. This is not a light read. The novel covers topics ranging from death and anorexia to drugs, sex, and blackmail. Warman does not pull any punches in her exploration of Elizabeth's relationships and interactions, whether it is about her conflicted memories of her long-gone mother, her competitive relationship with her stepsister, or her battle to control every aspect of her own life as it spirals out of control. The book often has a soap opera feel, where the characters are nothing more than the high school archetypes—the difference being they are super-rich archetypes, who party on yachts. The reader hopes that through the story Liz will grow and develop as a character to the point where she can honestly reflect on the actions of her life, but that never happens. As someone who works with teenagers on a daily basis, I am always searching for books to recommend they read. But if any of them ever picked up Between, I would encourage them to put it back on the shelf. The lack of reader investment in Liz, the drug references and partying, and a protagonist who makes terrible decisions for herself prevent me from wanting to hand this book to someone and say "try this one." Reviewer: Caitlyn Payne
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—In this tale of two teens who meet in the afterlife, Warman cleverly intertwines Elizabeth Valchar and Alex Berg's budding friendship with flashbacks to their small hometown in suburban Connecticut. A dead mother, a workaholic father who drinks too much, and rumors that her stepsister is actually her half sister all conspired to make popular Liz one unhappy rich girl. By contrast, Alex was a nobody, shunned by her crowd. As each character seeks answers to the unsolved mysteries of their tragic deaths, a story with two ghosts as protagonists turns into a suspenseful whodunit. Readers interested in wandering souls will find these two hard to resist. Some of Alex's virtue could have built Liz more character, but Alex lacks nerve-which Liz, with her arrogance and sense of entitlement, possesses in abundance. Already dead a year, Alex has had experience as a time-traveling ghost and that makes him a reluctant guide when Liz arrives fresh from her demise after a night of drinking and doing drugs on her family's boat. Together they sample a full menu of past and present nightmares (to the loss of a parent in childhood add anorexia, robbery, hit-and-run driving, and sexual exploitation), any one of which might have explained why Elizabeth jumped-or was pushed-to her death. The answers they seek can be found in the Ten Commandments, but Between lets readers dabble in a full accounting of tragedy, perversity, and drama instead. Some plot twists strain credibility, but the novel's surprising resolution rings true.—Georgia Christgau, Middle College High School, Long Island City, NY
Kirkus Reviews

Drowned on her 18th birthday, a rich, popular girl struggles to discover what happened and learns some unpleasant truths.

Liz has always been a golden girl, the center of the most popular clique in her tony Connecticut suburb. Drowning is bad enough, but it's even worse that she has to share her afterlife with poor-kid Alex, killed in a hit-and-run several months ago, who takes pleasure in showing her what a bitch she is—or at least was. Warman introduces readers and her protagonist to the girl Liz was gradually and simultaneously. In her afterlife, ghosts have hazy memories, so Liz's understanding of her life is incomplete. With Alex's help (he's a pro at being dead), Liz learns that her family was not as perfect as she wants to believe and that she was mixed up in some seriously bad stuff. She also learns that she was shockingly, horrifically shallow. For much of the book the mystery surrounding Liz's death is subsumed in her growing recognition of her frankly unlikable personality. That readers will like her ghostly persona despite her unpleasant living one is testament to Warman's skill. While they will figure out the mystery before Liz does, they will appreciate her growth if not the rather tidy ending.

A rich and compelling character study wrapped around a mystery. (Mystery. 14-18)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802721822
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 542,399
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Meet the Author

JESSICA WARMAN is also the author of Breathless, which received three starred reviews and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Where the Truth Lies. The idea for Between came from an incident in her childhood, when a local boy went missing after a party on a yacht (he was eventually found, alive). www.jessicawarman.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 14, 2012

    Wow. Where do i begin? I dont have one bad thing to say about th

    Wow. Where do i begin? I dont have one bad thing to say about this book. I was pulled in on the very first page and didnt put it dont till it was finished, and even when it was finished i went back and re-read parts of it. This book is a must read. The story has everything you could want in a book, those cute sappy romantic moments and plenty of humor. Between was heartbreaking at times and made me want to be able to confort the characters. The end will leave you breathless and above all things i think, shoked. Im usually pretty good at figuring out how books will end, but not with Between. I had no idea what so ever where the book was going to go, but when i did, i was beyond shocked and i actually think i felt my heart break.
    This is a MUST read to anyone who hasnt read it, i would deffinently go back and read Between a 3rd and 4th time. Deffinently 5 stars, i wish i could give it 6!

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Beyond Amazing!!!

    Between was a book that had me sucked in from the very beginning and I could not put it down!!! Normally I am not into the ghost story idea, but this is more than a soul finding her peace. You have the romance, between Liz and Richie, and you have also Liz and Alex there for a while too. I liked how Alex helped her find her memories and really fill in the gaps in her back story. I was seriously not expeting the twists this story gave and I had many "Ohemgee" moments. The finish leaves you with a breathless feeling, and i am already starting it over again. If you like stories that have romance, mystery and some comedy moments thrown in the mix, this is the perfect book for you. Apperances arent everything, and this book proves it, to the very last page.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I picked up Between at the library last week randomly, liking th

    I picked up Between at the library last week randomly, liking the cover and finding myself intrigued by the summary. Now that I've finished the book, though, I feel like the summary doesn't give the novel any justice at all.

    I really, really like this book. I love the story. I think it's excellently done, in a profound, sensitive way. I found myself tearing up throughout the story, finding it hard to keep my emotions at bay. Even though Liz and I are quite different, I found myself liking her strong resolve and willingness to change for the better. At first, it may seem that Liz is nothing but a vapid, shallow teenager, but that changes as more is revealed in the story. Also, the other characters are well developed, and bring a lot of depth to the plot.

    I really like the message of the story, too. No one in this world is purely good or bad. We've all done things that are questionable or wrong. We've all hurt someone or lied. Sometimes it's intentional, other times it's not. I strongly believe in the fact that life isn't purely black or white. Nothing in life works like that. I think that applies to this novel as well.

    I recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery, a good ghost story, a love story, or just a damn good novel in general.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    K

    This book is mainly written for young adult readers and readers who like suspense

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I loved this book! In the beginning of the book I didn't know wh

    I loved this book! In the beginning of the book I didn't know what to think of Liz....In the end though she came through. The story line was so good! It really is a mystery the whole book, in the end it all comes to together. More then half of the book lets you hang there waiting for something amazing to happen. And it does...When it does, you will be so shocked. Usually when I read the last page of the book I'm disappointed. They never end the way I want them to . This time though....was almost like closure. Overall Between is a great book! Worth 5 stars.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    AAMAZINGG NEED TO READ

    i could not put this book down. Its so different and intresting. The mysterys will keep you guessing and once you put it together your mind will be blown. Its an amazingg book a definte read. One of my favories a must read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    A Book with Messages

    I've read a lot of ghost stories lately, but Between is not your typical ghost story. Instead, it is the story of a girl, her life, her love, and her choices, and how they lead to her untimely death. Told in alternating past and present tense, Between shows how events can shape lives and that all actions have consequences.

    On her eighteenth birthday, Liz Valchar is awoken by a thumping sound. When she goes to find out what it is, she sees her own body, face down in the water, obviously dead. Thinking that she is dreaming, she desperately tries to wake up, but to no avail. She is dead, with no real memories of what happened the night before. Fortunately, she isn't left to wander in this strange semi-existence alone; Alex Berg, a boy from her high school who died the previous year, comes to meet her. Together they weave in and out of memories, trying to piece together what happened the night that Liz died. Alex is insistent that there is a reason they were brought together and that they have to figure out what it might be. As the memories become stronger, it is soon clear that despite the perfect facades of so many high school students, nothing was really as it seemed...

    In some ways, Between is almost a story within a story - there is the overall mystery of how Liz died, but there is also her time with Alex, which she spends reinterpreting her memories and learning about herself and about human nature. While the mystery is interesting, it is Liz's journey that really makes this story. Liz may not always be the easiest character to like, but I enjoyed watching her grow. There are some heartbreaking moments in this book, especially when Liz is longing for just a little more time with Richie, her boyfriend. In addition, I loved the way that she and Alex finally came to an understanding about one another. They were simply friends, and the lack of an overt romance was refreshing. Even though I didn't live in the Northeast, I did go to high school in a small town where everyone knew most everyone else, and so in some ways reading this book was like a trip through my own memories.

    I will admit that Between reminded me of a few other novels I've read, but I think that within the first few chapters this story did develop its own unique identity. While this book is of a more reflective nature, the underlying mystery of how Liz died, combined with character exploration, made for an intriguing read. Although some of the characters are frustrating at times, the book as a whole is very realistic and very powerful.

    Between is by no means a light book. It is a book that makes you think, a book with messages, and a book that will stick with you. I will definitely be reading more by Jessica Warman in the future.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2011

    Amazing

    I loved this book i couldnt put it down i read it in two days. Its one of those books you have to finish before you go to bed... you'll be up all night.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    I loved this book

    Im usually really good at predicting endings but not this one. I loved this book with all my heart.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    An all around great read!!!

    I first read this book becsuse I had been chosen to get an advanced reader's copy, and it has haunted me ever since. A great read, paired with a new compeling story line. You won't regret reading it, and when it's done you'll want to devour the rest of the author's books!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Good Book!

    I really enjoyed reeading through the life of Liz, puzzling pieces of here life alongside her and Alex. Would definatly recomend this.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Great!!!!!

    So intense. Didn't even see some of the events come so caught up in the book. A loving dead book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2013

    Must read! Heartbreaking and shocking. You will never guess ho

    Must read! Heartbreaking and shocking. You will never guess how it ends

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    I love it!

    I picked the book up in my high school library. I couldnt put it sown i lived it that much. I have never found a book i like this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I always love it when books turn out better than I expect them t

    I always love it when books turn out better than I expect them to be. Between just so happens to be one of those books. From the very beginning, I had a hard time putting the book down.

    This is the first Jessica Warman book I've ever read, but it's clear to me that she's a fantastic writer. Her characters are very well done. I really enjoyed watching Liz grow and transform, even given her current circumstances. Between's storyline was great. I loved how Warman switched between present day events and the past. It really worked well for building the entire story.

    I don't want to give too much away (in case it's not clear, I try to avoid spoilers at all costs in my reviews), but I definitely recommend giving Between a read. It's a fantastic book that I believe many people can enjoy.

    Favorite Quote:

    "I realize now that I wanted to disappear. To get so lost that nobody ever found me. To go so far away that I'd never be able to make my way home again. But I have no idea why."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    I enjoyed this book. It is a great story about love, redemption

    I enjoyed this book. It is a great story about love, redemption, forgiveness, and moving on. The B&N summary is not for this book not sure what happened I read a review on goodreads and decided to purchase, so don't let the summary mislead you; it's a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    Best book!!

    So, im in junoir high and where do i begin im only on Chapter 11 and its been great i havent taken my eyes off of it just got it yesturday and trust me im not a reader!! And this book is great but the Caption it gives is wrong. None of thoose names r in the book. So yeah hope i could help. BEST BOOK!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

    Barnes And Nobles put the wrong summary!!! I have the one off of the back of the book!!!

    This book is soooo good!!! I got it yesterday and just finished it! You will not be able to put it down! Here is the overview on the back cover:
    Elizabrth 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 herfive closest friends. A persistent thunping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she discovers will change everything she thought she knew about her past, 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 somememories never stop following you, no matter how hard you run.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Anonymous

    I absolutely loved this book! Got me hooked from the first chapter and was so hard to put down! Throughout the whole story it makes you keep wanting to know the truth and at the end everything fits together! If you like mysreries you will love this!:)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Good book!

    This book is thrilling and has unexpcted twists

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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