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BOOK REVIEW: Between by Jessica Warman

Title: Between
Author: Jessica Warman
Genre: YA

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 six closest friends.
A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, 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.

I'd never heard of the author Jessica Warman until I came across a copy of Between in a bookstore. Floor to ceiling shelves overflowing with books, and for some reason this book popped out at me. 

Maybe it was the enchanting cover, or maybe it was the promise of a: "roller-coaster ride of a mystery, one that is also a heartbreaking character study, a touching romance, and ultimately a hopeful tale of redemption, love, and letting go."  

Either way, after I picked up Between, I couldn't find it in myself to put it down. So instead of purchasing the newest "must red" everyone was raving about, I took a chance on an author I'd never heard about—which was particularly dare-devilish of me—and I’m so happy I did.
“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.”
In my opinion, Between was written beautifully, with a well thought-out mystery and in-depth characters. There was even a heart-wrenching love story mixed in between that made my stomach dip and twirl. Redemption and forgiveness are the novel's primary theme, and Jessica Warman covers them both flawlessly. 
“It doesn’t matter if you remember, Liz. It doesn’t change what happened.”
The characters themselves were well developed and incredibly believable. You really feel their struggles, their painful pasts, and the gut-wrenching situations they find themselves in. The main character, Liz, is the epitome of never judging a book by its cover. She was considered perfect, yet under that façade was a lost girl who covered up her deep wounds with superficial bandages. Designer clothing, flawless makeup and the 'right' friends, were what Liz used to disguise the hurt and pain in her life. 
"A person's character, I realize, is never black-and-white. There is so much gray."
The plot itself was a ball of mystery, and as I read, the tangled threads started to unravel in a compelling manner, leaving me clutching the book until the very last page. Even reading it the second time around was as good—if not better—than the first.
“It feels like she isn’t gone, you know? Every morning when I wake up, there’s always a moment when I think I’m going to see her again ... And then I remember. It’s like she dies all over again, every day.”
Even though Between by Jessica Warman isn't my typical 5-Star book, the gorgeous plot, memorable characters, and beautifully written words gave me no choice but to rate it as a amazingly delicious read!