Synopsis from Goodreads
he perfect life or the perfect love. You choose.
For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she shifts to her ‘other’ life – a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she’s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she’s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.
With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments that bring her dangerously close to the life she’s always wanted. But if she can only have one life, which is the one she’ll choose?
A compelling psychological thriller about a girl who lives two parallel lives – this is Sliding Doors for the YA audience.
Between the Lives is one of those books that you can’t stop thinking about. It stays in your heart and mind long after you close the last page. Emotional to the extreme, devastating and heart-warming in equal measure. I know it’s going to take me a few attempts to straighten my thoughts but I will say, Between the Lives is one of those books that you want to buy a million copies of in order to force into the hands of as many people as you can. Everyone should read this book, then sit back and re-evaluate your life. Yeah it’s transformational Every time I think of it I want to sob both happy and sad tears.
The story-line itself was a little confusing to start with, due to the fact they you need a reason for Sabine to be leading to very separate lives. You question the mechanics of it, is it magic, is it like an alternate reality or is Sabine just mentally ill. As the plot unfolds all of these questions arise and yet they become of no consequence, you just accept the fact that this is Sabine’s reality. She lives each day twice, with very different lifestyles. While the story is told in first person narrative from Sabine’s point of view, I felt it had a dual narrative to it. Rather than it being two different characters perspectives, the duality came from the shifting of the places/reality for Sabine.
Each life is drastically different from the other, adding to the divide in Sabine’s reality. There are good and bad qualities in both but for all their differences Sabine has never really felt as if she belonged in either. She tends to play a part, not really fitting in because she feels she can’t be herself. To a degree she doesn’t even know who she is. As an outside observer it is easy to see that Sabine is made of different aspects of both her worlds. She has fought an internal battle all her life separating the pieces of her personality leaving a gaping void. It’s a deeply profound look at who we are, what makes us – us. Including the nature versus nurture debate and fate/destiny versus freewill. Taking into account how precious life is and the impact each person has on the other people in their lives – good and bad.
It made me think that really we are all a mixture of different people on the inside, all blended together to make us unique. Sabine just hadn’t given herself the chance to discover who she really was. Between the Lives is an emotional journey of self-discovery touching on bigger issues that I’m not going to mention in case I give away spoilers. Ultimately it’s the memories we create that make life worth living, remaining in the hearts of the people we share them with.
Even though there was a twist within the story that I knew was coming it didn’t detract from how deeply the emotions hit when it occurred. The ideal of soul-mates and a soul having the ability to recognize its other half no matter the lifetime brought a deeper level of response to the characters and their relationships. The saying that ‘home is where the heart is’ has never had such a significance.
Between the Lives is utterly brilliant, everyone should read it to give them a new appreciation of life.