One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington
First impression: Parallel life – sign me up
Last impression: EEEEEKK
Format: Library hardcover / 352 pages
Publishing Info: July 22nd 2014 / Goodreads
Other books read by author: None
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 which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted… But just what – and who – is she really risking?
Okay so this book is the second one I was WAY too excited about this year (Dissonance was #1). I was afraid I built it up too much and it wouldn’t meet my expectations. Well, it did. HOLLER AT ME for knowing what I like. I loooove books about parallel lives and this one did not disappoint. Sabine is a girl who lives two separate lives; she lives each day twice, once in each world. (Somehow you have to suspend everything you understand about time progression. Just let it happen. Shh.) In one world she lives in a rich Boston suburb, has divorced parents, a perfect boyfriend, two dickhead brothers, and a lot of fancy stuff. In her other life, she lives in a low income Boston suburb, has an alcoholic father, workaholic parents, no money, a little sister she loves, a bad influence friend, and a constant attitude. She literally is two different people. I was so intrigued about her lives from the beginning, and incredibly nervous about how this book could possibly end. One thing that bugged me a little was that the two worlds weren’t explained as much as they could have been. I wanted to feel a strong preference to one world so I could figure out which life Sabine was better suited for. A lot of the “world-building” (really life-building) was just surface level stuff. In other words, I think the introduction part of the book could have benefited from a little more time before getting right into the action. I was really surprised by some of the book’s early events and where most of her Roxbury life chapters actually took place. Between the two worlds, I think the reader doesn’t get as much information as they should have about the Wellesley life. I was surprised because it seemed like my interpretation of which life suited her better was different than her interpretation. It was pretty clear to me which life made more sense. The ENDING THOUGH UGH what a twist!!! I didn’t see the actual twist coming, but after it happened I predicted what the very end would be like. Yep, that’s all the vagueness I’ll say about it!
- Sabine: I have a stuffed animal named Sabine and my boyfriend and I use it as a weird nickname for each other so I basically couldn’t stop thinking about that the whole book. She was an interesting character to learn about because she was literally two different people! Two people to get to know and try to understand. However, I think (without giving too much away) this book was about finding the one person she really was. Sometimes I questioned her thinking, especially when she got mad at Ethan for the clock thing, because c’mon – give the guy some credit. You’re lucky he’s not doing something much worse because you sound crazy.
- Ethan: I really liked Ethan and appreciated the times they were together in her Roxbury life. I won’t give away too much about his role in the book, but I definitely wish there was even more about him. I feel like he could have been characterized a lot more.
- Her friends: All of her friends in both lives definitely could have been given more personality, but it wasn’t exactly necessary. Sabine was the focus because she spent the book battling with herself.
As I said, I was surprised at the pacing of this book; a lot of things I expected to happen later ended up happening pretty early. The book probably should have spent a little more time with the life-building in the beginning, before jumping into the action. Because it got started so quickly, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen in the rest of the book. It actually ended up working really well! The book was fast-paced and I read it so much quicker than expected. I found myself constantly waiting to see what happened in the other life and not being able to stop reading. I loved that. The overall feel of the book was just really cool and unique.People who like parallel life books or even time travel books. A really cool, unique take on that concept.Overall, I obviously loved this book. The pacing and action was great; the whole storyline just flowed out seamlessly and I couldn’t stop reading. I loved learning about the different lives although I wish there was a little more intro about them both. I loved that I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next, or more importantly, how the book was going to come to an end. The whole book Sabine leads you to believe that she is going to decide on one of her lives, so you wonder WHICH LIFE? HOW? WHY? WILL SHE ACTUALLY DO IT???? I didn’t see PART of the ending coming. There was a big twist that definitely made me gasp, a la Taylor Swift below. I knew how the very end of the book was going to be once the twist did happen. Call me psychic. Beyond the ending being overall pretty cool/great/perfect, it did leave a little bit to the imagination. I liked that. There were VERY few flaws in this book for me. I was definitely right in assuming I was going to love it. Part of me is really tempted to give it five stars, but a few tiny things bugged me enough to detract. I think that both of her lives could have been given more building up, all of the characters in both lives could have been fleshed out a little better, and there was some insta-love. The focus on action and Sabine testing out her theories was great and really drove the plot, but it detracted from some of the characterization. Even Sabine was kind of hard to read (especially because she had two very different lives and personalities.) Four and a half huge stars for me. Sometimes I think five stars. So good.