Between by Jessica Warman
3 out of 5 stars
I'm not sure where I heard about this book (I should start documenting that), but I didn't know much about it other than the Goodreads blurb: 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.
A lot of the reviews on there tell you the main hook/mystery right off the bat, so I'm really glad I didn't get spoiled beforehand and I am not going to spoil it for those of you who have not read it yet either. :) I checked this out from the library, but I think I would consider buying it. It was a fairly long book, close to 500 pages, but it moved smoothly and quickly for the most part. I would have gobbled this book up as a teenager.
So there's obviously some kind of mystery going on here (actually two, I forgot about the 2nd twist lol). Liz is the main character, and honestly, very hard to like or feel sorry for. She's conceited, spoiled, self-centered etc...she's the "IT" girl at school and she knows it. Her only redeeming quality is probably her love for her father and stepsister Josie. That's not quite enough though unfortunately. I enjoyed her story and all, obviously, but I never ended up liking her or felt like she redeemed herself enough.
An example of her spoiled-ness that really shocked me: when she is little, she talks her dad into getting her a kitten. When the kitten grows out of it's cute stage, he takes it to the shelter and gets her a new young and fluffy kitten. This happens 3-4 times. OMG! Who does that??
This book reminded me a LOT of Christopher Pike's series Remember Me. Does anyone remember (hah!) those? Since I didn't know anything about Between before starting it, I was completely shocked when I found out she was dead. I think I actually gasped out loud and said "What??!" Lol...but the whole "dying and not knowing what happened" and then "omg the killer is your evil half-sister/BFF" thing was totally late 80s/early 90s Scream King Christopher Pike.
I'm going to digress a bit here so just bear with me. :) I loved Christopher Pike as a young teen. Those books were like crack to me. Some of them were about crack. They were about love and murder and mayhem all twisted together into a horrifying story. These books scared the living hell out of me. Plus they had these amazing, 80s-tastic covers with neon lettering and 3D effects! I have most of my copies still and do plan on rereading them sometime soon (you know, after I get through the 25+ already on my to-be-read shelf eek)...I'm thinking they'll still scare me just as much as when I was 12 or 13. Remember Me was probably my favorite series, but I also loved Die Softly (pervy kid trying to get pics of naked cheerleaders witnesses a murder, hello awesome!) and Road to Nowhere (for years and years I wanted to name my future children Freedom Jack and Poppy Corn. Luckily I grew out of that.) I also loved The Last Vampire series (and was talking about them on Twitter this morning!) but I think I got rid of them at some point which makes me sad. I may have to buy the new sets.
Okay, I'm done digressing...back to Between! It was pretty obvious to me from early on that it was probably the sister that had hurt Liz and that they had something to do with Alex's death. Did y'all watch Castle this week? The fairytale one? The twist about the car crash reminded me of this also. For a book that is like a lot of other things, it's actually pretty good still lol.
The dude blackmailing Liz for dirty pictures freaked me out BAD. He gave me asco (Spanish word for total disgust). And I feel like maybe her dad should have known something serious was going on when she stopped eating and exercised constantly since, you know, her mom died from ANOREXIA complications. That was just stupid. I liked Liz's boyfriend, Richie, all right but he wasn't a "leading boyfriend" type...he had his own problems with drugs and negligent parents (I wonder if the BSCers could help him? Hah!) He claimed to love Liz but slept with her sister so yeah, that shows true love. And as for Josie, the sister and killer? She was messed up. I'm sorry. She was just as spoiled, conceited, and mean as Liz but she didn't learn her lesson in the end. She just didn't want to get caught and mess up her life. WELL THEN YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE PUSHED YOUR SISTER OVER THE EDGE OF THE BOAT YOU DUMBHEAD! Whew...thanks for letting me get that off my chest.
And that brings me to my last point in this ridiculously long review...what was with the cowboy boots? (They were cowboy boots right? I can't remember now.) Why couldn't she take them off? I was expecting that to be super important to her death since the author mentioned it every other page or so, but no. It was just a stupid metaphor for finally being free or something. Blegh.
*Note: I apologize for the weird spacing in this post...I have no idea why it does that sometimes and I've tried everything to fix it and it's driving me INSANE!*