Review: One Past Midnight – Jessica Shirvington

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Title: One Past Midnight [Amazon]
Author: Jessica Shirvington [website]
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Parallel Life
Source/Type: Publisher/Paperback ARC
Stars: 4 of 5

Publisher Description:
Name of overseas edition of Between The Lives.
Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is…

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?

My Thoughts:
I’m a parallel life book junkie. I want to read them all. So when a friend suggested One Past Midnight and I found out it takes place in my city/state, I was sold. And then I read the description and I was intrigued. Then I read it and I was pleased, very pleased because um hello…PARALELL LIFE STORY.

One Past Midnight is about Sabine, a girl living a parallel life. Every 24 hours she goes from one world in Roxbury, MA to her other world in Wellesley, MA basically forcing her to live each day twice. Sabine has been like this her whole life and has hidden it from everyone that loves her in both worlds. Then something changes. Sabine breaks her arm while in her Roxbury life and it doesn’t carry over to her Wellesley life which has never happened. Now left with the question of whether it was a glitch or things changed, Sabine embarks on a series of tests that will alter her and both worlds forever. The question that remains is if given the choice which world would she pick.

I liked Sabine a lot right away. There was something about her that was just easy to relate to even though she was going through this crazy thing. She was so alone in both worlds but she did the best she could to fit in and not really stand out. However you could tell it was hard for her being two different people with two completely different realities. She had a harder life in one world than in the other and that weighed on her as the story progressed. She also could never truly be herself since she was constantly split in two. My heart went out to her. All she wanted was one life and the broken wrist was her chance at that. But it wasn’t so clean cut which life was better as things in both worlds spiraled out of control and she started to feel ties to someone she didn’t expect. It complicated things in Sabine’s already complicated life.

I also really liked how the author went about the parallel life aspect of the book. Usually people are living their lives simultaneously in these kinds of books, but Shirvington decided to have Sabine live everyday twice and I liked that tweak. It worked for this story and didn’t make it hard to follow. It also helped that she used too completely different areas of Massachusetts for both of Sabine’s lives. They are close enough location wise, but completely different in terms of demographics. That was also something that really worked.

I will say that the end of the story did take away from making this book awesome. Some of the stuff at the end was a little too plot point driven and didn’t seem to fit with everything that had gone on up until that point. I understand what the author was trying to do, but it felt off for me. I didn’t hate it but I do feel it took away from some of the good in the first 85% of the story.

But really all in all I enjoyed my experience with One Past Midnight. It had a great romance (which I didn’t talk much about as I didn’t want to give anything away), good characters, strong writing and a great storyline. It kept me interested and was a pretty quick read. Definitely a book to check out if you are a parallel life book lover.

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