Author: Jessica Shirvington
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: July 22, 2014 (TODAY!)
Hardback: 352 pages
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
How did I get this book: Netgalley
NOTE:I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Bloomsbury USA Childrens for letting me read this.
Let’s start with a brief synopsis from Goodreads:
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?
What I thought:
As you can probably guess, this novel is about a lot of the big choices we must make in life when it comes to love and life. One Past Midnight is very thought-provoking and it makes you consider which choice you would make if you were in Sabine’s place: would you choose the life where you’re wealthy and have the “perfect” life (aka divorced parents, a controlling boyfriend, and two jerk brothers) or the middle class family (with the alcoholic father but loving little sister)?
Shirvington is really great at world building and she has laid out all of the details for Sabine’s shift: do injuries in one world translate to the other? What happens if she goes to her other home while in the opposite body? These were all questions I was ready to be asking as I finished the novel, but everything I was wondering about, Shirvington answered. Well, except: How did this happen to Sabine? Why does she have two lives???
Sabine is realistic though I found her kind of obnoxious at times. She’s extremely superficial, especially when she is in her Wellesley body, which is the wealthier of the two. I feel like we got way too many descriptions of her clothes and what she and her friends looked like when they went out. Even when she’s in her Roxbury body, which was more middle class and where she supposedly cared less about her looks, she was obsessed with getting her miniskirts and shirts perfect. I got annoyed with her when she would go on for paragraphs about her looks. She was selfish too, which I think came into play in the novel and was resolved; you definitely can’t say that Sabine didn’t grow throughout the novel – A LOT.
So we’ve got two love interests here: one is Dex, Sabine’s boyfriend in her Wellesley life who makes my skin crawl (he makes Sabine’s skin crawl too) and Ethan, who comes into her Roxbury life kind of out of nowhere. I know that Dex is supposed to be Sabine’s constant in her Wellesley life, but I honestly don’t understand why she stayed with that guy for so long when even she didn’t like him, and I think it took too long for her to realize this. She’s been talking the whole book about how she can barely stand him (she counts the seconds when they kiss!) and then about halfway through says to herself that maybe she shouldn’t be with him? Hello!
I loved Ethan, but I don’t know if I really felt any of Sabine’s emotions in regards to anything else until the very-sad-part which I won’t give away. As much as I enjoyed the story, it was, at times, really hard to connect with her. Ethan was dark and brooding and mysterious and total eye candy for my mind. Ha. I don’t want to give anything away, but THE FEEELLLSSS. Oh man.
I’d like to also say that I completely saw the end coming, but I won’t say that I wasn’t super happy when it did. I was definitely smiling.
The bottom line:
Overall, I really liked this book. It was a pretty quick read and I loved Sabine’s growth. Her Shifting was really interesting and so well developed. It was sometimes hard to connect with Sabine, but I felt all the emotions at the end. This was an emotion and compelling story. I’d recommend it for sure, especially just so you can meet Ethan.
Rating: 7 – pretty good
Reading next: Saga [volume 3] by Brian K. Vaughan