Author: Jessica Shirvington (Twitter)
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publish Date: July 22, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal
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?
You know those books that you read but simply have to put it aside after reading because you don't know exactly how to review them? One Past Midnight is that sort of book, and though I was worried I wouldn't connect with this novel because I tried at first and just couldn't get into it. After seeing countless of great reviews though, I read it again, and I have to say that I couldn't have been more surprised - or impressed - by the depth of this novel. I read it in one day the second time around. Jessica Shirvington is no stranger to powerful fiction, having written the popular Embrace series. This novel, however, is in a nearly entirely different wheelhouse, offer twists, turns and incredible worlds that will spin you into a paranormal romance tale that's beautiful, rich and unlike anything you've ever read before.
I often find that the protagonists in paranormal tales are lackluster and lose their own identity within the plot or romance elements, but I'm pleased to say that One Past Midnight most definitely did not fail in this aspect. Sabine is a powerful, engaging and vibrant character that I can honestly all other YA characters should aspire to be. While living in two separate worlds, we still see this raw and real identity that exudes an honest sort of charisma from deep within the pages. She was flawed but likeable, and I felt that Ms. Shirvington really managed to make her humanity sing through her relationships with her families, her parents and her these two polar opposite lives.
One Past Midnight worried me at first because I felt as though offering readers two distinct worlds would be too much for a singular novel, but the story holds a near-perfect balance that really offers much more insight into not only Sabine's character, but also the impossible duality of having to live and breathe two completely separate lives. It must be said, as well, that while I was wary of the romantic aspect of this novel, Ethan and Sabine gave me nothing but joy. Rather than whittling down her characters to their teenage tropes, Ms. Shirvington allowed their individual personas, flaws and realities to merge into this beautiful arc that only furthered our commitment to them and their journey.
Overall, I wish I had the words to adequately state how much I loved this novel. Perhaps I was just in the wrong mindset the first time I tried to read it because it blew me away the second time around. I think that the only thing that was lacking was, perhaps, a little background as to why Sabine was the way she was, but it definitely didn't detract from my enjoyment of this novel. I hope that other readers will give it a go and love it as much as I did. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy paranormal romance novels.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.