One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington Review

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Title: One Past Midnight
Author: Jessica Shirvington (Twitter)
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publish Date: July 22, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher

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.


  1. Oh, I've been meaning to try this one. I've heard a lot of good things about Jessica Shirvington and I haven't read a good paranormal in a while. I seem to be all about contemps these days!

  2. I love Jessica Shirvington's Embrace series, so I am definitely going to have to check this one out. I am glad that the romance and the "two worlds" worked for you in this book. I am definitely looking forward to getting my hands on a copy….hopefully the romance won't slay me like Lincoln and Violet's did in Embrace! ;)

  3. I don't know if I'd pick this one up, based on the cover. But based on your review, I definitely will. Love when a book really just strikes the right chord and I'm interested to see how the two worlds are balanced.

  4. I've been hearing nothing but good things about this book, Melissa and although I don't typically read YA parallel universe books I think I'm going to definitely try this one out because it sounds extremely well-written.

    "I often find that the protagonists in paranormal tales are lackluster and lose their own identity within the plot or romance elements"

    I have to completely agree with you on this comment, Melissa. I've noticed that a lot too in YA sci fi which is why I tend to avoid them a lot of times. The characters in this book sounds well-developed and I'm also glad that the romance wasn't cliched.

    Lovely review!

  5. I really enjoyed Embrace, so I'm happy to see that Shirvington's newest YA novel impresses as well. One Past Midnight sounds excellent, and I'll be sure to pick it up. Thanks for the great review!

  6. We talked about this one last night, but YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY again! I'm so, so glad you decided to pick this one up again after not connecting the first time around, and I'm even happier that it blew you away. I adored Sabine and Ethan so much, and I may have cried like a little girl toward the end. LIKE A LITTLE GIRL:)

  7. And yet another fantastic review for this one! Clearly I need to get my hands on it soon!
    Sometimes it's true that a book doesn't catch us at the right moment, and giving it a second chance later cause be the best idea ever! So glad to hear that's what happened to you with this book!

  8. At first glance, this book didn't look like my type of read, but I might have to reconsider. I'm happy it's a standalone, and that it's receiving a lot of positive feedback. Plus, that premise is intriguing. I'm glad you gave this one a second chance and loved it! Lovely review :D

  9. I agree that paranormal books tend to be less developed in some areas. I'm glad that this one worked for you! Lovely review, Melissa! You've sold me on this book.

  10. You've definitely got across pretty well how much you enjoyed this book Melissa, I'm glad that you ended up giving it a second go and it ended up working really well for you! I really do like the sound of this book, so can't wait to give it a try for myself! Lovely review as always Melissa!

  11. I haven't heard many positive ratings of Shirvington's novels, particularly her debut trilogy, but I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed this one so much. You've definitely made me look at it in a different light and I'll be on the lookout for reviews of this one now. Fantastic one yourself, Melissa!(:


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