Michelle (FabBookReviews)'s Reviews > Between Here and Forever

Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
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's review
Jul 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: read-young-adult

The more I read Elizabeth Scott, the more I appreciate her books, her writing.

The book description makes the plot seem deceptively simple, no? A younger sister, forever thinking she will live in the shadow of her gorgeous, beloved older sister Tess, now in a coma. The younger sister, Abby, meets a beautiful boy named Eli at the hospital where she visits Tess. Whatever could happen? I thought I had most of the plot points figured out...but I did not. (Maybe other readers did, but I did not).

Two thirds of the way through the novel, events sort of explode. Well, that's not entirely true. I guess in retrospect, little bits of information about Tess (and Eli) are brought to the surface, making for a snowball effect. However, I was actually surprised at the turn of Tess's history. There's not many YA novels that I can say do that! I was right there along with Abby, comprehending and putting together missing puzzles together about Tess's life (and Eli's).

The one major problem I had with this novel was repetitive statements and thoughts from Abby. How many times do we have to read that Abby is sick of being compared to Tess, that Abby feels unworthy and ugly in comparison to Tess, etc. That kind of low self-esteem and extreme self-doubt really leap off the page. As a reader, you start to think, well, if she really thinks she is that unattractive, strange, unlikeable, etc., why would Eli be interested in her as a person? Why should we be rooting for her here? Which is not a good thing to be thinking! Especially since Abby is the protagonist!

That being said, Abby is an intriguing, if not prickly, protagonist. I like her sharpness, her wit. She is a conflicted character, with tremendous sorrow, and complicated feelings about her family. She both hates and loves her sister, and is in conflict about why she wants her sister to wake up from her coma. I also like Eli. He is a well-drawn character. He is mixed race in a town where it sticks out, and is used at his school as an example of diversity. He has a sad history with his parents, partially because of his major struggle with OCD. Eli and Abby do not seem to be typical teens. These older teens have much bigger issues to deal with; tragedy and accident have pushed them into a world that is threatening to swallow them whole.

Other than my major qualm with Abby's repetitive refrains about herself and Tess, I really, really enjoyed this novel. Scott handles and presents significant and weighty young adult and adult issues very deftly. As I mentioned in a previous review of a Scott book, she writes about difficult (and day-to-day) subject matter so well; her writing and approach is thoughtful, considerate, yet pronounced.

Verdict: Very Good. Recommended.

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