I have a “thing” for the idea of parallel lives, even though most books and movies with the premise are hard to follow. This book is one of the few that is actually really easy to read. It wasn’t perfect, but I considered it a good use of a cold, rainy Friday afternoon.
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 rating: 4 of 5 stars
Every night at midnight Sabine switches between her two lives. In one she is a pampered and adored rich girl, and in the other, she is lower middle class and dealing with a dad who she can never please. When she turns 18, she realizes that something has changed about her shifts and begins a methodical plan to end her strange shifts forever. I read this on the recommendation of one of my high school students who just kept telling me that it had the best ending ever, and it was pretty engaging — I finished in just a few hours. This is such an interesting premise, and when my fourth grader asked me what my book was about, I gave him the basic idea, and he even thought that sounded “pretty cool.” Sabine is a character that most readers can connect and sympathize with. The pacing is tight, and it moves quickly enough that you won’t have time to get bored with one life or the other. There are messages about not rushing into sexual relationships and about appreciating each moment of your life.
While I enjoyed the book, I did think that there were a few problems, most came from a lack of development in secondary characters and relationships with secondary characters. One conflict develops out of thin air, which threw me out of my suspended disbelief. There is also an insta romance, which always irritates me. I don’t think those problems will stop my high school readers from enjoying the book, but a more discerning reader will probably be a little annoyed. The language and situations, which include discussions about suicide, are appropriate for a mature high school reader. It got added to my high school classroom library last week and still hasn’t made it to the shelf — it keeps getting passed from reader to reader, so I think it is going to be pretty popular with my girl readers.