If you enjoyed Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry series, you might give Between Now and Never a try. This has a similar impossible romantic entanglement between characters in very different social circles but it has an added twist. While I found it to be rather top heavy – a lot of informational front loading at the beginning – it did even out. If you can handle high school romantic drama (or if you just like it, I guess), you will find enough drama for a series of books in this single volume!
Cody doesn’t remember meeting Julianna at the mall, but a photo booth picture reveals they were together. Cody doesn’t remember where he got the shirt in the picture, but it is cut off of him at the hospital following the hit and run accident that might kill his chance at college ball. Cody doesn’t remember where he and Vic were or how they got separated, but Vic’s shady story doesn’t give him any extra details. What Cody does remember is that his FBI dad arrested Vic and Julianna’s mom for fraud, and he needs to get closer to her if he is ever going to put the story all together again. The potential for drama and heartbreak is apparent from the beginning of this romantic suspense, but readers should be aware that this turns out to be more of a modern twist on the Romeo and Juliet theme than anything else. While threats swirl ominously around both Julianna and Cody, the true focus is on how two people who are fighting to overcome past tragedies begin fighting for a future for each other. This was not a book that I slipped into easily, and it wasn’t until about the twenty- five percent mark that I really found the story engaging. This is because I found Julianna’s life story overwhelming and a tad over the top, but I was more interested once Cody offered her some relief, direction, and security. I particularly liked how Julianna’s dilemma with Vic paralleled Cody’s more innocent conflict with the brother he lost. The ending was a little less tense than I expected after a books-worth of buildup, but I was satisfied with the resolution. The teen relationship drama is what one would expect with high school characters, so if you don’t have patience for that, pass on this one.