Between Now and Never – big potential for drama, but a rather flat resolution

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Between Now and Never – big potential for drama, but a rather flat resolution

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.

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About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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