Review: One Past Midnight (Between the Lives) by Jessica Shirvington


Sabine isn’t like anyone else. For as long as she can remember, she’s had two lives. Every twenty-four hours she ‘Shifts’, living each day twice. In one life, Sabine has everything: popular friends, expensive clothes, perfect grades, and the guy everyone wants. In the other, Sabine’s family struggles with finances, and she and her friends are considered rebels. But then she meets Ethan. He’s gorgeous, challenging, and he makes her feel like no one ever has before.
All Sabine really wants is the chance to live one life. When it seems like this might finally be possible, Sabine begins a series of dangerous experiments to achieve her goal. But is she willing to risk everything—including the one person who might actually believe her?
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury USA Children
PAGES: 352
Release Date: July 22, 2014
I was given an ARC of this book by Bloomsbury, but that fact does not affect the following review. Say NO to bribery. 😉
Before I get in to the nitty gritty of this review, I’d like to say that I wouldn’t mind having two lives. In one of my lives, I could see myself in a posh castle in a secluded part of Scotland with Chad Michael Murray feeding me grapes on a crimson divan and James Morrison serenading me 24/7. I’d have a pet zebra named Zebes (what else, honestly?) and I’d derive my daily exercise from swimming in a large pool filled with an exorbitant amount of cash. In my second life, I could see myself in North Carolina (never been, but it sounds lovely) riding a horse named Stallion on an abandoned stretch of road or riding on a Harley with a few of my fellow motorcycle gang members in a portion of my free time and robbing a bank or doing some other type of illegal activity in the other half. I don’t really condone illegal activity, though, so I may have to think a bit more on that one. Oh, and James Morrison would fit in there somewhere, too, but I just don’t know where yet. So, yes, to answer your question, I’ve definitely thought this two life thing over. I mean, in case you were asking… You were asking, right?
I’m curious… What would you hope your two lives would look like if you had to live two? Comment! Comment! 🙂

PG-13/R: Lots of cussing (really only the S-word, but lots of that), sexual innuendo by one loser of a man, brief sex scene (not graphic, but is mentioned), violence, self-abuse (cutting), suicide (overdosing on medicine, but it makes sense in the overall sense of the novel and it is not looked upon favorably by any of the characters)
What an interesting idea! I don’t believe I’ve ever read about a plot like this one before. Unique and original! The book flows between Sabine’s two lives: Roxbury and Wellesley. Sometimes switching characters and dialogue every other chapter becomes tiring with a novel, but I felt like both of her lives kept my attention. Also, I liked the character of Sabine and felt like she was relatable. I’ve seen some reviews where people say she is too whiny and selfish. While I can agree with this to a certain degree–I can definitely see what those readers are basing their opinions on–I also feel like the reader needs to put themselves in the character’s shoes. Sabine is living two lives. If I was living two lives, constantly under the pressure of keeping them separate from the other for eighteen years, I would be whiny, too. Unless, of course, James Morrison was present in one or both of my “lives” like aforementioned. Then, all bets are off and I’d be totally fine mentally and emotionally.
You know those books where the male protagonist is kind, caring, protective and just altogether perfect? Well, Ethan stole my heart from his first appearance in this book. I’m kind of his biggest fan, no big deal. Ethan’s attitude towards Sabine and life in general was one of the main aspects of this book that kept me reading. He was almost completely opposite of Sabine. His unselfishness in his unconditional love for Sabine made me smile. If anyone knows a man like this Ethan, I have a phone. Grab my digits and hit me up.
I’m surprised that so many readers were stunned by the plot twists of this novel. I, for one, knew exactly what was going to happen at about the 40% mark (Kindle probs, excuse me). I think Shirvington could have been more discreet with the twists of this novel and I was really disappointed that I could predict everything that eventually ended up happening. And, trust me, that never happens. The fact that I knew what was going to happen is saying something!
Also, I felt like some parts of the last quarter of the novel were unnecessary and did not make sense with the overall plot. I did expect some sort of explanation for why Sabine was living two lives, but alas Shirvington never explained any of the reasons. Sabine didn’t even wonder about possible explanations of her lives, which I felt was odd. I was a little bummed!
I can’t really say much about this without major spoilers, so I’ll just say 1) after enduring an extremely traumatic experience, one does not usually follow that with an intimate one unless they are using the other person as a distraction 2) I don’t know much about stage four cancer, but I’m pretty sure the timeline of a certain person didn’t really make sense (especially in relation to Sabine and a certain grad night *COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH*)
~*~*~*~*~*~END SPOILERS~*~*~*~*~*~

Seattle-based Barcelona is one of my absolutely favorite bands… ever. This song is so heartbreaking and, without giving away any spoilers, I feel like it fits!


Overall, I’d give this novel a 3/5 rating. About 80% of the way through I was ready to give it 5/5, but it really fell flat for me, unfortunately. That being said, I’d still recommend it. I would say that there are many other books that are better than this one out there for you that you should probably read first…


2 thoughts on “Review: One Past Midnight (Between the Lives) by Jessica Shirvington

  1. Erin, so glad you asked! I in fact lead two lives. In one, I work part of the year as a seamstress in a rural village in Guatemala. I make overpriced rugs for tourists who think they’re traditional…. The other part of the year I live on a private island in the Caribbean where hot manservants wait on me serving me whatever I desire as soon as I desire it…. But, alas I’d like to live a simple life in a remote forest up in Maine; living off the foliage, hunting, writing poetry, living off the land- just me & nature!

    Marlee ❤ ❤


    1. Wow, Marlee! The diversity of your lives are incredible! It must be hard… 😉
      A nice, secluded forest up in Maine does sound wonderful and peaceful, though. ❤
      Thanks for sharing!


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