Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

Came Out: May 24, 2011

Pages: 250

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Format: ARC

Source: Luxury Reading; Kristi (The Story Siren)

Age Group: Young Adult

Parental Warnings: LGBT; sexual comments; teenage pregnancy

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                                                           Between Here and Forever

Recommended for Ages

14 and Up

Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.Until the accident.Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could...

Between Here and Forever is the touching story of a girl constantly outshined by her sister. Abby is convinced that Tess will always be the one that people like, that Abby will never be as perfect as Tess is. Tess is the one with all the friends, boyfriends, admirers. She's the one that everybody dotes on.Until one awful night, when Abby's life is shattered. Tess has been in an accident, and is now in a coma. Not even the sound of her friend's voices could wake her up, or her family's.Abby wants her to wake up, but for a selfish reason. Now that Tess is in a coma, she outshines Abby even more. Everybody stops Abby to hear updates about Tess, talk about visits, offer sympathies. They all see TESS'S SISTER when they look at her, not ABBY. Abby is forever remembered as the sister, and never more than that.She wants Tess to wake up so that she won't be tied to her anymore. She has a plan too. When she sees Eli, the handsome new volunteer at the hospital, she thinks that maybe the sound of his voice will wake her up. It would be like Sleeping Beauty, and her sister would finally wake up from her slumber. So she enlists his help.During the midst of her plan, she starts discovering new things about Tess. Things that she didn't know before, and could turn her world upside down.If I had to name one thing about this book that pushed it over and beyond the edge, it would have to be the emotions. They thrived all through the book. Sadness, fear, surprise, betrayal, happiness, love. All and more were featured prominently through the book, blending into each other.Elizabeth Scott's writing has been revered by many bloggers because of the beauty of her words. Her writing raw and lyrical, at the same time and in a lovely way. She's very diverse too. From Stealing Heaven to Living Dead Girl to Bloom, each book that she works on is written extremely well with an innovative plot and characters.I really did like Abby. It's pretty easy to end up having a likeable main character, but Elizabeth Scott has yet again gone above and beyond. Every character that she has created has been memorable, but none have stuck in my mind as much as Abby has. I understood Abby's position. With being a twin, Hannah (my sister) and I face constant scrutiny and constant comparison. People don't really understand when they  don't have a sibling close to their age.I understood what she was going through and I sympathized completely.Eli was probably my favorite character though. A charming personality and surprising problem, he was understandable and kind, seemingly perfect for Abby. I was rooting for him throughout the entire book; I wanted him and Abby to end up together. Elizabeth drew attention to a big problem not very emphasized until a few knockout books this year, but she does it in a clear and simple way that doesn't make you go crazy.The parallels between Tess and Abby were striking and reflected on throughout the book. It was interesting to hear how they compared themselves when we didn't hear Tess's point of view throughout the whole ordeal.When I first picked this book up, I thought it sounded like another book that I had read a couple years ago: Waves. It was about a boy whose sister was in a coma. He - like Abby - compared himself to his sister and we steadily found comparisons and hidden details about his sister throughout the story. Details like the boy she was seeing, where she was the night she washed up on the rocks, and how Hal would fit into everything.The difference, however, was that Waves provided alternating points of view. There was Hal in present times, Charlie (his sister) in her coma, Charlie remembering what happened that night and that summer, and several others. Between Here and Forever was only one person's point of view. I couldn't decide whether I liked that more or less; I liked them both because they both worked for that author's writing style.Tess was interesting. It's always fascinating to hear about the people who always worry about appearances. They're usually unstable and insecure, and it was interesting hearing about it from a different point of view (Abby's). Some incidents showed how she might not always show her emotions. Some made you wonder if she hid her true emotions because she didn't want to have people worry about her while other times, incidents showed that she was selfish and wanted the world to revolve around her.Tess was mostly open to interpretation. I couldn't decide whether she was selfish or not, but I still felt bad for Abby because Tess didn't think about Abby when she made her decisions, and Abby was always left to clean up the mess that Tess would leave behind when thinking about herself.I was puzzled about Claire; she ran a close second for favorite character and was the brunt of many questions throughout the book. Some of her choices seemed contradictory to each other and I found myself pondering several statements of hers. I was engrossed in scenes where she would reveal a juicy tidbit from her past, or something about her current life and how she felt.Claire was an interesting person to look at. First of all, there was the fact that she's a teen mom. There was a mystery with Tess and Claire. Tess forced everybody to ignore her and make Claire into an outcast because she was pregnant. Abby speculated over that for several reasons, but could never figure out why Tess hated Claire then.It was also interesting to hear about Claire because I wondered what Tess thought about Claire being her nurse. It made me wonder if Tess would hear them and forgive Claire, or hate her even more because of it. There were some open-ended questions about that though.I really liked how there was romance, but it wasn't the main focus of the book. The reason romance is even introduced is because Abby wants Tess to wake up and thinks that since Eli is perfect, they must belong together. She thinks that by hearing Eli's voice, Tess might wake up and fall in love with him.Eli twisted that around. Eli was softer, and hid a secret. Abby was so desperate to find that he would wake her up that she didn't see what was right in front of him. There were sweet moments throughout the book that made me love Eli for appreciating Abby and realizing what was going on. He really helped her face her emotions, get over fears, and realize truths.It wasn't so much a "family" book or a "romance" book as it was self discovery. It was more of a coming-of-age novel, and Abby using her sister as a vessel to find out who she is. I really enjoyed it for that fact and I really loved how Elizabeth Scott knotted it all together.They weren't exactly "twists" in the book, but there were some interesting surprises discovered throughout the book. Little secrets and white lies twined together and created illusions that we burst past as the story proceeded forward.This was a character driven novel all the way. It made me laugh, cry, and is now one of my favorite contemporaries. Brilliant characters, raw emotion, and beautiful writing make Between Here and Forever unforgettable.Recommended for anybody who loves: Waves; Bloom; Stay; Saving June; Lock and Key; Just Listen; Before I Die; LGBT; Elizabeth Scott; contemporary; etc,.Possible book club questions:Do you think that people realize what they are doing to Abby when they ask about Tess?How does Eli help Abby as opposed to Tess?Do you agree with Claire's reasoning?Is it coincidence that Claire became a nurse?How is this novel character-driven?Do you think Abby has cause to feel guilty?How do you think this book will affect that LGBT community?What is your opinion about Tess - selfish or not?etc,.