August 1, 2014

One Past Midnight Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the ONE PAST MIDNIGHT blog tour! Today I have an excerpt of the book to share with you, along with my review and an awesome giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.

One Past Midnight
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books


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?

I am a liar.

Not compulsive.

Simply required.

I am two people. Neither better than the other, no superpowers, no mystical destinies, no two-places-at-one-time mechanism – but two people. My physical attributes, my memory, and my name follow me. For the past eighteen years, everything else, everything, about me is different. Twenty-four hours as the first version of me. And in the blink of an eye, twenty-four hours as the second. Every day, without fail, it goes on…

I’ve never told anyone. By the time I was old enough to figure out no one else had two lives – by the time that little shock settled in – I didn’t know where to begin. How to begin. And society, both of them, didn’t want to know.

When I was a child, I didn’t realize I was different from everyone else. But I’m pretty sure I’ve always been this way – this two-lives way – which means I was probably born twice, was a baby twice. No surprise I’m glad I can’t remember that. Being torn from one set of arms and thrust into another every twenty-four hours? Well, it doesn’t matter how much they love you … Can anyone say issues?

Practice makes perfect though, and I like to think of myself as a pro. I’ve ironed out the kinks; identified the major pitfalls and how to avoid them. I manage. I know who I need to be in each of my lives, and I try not to confuse my brain with the “infinity questions” anymore.

I’ve learned to accept that in one life I love strawberries, while in the other my tastes buds cringe at the flavor. I know that in one life I can speak fluent French, but, even though the memory of the language comes with me, in my other life I must not. Then there are the easier things to remember, like Maddie, my gorgeous little sister in one life, and my not-so-great big brothers in my other.

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 – the only thing I can be certain of is that my body clock is different from everyone else’s. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is.
One Past Midnight is a fast paced and thrilling novel about a teenage girl named Sabine who just happens to live to different lives. For one 24 hour period of time, she is in one world. Then at midnight, she lives in her other world for the next 24 hours. Day in and day out, Sabine has been living her life twice - in two separate worlds, with two separate existences. She learned early on that she was different from other people, and that she needed to lie in order to stay in character in both worlds. In one of her worlds, Sabine is a popular, straight A senior with a gorgeous and perfect boyfriend. In the other, she is on the outer edges of social circles and makes sure that everyone knows not to mess with her. Sabine has learned how to live each life down to the detail each day. That is, until she breaks her wrist one day and wakes up in her other world to find that she's not injured at all. Physical traits along with memories and knowledge always follow into both worlds. Except this time - things seem to be changing and Sabine's existence takes on a new possibility.

I am a huge fan of the author's Violet Eden Chapters series, so after I had read the last book in that series and saw that she had a paranormal/fantasy novel coming out that sounded awesome - I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but I have to admit that my hopes were high. Fortunately, it went above and beyond anything I could have wished for. It's one of those books where you keep thinking about it long after you've finished reading it. It makes me think of all the possibilities that could be out there - and pretty much boggles my mind. 

It was hard to attempt to wrap my head around the concept of Sabine having two separate lives in the book, at least at the beginning. I figured it would go the route of some mental illness or something, but it didn't - which ratcheted up the awesome factor for me. Sabine is a fantastic main character in the book. It's like she's three different people trying to live in one person. She has the persona she must keep up in her Wellesley life - basically a perfect daughter, student, and girlfirend in a Stepford feeling environment - and then she has to switch to her other "self" when she goes to her Roxbury life. There she acts and dresses edgy, but adores her younger sister Maddie. In between the lives is the real Sabine - and she isn't even sure she knows who that is. She's been pretending to be two different people for as long as she can remember, bouncing back and forth between two lives, and she wishes for one simple thing: a single life where she can be herself.

When she breaks her wrist in Roxbury and wakes up in Wellesley to find it unharmed, Sabine begins to entertain the idea that the "rules" of her situation are changing. She has to be sure though - because if it's true that the physical parts of herself won't carry over - she has the opportunity to live one life. In theory. She thinks that she wants her life in Wellesley to become her only life, but everything she has ever thought she's known is turned upside down when she meets Ethan - who opens her eyes to new possibilities she had never dreamed of. I have to admit that there is quite a bit of foreshadowing in the book, so I pretty much knew what was coming, but that did not make it any better. I don't want to do spoilers, so let's just say that I cried hysterically for a good while and was unable to continue reading until I calmed down - only to cry again and continually until the end of the book. I rarely get that emotional about a book, so when it happens I know I've found an author with amazing talent. Just like her Violet Eden series, the author had me immersed almost immediately into the book alongside Sabine. I didn't come back up until I had finished - and then it still took a bit. I'm trying not to ramble and fangirl everywhere, but it seems to not be working.

The writing was fantastic in every way. The characters were all distinct with their own personalities - weaknesses,  strengths, flaws - and it made them feel real. Like I knew them on a personal level - especially by the end of the book. The story itself is told from Sabine's point of view, but it switches between her two lives - the one in Wellesley and the one in Roxbury. I thought it might be confusing to read this style of writing, but I found that it felt natural and I had no problems transitioning between worlds with Sabine. The author's attention to detail - the vivid imagery and descriptions throughout the book were phenomenal. With all the elements - the setting, characters, story line, etc. - the book took on several layers and depths that I wasn't expecting. It really went above and beyond anything I could've expected or wanted - and now I'm just left wanting more. I highly recommend this book - and the author in general - to everyone (seriously!) - especially to those who enjoy fantasies and paranormal fiction. And to the author - you have broken my heart twice in less than a year by ending the Violet Eden series and now with this novel - so I will be stalking you in a non-creepy way until you release something new.  :) 

A Fangirl Favorite!!
Jessica Shirvington is the author of THE VIOLET EDEN CHAPTERS also known as THE EMBRACE SERIES, stand alone novel, BETWEEN THE LIVES and has an exciting new duology called DISRUPTION on the way in 2014.

An entrepreneur, author, and mother living in Sydney, Australia, Jessica is also a 2011 & 2012 finalist for Cosmopolitan’s annual Fun, Fearless Female Award. She’s also one of the lucky few who met the love of her life at age seventeen: Matt Shirvington, a former Olympian and current sports broadcaster for Foxtel and Fox Sports. Married for twleve years with two beautiful daughters, Sienna and Winter, Jessica knows her early age romance and its longevity has definitely contributed to how she tackles relationships in her YA novels.

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You can purchase One Past Midnight at the following Retailers:
 (3) Winners will receive a Copy of One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington.
Giveaway is open to USA. | Must be 13+ to Enter


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