[Review] The Space Between Heartbeats

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Title: The Space Between Heartbeats

Series: Betwixt #1

Author: Melissa Pearl

Genre: Young Adult

Published: September 8, 2015

Source: Copy provided by NetGalley

Quicklinks: Amazon | Goodreads

Nicole Tepper has it all—beauty, popularity, and the perfect boyfriend. But after a party she can’t remember, she wakes up in a ghostly state, trapped between life and death. Nicole’s injured body is lying in a wooded area, but she has no idea where—or how long she has left to live.

Only one person can hear her now: Dale Finnegan, a loner classmate that Nicole has relentlessly bullied. Dale’s the last person in school who would want to help her, but he sets their tangled history aside to try to save her life. As they dig into what happened at the party, they discover her boyfriend isn’t as perfect as he seems—and neither are her friends. With the clock ticking down and her life slipping away, Nicole must face a hard truth: Was what happened to her a terrible accident? Or does someone want her dead?
Stumbling upon this book in NetGalley, I knew I needed to read it. There's just something about stories that have characters who go through any type of experience that involves their own death that keeps me interested. Seeing as how science has still yet to grasp what happens during near-death experiences and what truly happens after we pass, it's fun to see the different types of scenarios writers can come up with for their stories. With that said, this story definitely did not disappoint.

With Nichole as our main, bitchy character who I'd normally, in real life, want to punch in the bitchy face, we're introduced to her bitchy friends and the immediately lovable Dale. Nichole is your typical sixteen-year-old, cold-hearted person who has the eye-rolling love for "bad boys." While she's fussing over the fact that she's sixteen and needs to have fun, I kept remembering how, when I was sixteen, I was too busy hiding away from the world and playing World of Warcraft because I hated high school and all the competition to be "popular." 

However, as I've learned growing up, you never know what battles other people are facing. Continuing through the story, Nichole opens up about the past that changed her forever, explaining her coldness. The author does a splendid job getting you to feel for a character who bullied people by showing you the piece of the character hidden deeply away, the broken family she is a part of, and much more. I feel it's hard to have a character such as Nichole end up being lovable and cared for, but the author definitely made it work. 

The story as a whole was emotional and well written. There were several parts where tears were shed and quickly wiped away, only for it to happen once again. The author tugs at your heartstrings relentlessly without compassion, and the ending leaves us with a promising future. I cannot wait to read Dale's prequel and the sequel! 

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