Review: One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

Publication Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
Source: From Publisher For Review
Name of overseas edition of Between The Lives.

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?
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Previously published overseas under the title Between The Lives.

This book was great. While the analytical reader in me had a few issues, I have to say that I was addicted to the plot and the attention grabbing tone of this story. While such a thing requires throwing all questions out of the window (like why does Sabine experience alternate lives but nobody else does?), it's very easy to stand behind this strong heroine.

Sabine lives two very different lives. Every twenty-four hours, she wakes up in a different world and her previous world pauses, only for her to pick up exactly where it left off when she shifts the next day. Both of her worlds are extremely different, though both have their drawbacks. In one world, she's Harvard-bound and incredibly rich. While she doesn't have the best relationship with either of her older brothers, she has a strong relationship with her mother and great friends as well as a boyfriend that makes her the envy of the school because they are the epitome of the perfect couple...even if she can't bring herself to love him and not be repulsed by his attempted sexual advances after dating for two years. In her other life, she dresses like a delinquent and has only one real friend. Her little sister is her entire world and her parents are rather detached and emotionless because they're so focused on their financial struggles and the demanding life of managing a drug store. While her situation may not be pleasant in this life, there's a boy...and he may be THE boy. His very existence turns her entire world and future plans upside down.

There is a weird kind of love triangle in this one, but because this is about alternate lives, it's sold in a really unique form that I enjoyed. Sabine didn't bring herself to consider one guy until things were over with the other, though she was constantly thinking about whichever guy she wasn't with because she felt as if she was hurting him despite the fact that she never had two boyfriends. Even she admitted that having two boyfriends in her separate lives would be wrong. She shuddered at the thought of eventually having two families. Going through high school twice was a challenge within itself in her eyes. Back to the boys, though. It's incredibly clear from the beginning that one of these boys was meant to be with her and the other wasn't. The process of getting there was rather surprising at times, but I have to say that I'm really happy with the way this romantic sub-plot progressed. Both potential love interests were incredibly different, which causes readers to lean towards one or the other immediately.

With that in mind, I have two small issues with the plot progression of this book. The first is that I guessed the huge twist at the end almost immediately. While this diminished my reading experience slightly, it also made me super excited because it was something I desperately wanted to happen. I figured that such a minor detail had to have been important if emphasis was placed on it for seemingly no reason. Boy, was my hunch correct. My other issue was the fact that there was a small case of insta-love here. The declaration of love came rather quickly timeline wise. But when I sat down and thought about it, I realized these two characters had been put through the wringer together and if literary soul mates existed, these two would be a perfect example so I can't even find it in myself to be mad. Neither issue ruins the book for me when such a thing typically would, and I think that this can attest to the fact that the tone of this book is absolutely addicting even though I know this is a case where I liked the book a lot more than my analytical brain thinks I should have.

All in all, this is a book where you temporarily suspend reality to allow it to be real. However, if you do that, Shirvington is about to take you on a wild ride. It's hard to find anyone who would believe you when you say you live two alternate lives, but Sabine is such a strong heroine that I loved her story, how she handled herself, and her struggles. For someone with such an insane life, this is a girl that, in the end, can be respected. Part of me almost wishes this was a duology because I don't want to let her go just yet, but at the same time I understand why Shirvington chose to end it where she did.

This is the perfect book to read if you want something unique that makes you question fate.

4 stars


FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any form in exchange for my honest review.


  1. I seriously loved this novel! I read it in a day - I just couldn't put it down. I didn't guess the ending until the last chapter, but it was just perfect. I finished it at work and had to leave my desk so I could do a happy dance in the bathroom!

    I enjoyed the fact that she went back and forth on which life was the "right life" and that Jessica was able to make me feel as torn as Sabine when it came to that. I do agree with you on the instalove, but something about how it was written made me not care - and instalove is usually a game ender for me. However, Ethan is adorable and I love him so.

    1. I read it in a single day too! I figured out the ending way early, which is why I couldn't give it five stars, but even with that in mind Shirvington had me wondering if my hunch was correct until the very last chapter, which I enjoyed.

      YES! I forgot to mention that in my review. I think both had their set backs and their draws, but I wasn't surprised that the life where she was more financially stable appealed to her more, you know?

      Ethan is adorable and this needs to become a duology. I AM TELLING YOU! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT LAST CHAPTER!

  2. I definitely have to get this one now (happy that it's out tomorrow, so now I don't have to wait at all). I absolutely adore anything to do with alternate realities and so this sounds totally amazing. I think I can deal with the love triangle in this, based on how you put it. Alternate reality love triangles don't really seem to bother me all that much.

    1. Alternate reality love triangles are rarely done wrong, if you ask me. It takes a lot to annoy me in alternate realities because the books are so complicated to begin with, but knowing you I genuinely think you'll enjoy this one, Blythe! I can't wait to stalk your blog to hear your thoughts.

  3. Alternative realities are something that really interests me. I really want to buy it now! I am bit annoyed by insta-love in books, but I hope it will indeed be logical case of insta-love. Moved it up on my wishlist!

    1. I mean...insta-love is NEVER logical. The mere concept of it goes against logic, but it's done in a believable manner because of the alternate realities. If not for these, then I would have taken a serious issue with the romance.