Grade: 5 stars out of 5 (BUY IT)
Before picking up Between Here and Forever, I urge readers to read or reread Bloom, Scott’s debut novel. No, it’s not because I love that book (well partially yes), but because Lauren (Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf) pointed that the characters from Bloom make a reappearance. After making that connection, Between Here and Forever became so much…more in a way. Anyway I’ll gush about that later on.
Between Here and Forever focuses on Abby and her relationship with her sister Tess. Abby is always in the shadow of perfect, prefect Tess. Tess is always so careful, but fate decides to be ironic. Tess decides to leave a bit later from a party to avoid riding with a drunk, but on her way home she gets into a car accident. The car slips on black ice. Now Tess is in a coma and Abby is desperate to wake her up even if it means asking a random stranger, Eli, to talk to Tess. Only so Tess can leave.Between Here and Forever rekindled by love for Scott’s works. This is really similar to Bloom where the main character has low self-esteem, somewhat overshadowed, and is afraid to be happy for the sake of happiness. Abby is constantly in the shadow of Tess even when Tess is in a coma. Her sister is perfect in Abby’s eyes and she’s nothing much in comparison. Between Here and Forever uses simple words to express dark feelings that pulls readers in. While Abby doesn’t turn to cutting, starving herself, or other very serious actions, she lives invisibly. Without a real goal, very close friends, or the drive to be who she can be, Abby isn’t truly living. Between Here and Forever emphsizes that no one is perfect—not Tess, not Abby—but there will be someone who thinks you are. And when you find that person be happy.
Another important element in Between Here and Forever is Eli. Eli has OCD and a mix heritage: “I’m half Japanese, part black—and this is what counts in Milford—part white….I don’t like being divided into little pieces of color” (101). That last line speaks for itself; it’s a strong sentence but comprised of very simple words. Eli’s OCD is part of Eli but doesn’t make him, him. I think Scott does a great job of depicting his life and his hardships and how it affects others’ viewpoints of him. Eli is a great hero for all his faults because he’s a supportive character who’s nice, gentle, and flusters easily.
Elizabeth Scott also doesn’t poke lightly on sexuality—particularly lesbianism—and death and teenage pregnancy. These two things build up the foundation of some of the side plots and characteristics. In ways I don’t appreciate living in a big city for all its advantages until someone points it.
Okay so going back to Bloom and its connection to Between Here and Forever. I really urge you to be familiar with the book because it brings to light some minor details that will cast Between Here and Forever that will elevate the book. At first I really liked the book but now I love the book. My heart broke more than once, but it also fluttered because you get a sort of happily ever after that I wasn’t expecting. For all its dark elements I can’t help but smile. And be giddy. And reread the book like a million times over again.
Source: unsolicited ARC from Simon Pulse
Published: 2011 May 4; hardcover