Scott, Elizabeth. Between Here and Forever.
First Simon Pulse. New York: Simon Pulse, 2011. Print.
Between Here and Forever
Written by: Elizabeth Scott
Reviewed by: Tiffany Lam
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
Like any other, all Abby wanted was for her sister to wake up from her coma—just not for the right reason. Ever since Tess had gotten into that car accident, Abby has been thrown into the spotlight of pity and false kindness. All her life, Abby was cloaked beneath the shadow of her preeminent older sister, and after several attempts to establish her own name, she always failed to overcome her sister’s status. Tess was the epitome of what every girl wanted to be, who every guy wanted to be with, and the child parents would be more than glad to have.
Abby, however, saw herself as a prop. Always being used, always being sabotaged and discouraged by classmates and so-called friends that only talked to Abby to get closer to Tess. The only good that came out of being under Tess’s shadow was that Abby understood her identity: Tess’s younger sister. Although it may seem obvious and totally simplistic of Abby to think that, it was true. Abby knew she would always be “Tess’s Younger Sister”, no more and no less. It still didn’t change when Tess was placed in the hospital—even though she was in a coma, there were still people who wondered and fascinated about Tess and when she was going to be released out of the hospital. It never stopped; it never ended. Everywhere Abby went, there was always talk about Tess, good or bad. Whether it be in their small town of Ferrisville, or other neighboring cities, there’s always talk about Tess. And now, after being tired of never-ending questions about Tess and being given fake sympathy, Abby wants Tess to wake up. Now.
Enter Eli—an exquisitely mysterious, seventeen-year-old that just so happened to pop in at the right time. Abby and Eli meet through mutual relationships in the hospital, and Abby hatches a proposal that could make everything go back to the way it was: Make Tess wake up, and Eli will fall in love with the greatest person in the world. It was so bizarre and unrealistic to Eli, but to Abby, it was the greatest plan ever. She’d get her bland, unattractive life back; Tess would be awake and alive as ever; and she and Eli could run off into the sunset together like they were meant to be—like it always is. Except when things go wrong, they go wrong in the most undesirable way possible. Turns out, Tess has been hiding secrets that only seemed to start lurking more towards the surface. And to add to that, Eli doesn’t seem to be in the plan for Tess. Instead, he sees Abby, and this only makes Abby’s mind run back and forth even more. So far, this might not be the best plan Abby was so sure of.
Between Here and Forever revolves around Abby and how she’s starting to discover her true identity, rather than assuming who she is. She faces the truth of who Tess was, and what she’d been hiding for so long. Reality starts to come hurling down onto Abby, who begins to feel the pressure of what she’s been holding onto during the whole story. Eli reveals his own self, and his feelings towards Abby, who finally starts to realize that she wasn’t only Tess’s shadow the whole time. Everything is being reconsidered, and with so many complex questions and loose strings, the reader can only hope to understand the actuality of Abby and Tess’s problematic lives.
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