Review: The Space Between Heartbeats

The Space Between Heartbeats
The Space Between Heartbeats by Melissa Pearl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release date: September 8, 2015

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?

The Space Between Heartbeats (or Betwixt, as it was earlier known) is about a girl who is hanging between life and death, and while figuring out what and how happened to her, she has the realization of how far she has let her life spiral. Nicole, still mourning with guilt, has let her life be one large party – being with people who are superficial, because she just doesn’t want them looking deeper. But when she is actually in danger, she realizes how wrong she was to let it all numb her. At first, it seems like she enjoys the life, but it’s a means of escape for her; she just wants to punish herself. She is outright mean, because she thinks she isn’t good. Dale, on the other hand, is a changed person, from his own past, and is one of the people who cares for her. Since he is the only one who is able to hear/see her, he tries to find her body. Along the way, they learn a lot about each other, and she particularly learns that there are better ways of mending, and how to move on.

The story is of Nicole waking up from her sad little headspace, and realizing that some people still love her and that everything is not a lost cause. This book, is big on the message of making the best of second chances. Dale uses his baggage to be better, while she was using hers to torture herself. Their relationship was bound to happen, with sparks flying from the first mention of him. There is also the fact that they both have touched death, and are changed from it – a fact that draws them together. The writing, however, is where I wasn’t fully happy with, in this book. Considering it is from a first person narrative, it gets too bogged down by describing everything in the book, as opposed to letting it unfold and let the reader realize it. The narrative style would have suited a third person perspective better, rather than making Nicole seem to be explaining everything to a reader. Overall, it’s a good contemporary read, with a good message.

Received a free galley from Alloy Entertainment via Netgalley; this does not influence my opinions or review.

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