Between Now & Never by Laura Johnston
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Format: Paperback - 315 pages
Kindle - 1230 KB
Nook - 1002 KB
Genre: Contemporary YA Romance
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by I Am A Reader Blog Tours.
Buh boom, buh boom.
My heart thrusts with a force that takes me by surprise. Telling me something I don’t understand. A splitting pain, a longing to slip back under. They tell me I was in a hit-and-run, but I can’t remember what happened that night. All I know is that I woke up with pictures in my pocket, a card from one of those photo booths in the mall. And I’m in the pictures. Cody Rush. Me and…
Her brother was there that night, and my dad, the FBI agent, was the one who put her mom behind bars. What’s the connection? And why won’t Julianna talk to me now? Somehow, she holds the key to it all, and getting close–real close—to her for the answers I need will be no hardship at all…
“A romance that will keep teens turning pages.” ~ Janette Rallison
"This was a lot different than I was expecting and I was honestly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. The cover led me to believe this would be a cute, love story but it was a suspenseful and gripping read." ~ Review from Goodreads
“Best book I read all year! On the edge of your seat suspense, heartwarming romance, and characters to cheer for—Between Now and Never is one you won’t want to miss.” ~Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Saga
"I had the privilege to read BETWEEN NOW AND NEVER when it was in manuscript form. I loved loved loved it from page one! Laura Johnson is such a talented author -- really looking forward to reading more of her work!" ~Kay Lynn Mangum, author of The Secret Journal of Brett Colton
My Book Review:
Between Now & Never is an enjoyable YA romance story with a suspenseful twist added into the mix.
Author Laura Johnston weaves an intriguing tale set in Gilbert, Arizona, and written in the first person narrative that alternates between high school seniors Cody Rush and Julianna Schultz. The readers follow Cody and Julianna as their worlds unexpectedly collide, and they have to deal with family drama, romantic tension and angst, tragic pasts, and danger from drug dealers.
Cody and his family recently moved from Scotsdale to Gilbert. He is a high school senior and star basketball player, who is one of the top college prospects. He befriends fellow high school basketball standout and top prospect Vic Schultz, but their friendship goes downhill when Cody realizes that his FBI agent father has put Vic's mother in prison for mortgage fraud, and Cody is unknowingly drawn into a drug deal by Vic, that results in Cody becoming involved in a hit-n-run, beaten up, and left in a sand storm by a couple of local drug dealers. When Cody awakens in the hospital with a fractured leg, he doesn't remember anything that happened to him that night. Cody sees a set of photo booth pictures of him and Vic's sister Julianna that was taken at the mall that fateful night, and he tries to get Julianna to help him piece together what happened to him, but Julianna won't have any of it when she discovers that it was Cody's father who was responsible for sending her mom to prison, and putting her family's life into a downward tailspin. As Cody and Julianna fight the obvious attraction they have for each other, Cody starts having flashbacks, while Julianna unknowingly holds the key to the answers that he seeks.
Between Now & Never is more than just your usual YA romance story, it is a multi-layered tale that is full of intrigue, suspense, danger, and tragic family drama. The reader follows Cody and Julianna as their worlds unexpectedly collide and are drawn together by a set of circumstances that intertwines romance and danger as Cody tries to fill in the pieces to the puzzle of what happened to him, while Julianna is desperately trying to keep her family afloat since her mother was sent to prison. As their story unfolds, the reader gets a glimpse into their very different lives, and how their unexpected meeting brings to the surface their tragic pasts, family drama, secrets, and a dangerous run in with local drug dealers that puts them into some pretty rough situations, but it also brings an unlikely friendship and heartwarming romance.
While the story slowly builds, it does at times get to be unnecessarily repetitive (by this I mean the numerous times that the reader is reminded that Cody's dad was responsible for busting Julianna's mom), but the intriguing twists and turns intertwined with teenage angst will have you forgetting that as it keeps you turning the pages and guessing what will happen next until the satisfying conclusion.
RATING: 4 STARS
About The Author
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Between Now & Never by Laura Johnston ~ Virtual Book Tour Schedule
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