Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Between Now & Never by Laura Johnston (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

 In association with I Am A Reader Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Between Now & Never by Author Laura Johnston!

Between Now & Never

Book Review

Between now and never

Between Now & Never by Laura Johnston
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Format: Paperback - 315 pages
               Kindle - 1230 KB
               Nook - 1002 KB
ISBN: 978-1601833532
Genre: Contemporary YA Romance

Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble 

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.

Book Description:

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…

Praise for Between Now & Never:

“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

Book Excerpt:

Excerpt 1— Photo Booth 


We listen to the monotone voice reel off instructions. Four pictures. A light will flash before each picture is taken. Etcetera. How I ended up in this position I’m not sure. We both sit, staring at our reflections on the dark plastic and, no doubt, both stuck on the same thought that crosses everyone’s mind when they’re on this seat.

“Quick,” I say, “what should we do?”

A flash of light. Picture one down. Both of our mouths were hanging open, blank stares straight ahead.

We burst into laughter and can’t stop. A second flash. Picture number two: both of us laughing.

Our gazes meet and we pull ourselves together, his eyes never veering from mine. He leans toward me, coming halfway before pausing, his eyes seeking permission. I regard him with equal parts terror and anticipation, the intimacy of the situation whispering a thrill. He closes the distance between us and glides his nose through my hair. My heart rattles around as though this is the first boy I’ve ever been close to.

“Now smile,” he whispers into my ear. Even if I should be creeped out, forget it. My cheeks burn despite myself and I feel the corners of my lips tugging upward. A flash of light signals the third picture and I am totally seduced.

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.


About The Author

  Laura Rewind to You Author

Author Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids.

Contest Giveaway

Win A $50 Amazon Gift Card

Blog Tour Giveaway:

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/26/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Between Now & Never by Laura Johnston ~ Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Click on the above link for the tour schedule.

Between Now & Never


  1. Thank you for participating in the blog tour and thank you for your review! I appreciate your help in spreading the word about BETWEEN NOW & NEVER. :)

    1. Hi Laura! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour.