I am happy to be participating in the Inbetween Tour hosted by Shane at Itching for Books. For my spot today I have a review and a chance to win a signed copy of Inbetween by Tara Fuller. Make sure to enter at the end of the post.
Inbetween (Kissed by Death #1) by Tara Fuller
Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: August 28th 2012 by Entangled Teen.
Three and a half Stars: A love story that defies the odds!
Finn feels the pull indicating it is time to reap another soul. When he arrives on scene he instantly feels that something is wrong. Then he sees her. After seventeen long years he has found her again. He can't take her soul, not after all this time. A wicked laugh shrills through the air. Maeve is here to steal back the body that should have been hers. Finn begs Emma to fight to live. Emma crawls from the car and survives. Three years later, Finn has become her constant, ghostly protector. He fears that Maeve will make good on her promise and destroy the soul of the only girl he has ever loved. Finn refuses to let that happen even if that means he must risk his own eternal future, even if he ends up in the pits of Hell, it would be worth it to protect his girl. Meanwhile, Emma is struggling with her sanity. She feels like someone is always watching her and she has dreams she cannot explain. Not to mention all the near death misses she has survived over the last three years. Can true love transcend time and eternity? Will a reaper risk everything for this one girl?
What I Liked:
- I enjoyed the sweet romance that is at the heart of this story. Finn and Emma rekindle their love that sparked when Emma was Allison, a soul stuck in the Inbetween. The two fall in love despite the fact that a relationship between a reaper and a soul is forbidden. Then Finn makes a hasty move and shoves Allison into another body so he can ensure that she will have a future. Seventeen years passes before the sparks reignite. It is a romance that defies the odds and survives the passage of time and the forgetfulness of reincarnation. I loved the romantic element in this one.
- I liked the different reapers. Finn is a reaper that brings souls to the Inbetween, a place where souls go to hopefully earn another chance at life. Then there are reapers who ferry souls to Heaven while others take them to Hell. I was drawn to Easton the reaper who collects the souls of the damned. He is fun and caring and a loyal friend in spite of the fact that he spends his days picking up the deceased scum of the earth. You would think a reaper in his position would be cold and cruel, but that is not the case with Easton. Anaya his counterpart who takes the dead to Heaven is also a terrific friend to Finn.
- Cash, Emma's best friend, was my favorite secondary character. He and Emma have been best friends since they were six years old. He is handsome, sarcastic and above all a best friend to Emma through thick and thin. I love books that feature a boy and girl friendship.
- I loved that this book refrains from a love triangle and a cliffhanger ending!
- I enjoyed Ms. Fullmer's lovely writing. She presents many rich descriptions and her story flows nicely.
And The Not So Much:
- My biggest complaint for this book was lack of development and details. The secondary characters were all underdeveloped. I longed for the tiny details and descriptions that would give me a better understanding of the characters. For instance, who exactly is Balthasar? Obviously he is in a commanding position, but where does he fall in the whole Heaven and Hell hierarchy? How did Easton, Finn and Anaya get their reaper positions? Emma's mother Rachel was extremely underdeveloped. She makes the typical random motherly appearances but the reader never gets a sense of how she dealt with the death of Emma's father. Finally, Maeve the villain, a better understanding of her character was needed.
- The book opens with a car crash that kills Emma's father and then it skips ahead three years without filling in the gaps. What happened to Emma after the car crash? Why did she end up in a mental hospital? How did she cope with her father's death? How many near death experiences did she have?
- As much as I liked Finn, I felt like I was missing something. Mostly I longed to know more about his life and death and what happened to him after he died and how he became a reaper for the Inbetween.
- This book presents some interesting ideas on the afterlife, but again they are not fully realized. When a soul dies it is reaped and taken to Heaven, Hell or the Inbetween. The Inbetween is a holding area for those souls who passed away at a young age and did not have chance to fully develop. It seems that they are contained in limbo until they are chosen to be reborn. Sometimes they are not picked to reincarnate and their is a brief mention of the soul residing in the shadow lands and it didn't seem to be a nice place. Again I needed details.....How long can a soul stay in the Inbetween? What is the shadowlands? What happens to a soul once it is sent to the shadowlands? I loved the ideas presented but they lacked in the execution.
Inbetween is an enjoyable read that presents you with a complicated love story that extends beyond death and shows how much someone is willing to sacrifice to protect the one he loves. Finn is a remarkable character with a genuine good heart. If you are looking for a book that features reapers and a sweet romance give this book a try.
"I could see the neat row of cookbooks, nestled together like a family, holding all of the secrets Emma created in the kitchen. They smelled like flour and sugar and home."
"Emma had so many words insider her. I was surprised they didn't fall out while she was sleeping."
"The sunrise, just a pale echo of summer, edged over the horizon and poured through my translucent body, refusing to acknowledge my existence with a shadow."
"The crackling hiss of a bonfire and the tawny glow that suffused the trees led the way. I glanced around at the melting shadows that dripped from the dying hemlocks and sturdy pines. Under the safe blanket of daylight, the mountains here were beautiful. But here in the dark, all I saw was a thousand ways to die."
"Something in me said to stay. Something in me said to run. And every inch of me wanted to touch him."
"Nothing always means something with girls."
"The needle gave life to the music, and Billie Holliday's butterscotch-rich voice wafted into the air around me. I swayed, unable to stop myself. I remembered the smell of flour and sugar on Mama's hands, the cadence of Henry's laughter as it mixed with mine."
"I lost myself in the moment. Lips tangling, our breaths mixing and melting on my tongue. His kisses felt so good, his lips so gloriously solid against mine, it took my breath away."
"Please don't tell me you met him on the internet. Have you even met the guy in person? They never look like their pictures. He could have a mullet. He could have a third nipple or something--."
"Snowflakes probably. Even from my bed I could see the eerie ballet of white dust against the black velvet sky outside."
"You lit up my whole world, like the sun bursting through the clouds on a stormy day. You made me remember what it was like to feel alive. You made me believe I was something more than death. You made me believe in something I didn't think existed anymore."
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review. A big thanks to Shane for allowing me to particpate in the tour. Now for the giveaway. Please fill out the rafflecopter for your chance to win! Good Luck!
Tara Fuller writes novels; some about grim reapers and some about witches. All of course are delightfully full of teen angst and kissing. Tara grew up in a one stop light town in Oklahoma where once upon a time she stayed up with a flash light reading RL Stine novels and only dreamed of becoming a writer. She has a slight obsession with music and a shameless addiction for zombie fiction, Mystery Science Theater, and black and white mochas. Tara no longer lives in a one stop light town. Now she lives with her family in a slightly larger town in North Carolina where they have at least three stoplights.
Inbetween will be available to purchase August 28th: