Review: Between Now & Never by Laura Johnston

Between Now & NeverBetween Now & Never
by Laura Johnston
YA Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 336 Pages
March 31st 2015 by KENSINGTON

Summary

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…

Julianna.

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…

  

My Review

I don't know exactly what I was expecting with Johnston's sophomore release, but Between Now & Never was much more than it. I should have known after loving her debut, Rewind To You, last year. Between Now & Never had a lot of tension, both in the usual romantic sense and in a more unusual danger/suspenseful sense. The two main characters were opposites in so many ways and there was a lot that their relationship had to bridge. There was everything I look for in a contemporary YA: tension, intrigue, depth, fully-fleshed characters and ones that I loved and connected with, an interesting plot, and romance that built while remaining sweet, but also bringing some sparks. Boy, were there sparks!

Let me start off by saying that the plot was unexpected. It literally blew up and completely shocked me. I just wasn't quite prepared for it, but it was also amazing and handled so well. I felt so immersed in the story and in these characters with their thoughts and actions. The tension... I wasn't sure if I could hold in my screams. I mean run or do something or... Yeah. Definitely a roller-coaster of emotions with this one. Then things drastically change and there is a continual tension as everything builds up as Cody and Julianna (I love his nickname for her: Jules) begin to piece things together and become such great friends. The tension never really lets up because even when things are smooth for a little bit, questions lurked in the back of my mind about different characters and what would happen.

I loved these characters! Cody is such a golden boy. I loved his humor, confidence, charm, strength, determination, but also his vulnerability. He has a fantastic family. They're not perfect, but they're tight. I also loved Julianna. She hides behind her spunk and fiery temper, but it's really her coping mechanism as she tries to deal with what life has handed her. Her family is pretty much falling apart and it was so tough to watch and not want it to get fixed. I was so proud of Vic at one point towards the end. Cody and Julianna just work. They hit it off and the chemistry is there and they fit. It felt so natural, but I loved, loved that they become such good friends and they hold off on anything romantic, which also just builds that tension.

Between Now & Never was a story full of heartbreak, characters figuring out who they'll be, friendship, family, and a sweet and driven romance that brought out all of my emotions. If you enjoy reading contemporary YA then I'd highly recommend this one! I'd recommend it if you enjoy reading contemporary romance or women's fiction as well.

Content: Clean. There was some violence and innuendo, but still clean.

Source: From the author/publisher through NetGalley, which did not affect my review in any way.


Did you read Laura's other book, Rewind to You? Have you read this one? What do you think? You can also read a short excerpt and enter the tour giveaway here.


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