Author: Tara A. Fuller
Published: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
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.
- Christina places this book on her third shelf.
**Note** An eBook of this title was provided by the publishers via Net Galley. However, that did not influence this review in any way.
This story closely follows the tale of a reaper named Finn. He’s a former WWII pilot who lost his life in combat and then finds himself sentenced to be a personal escort for the souls destined to land in the Inbetween instead of securing himself a spot in Hell for the murders he committed in the war. The Inbetween is a grey realm where souls go to await their sentence– Heaven, Hell, the Shadow Lands, or reincarnation– when they were too young to have matured into the person they were supposed to be. Once upon a time, Finn was sent to collect a soul, Allison, and upon dropping her off at the gates of the Inbetween, she made a simple request for him to come back to see her. Even though there are strict rules about Reapers having a relationship with humans/souls, over time, Finn can’t help but finding himself falling for her, and this ends up dooming Allison’s soul. With a ten year shelf life in the Inbetween, Finn watches Allison become a dreaded Shadow and finding himself out of options, he does the unthinkable. He pushes her through the portal and allows her soul to be reincarnated in the place of another soul, Maeve, and this sets in motion a chain of events that makes for an interesting story.
Fifteen years goes by and Finn has only the hope that Allison is out there existing among the living, but he holds on to the love that he has for her. It’s only when he’s called to a wreck, where he finds a father and his daughter, Emma, that his world comes to a grinding halt and his hope quickly evaporates. What are the chances that Emma is Allison’s soul reincarnated and that he’s been sent to collect her soul for a second time? It seems impossible, but that’s the case; however, he’s not letting her die without a fight. He may save her this time, but the bitter, angry Maeve has been waiting all this time, and now that Finn’s lead her directly to the body that was suppose to be her second chance at life, she’s going to do everything in her power to get back the life that she feels was rightfully hers all those years ago.
Never having read a reaper story prior to this, I jumped at the chance to get to preview of this title. The premise seemed like something that had a lot of imagination, so I was excited to get to read it. The beginning started off a bit slow for me, but eventually picked up towards the end, and I actually think I may have ended up liking the book because of this. The biggest problem was that I found the romance to be a bit lackluster, if not predictable in the aspect of “the crazy relationship with all these obstacles so it’ll never work, but somehow it does,’ yet it was good enough to keep me reading. The main characters, Finn and Emma, were only marginally developed and I felt like they could have been interchangeable with any story. There wasn’t anything that really stood out to me about them, and I found it rather difficult to connect to their characters. In fact, it was the secondary characters- Heaven reaper, Anaya; Hell reaper, Easton; a Emma’s best friend, Cash- that stole the spotlight in every scene they were featured in, and I felt a greater pull to their circumstances and story-lines.
I will say that I enjoyed Fuller’s creative versions of Heaven, Hell, and the Inbetween. I could easily picture the worlds she described, and oddly enough, found myself drawn to these aspects of the story. Had she wrote more about Finn’s and Allison’s time in the Inbetween, I think I would have enjoyed the book a bit more. It was a greater tragic, heartfelt love story and the brief glimpses we were given of the time Finn and Allison shared together there that seemed to be where I connected to them and pulled for their love the most.
All this being said, I will say that I think I’m in the minority with my opinion and shelf-rating. Inbetween gets raving reviews on Goodreads, and perhaps this just isn’t the story for me. I didn’t necessarily dislike it, but I wasn’t in a hurry to finish it either.
- A very special thanks to Entangled and Net Galley for allowing me to preview this title. It’ll be available on Tuesday, August 28th.