For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she shifts to her 'other' life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she's a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she's considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.
With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments that bring her dangerously close to the life she's always wanted. But if she can only have one life, which is the one she'll choose?
Sabine has two lives, swapping between them every night. In one she's a grunge kid, with a little sister and hark working parents. In the other she's a rich kid with two older brothers and divorced parents. A promising start for a strange psychological thriller and it was very intriguing. However, it didn't progress the way I thought it would. There were a couple of things that changed the course of the story very early: one was that she immediately tried experiments after she broke her arm in one world but not the other; the second was she told her parents the truth and they had her admitted to a mental hospital!
I mostly liked Sabine, she had a very strange life but did what she had to do to survive. But there were a couple of moments that were a bit difficult to read, one was she didn't even seem to question that the life she wanted was the one where she was rich. She had an amazing best friend and little sister in one world but that's the one that she cut herself and got admitted! I didn't like Sabine for that, for not seeing beyond the trouble-free life, even though she had a perfect boyfriend despite not liking him. I didn't understand why she thought that was the life she would stay in, it wasn't all that perfect.
She meets Ethan in the grunge/mental hospital world, who seems to be the only person who doesn't think she's crazy. Through a series of odd little tasks, Sabine wins him over and they grow close. I really liked Ethan, he was completely charming and had these thought-provoking, larger than life questions that confounded me.
But what really got to me was the ending. Oh, it was completely heartbreaking! I don't want to give too much away, but Sabine and Ethan were adorable together and then it all went wrong. The story wasn't just about the romance, it had family issues and discussed the meaning of life and the illusion of perfection. A bit of a strange start but I grew to love it. A great twist of contemporary romance and science fiction.
Published 8th July 2014 by Orchard Books. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.