Book Review: One Past Midnight

Book Review: One Past MidnightOne Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books on July 22nd 2014
Pages: 368
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Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is...

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 which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?

thoughtGoing into One Past Midnight, I expected parallel universes. Maybe something supernatural. Maybe something dealing with science. I never had a concrete idea in my head as to what exactly One Past Midnight would be, but I knew it sounded a little different from what I had been reading lately.

The story centers on Sabine. The girl with two lives. As long as she can remember, every day at midnight, she switches worlds. Different life. Different family. Basically, a different girl completely. Except, Sabine knows that she is switching lives. Knows that come midnight, she is leaving one life behind for the next 24 hours for the other. Sabine thinks she is the only one with different lives. The only one who can do what she can.

The beginning of One Past Midnight was really interesting for me. I loved this idea of living two lives basically at the same time. Sabine’s frustrations felt so real. Her struggle to maintain her identity, and even later, when she tries testing the boundaries of what she could and could not do. Layer of upon layer added to each other to create an engaging and complex story.

However, it is important to note that if you are wanting any solid answers to Sabine’s condition scientifically or otherwise, you will not find them here. That fact both frustrated and liberated me as a reader. It was frustrating in that I wanted to know more. How does this happen to her? Why? Is there really no one else out there like her? Yet, as I began to realize that One Past Midnight was not going to answer my burning questions, I gave in. I accepted the read for what it is, and not what it lacked. As the romance started to take over, the questions that I had had little by little floated away. All I was left with was a supernatural-ish romance that was unexpected.

The romance steals the show.

I will say that if the supernatural element of One Past Midnight frustrates you, then you may find the romance to be the title’s redeeming feature. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t over the top. It was sweet. Two people trying to find their places in life. Coming together in their hour of need. Finding that one person who can give you what you didn’t even know you needed. For me, the romance and its quirks make One Past Midnight memorable.


A sweet romance with a side of a little supernatural. Recommend with some reservations.

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3 responses to “Book Review: One Past Midnight

  1. Glad you liked it! I read it earlier this week and enjoyed it as well. (Though I can totally see why no explanation would be a bit frustrating!)
    I was surprised how much I did like it and how gripping the story and romance was.
    Great review!

  2. What a fascinating premise but I can see some dangers there. Ultimately I wouldn’t pick it up because I would fear repetition and it sounds even with the cool premise to be essentially still contemporary.

  3. I haven’t ever read anything like this but I’ve seen this book around so maybe I’ll have to pick this up! I haven’t read anything like this or parallel universes or anything so I’m still not sure if this is the kind of book I’ll love!

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