Review: One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

Title: One Past Midnight
Publication:  July 22, 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Reviewed by: Isalys
Rating:  5 Stars
Reason for Reviewing:  ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
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?

Sabine is unlike anyone she's ever known.  Every night, at precisely midnight, she is transported to a parallel world where she lives an entirely different life for 24 hours.  Her name and physical appearance remain the same, but she has different families, different friends, different lifestyles. In her Roxbury life, she's a bit of a punk/delinquent who has a strained relationship with her family but a little sister she adores.  In her Wellesley life, she's a rich socialite who despite her parent's divorce, maintains a good relationship with both of them, although her big brothers are jerks to her. She, along with her two best friends, rule the school and is of course dating the most popular boy!  She's spent 18 years of her life bouncing from one life to another and she hates it.

Sabine wants nothing more than to be normal.  To have one life, no matter how imperfect it may be that she can focus all her attention on; one life where the people in it know who she really, truly is (not this person with the world's biggest secret).  She's accepted the duality of her life if only because she can't do anything about it, until one little glitch changes everything.

One day while hanging out with a friend in her Roxbury life, she trips and breaks her arm.  That night, at midnight, she "quantum leaps" into her Wellesley life fully expecting her injury to carry over as it always does except that this time, it didn't.  She hatches a dangerous plan to begin testing her theory that if she can eliminate one version of herself, she can carry on as the other.

What really got my attention when I decided to read this book was the notion of one person living parallel lives.  I'd never read a book set in parallel worlds before and I'm so glad I started with this one.  I really admired Sabine's ability to be so strong and composed while managing her two vastly different lives without confusing her memories or blowing her cover.  It would be a lot for anyone to keep up with!  I loved that Jessica Shirvington managed to write the same person in two entirely different lights and still make her wholly likable in both.

The plot is seemingly simple. To try to find a way to rid herself of one life so she can live the other...but how do you decide which life is the one worth living?  Do you go with the obvious choice if it means losing people you love but gaining uncertainties?  She thinks she knows which one she wants to live out, but in trying to determine if this is even possible for her, things begin to shift and the life that she thought she no longer wanted is now far more appealing when a guy named Ethan walks into it....and most importantly, tells her he believes her and he believes in her!

There are two guys in Sabine's lives; one in each respectively.  But it's Ethan in her Roxbury life that steals the show and her heart (and mine too!).  What started as a friendship not only evolved into love, but into something so meaningful and profound that it changes her entire view on the meaning of life!  Toward the end of the book, Jessica Shirvington wrote one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful scenes I had ever read, and I relived those moments in my memory long past my bedtime.
By the end, I think I had more questions than answers, like why did Sabine have two lives? Was she the only one or did other people also have multiple lives and just didn't know it?  You know what though, I was okay with that because these are some pretty heavy questions and if our first-person narrator doesn't know the answer than I can't expect to know it either.  I guess there are some mysteries that life prefers to keep a secret!

One Past Midnight is a wonderfully written, riveting, and unquestionably clever story filled with unexpected twists that will have YOU thinking about the depth of life and love.



  1. This almost sounds a little like West's book Pivot Point. Where she lives two different lives to see which one she is going to pick at the end. I do love this author though and want to read this one so thanks for the great review!

  2. I love that cover and really hope to read this and other books by the author soon. Great review!

  3. I loved this book, too! Glad to see another fan. :-)

  4. I love books about parallel universes, but I didn't know about this one. And it sounds amazing!
    I'll have to add it to my TBR pile!.Thanks for the review!


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