Monday, December 9, 2013

Betwixt Series Review, Blog Tour, & Giveaway

(Betwixt #1)
by Melissa Pearl
Publication Date: November 5, 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult

Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well.

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it’s too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?


My Thoughts:

I've been wanting to read this ever since it came out, so when I got the email for this blog tour I was really excited.  I don't read a lot of paranormal romance, but what I have read I've really liked.  This one definitely kept my attention.

Nicole is a popular, party girl.  Even though she has tons of friends and everyone wants to be like her, she feels alone and dead inside.  She goes out partying one night and when she wakes up the next day she's a ghost... well sort of.  She is hovering in some place between life and death.  Her body is badly hurt and no one can see her spirit.  Then she finds that Dale, a boy who she's humiliated in the past, is the only one who can hear her.  Dale being the nice guy that he is, makes it his mission to help Nicole find her body and save her from her injuries, the elements, and the person who put her where she is.

I really liked the mystery of this book.  The intense and dire situation that Nicole was in made me fly through it.  I was glad that the book was a shorter one, because I found myself so worried about this girl laying somewhere in the woods alone.  I mean an animal could come by, she could bleed to death, not to mention there were other people who wanted to make sure she didn't get out of there.  It was definitely intense.

My thing was (sorry but I had a thing) I wanted there to be more mystery to what happened to Nicole.  When we were introduced to the person responsible for Nicole's predicament, I knew immediately that this person was the one.  There were too many things that maybe the author thought were small, that to me were glaring.  I didn't like the preachy nature of Dale.  I found him to be a little bit of a stalker and too much of a do-gooder type.  I don't like it when a guy in a book acts like he's in love with a girl, but then reveals he can only give her the time of day if she completely changes.  I'm not saying Nicole didn't need to change, but clearly Dale was only overly physically attracted to her and nothing else.  I don't buy the whole "I can tell you're different" crap.  You can't tell if someone you don't know is different or if she's just like that.

This book also suffered from the dreaded telling and not showing.  Nicole especially did this.  In spite of that though, I really liked Nicole.  I liked how she was able to re-evaluate her life even though she wasn't sure if she was going to make it out of there.  The story of self-loathing and acceptance really got to me and that was my favorite part.

OVERALL:  A book with a good message and just an okay romance.  The mystery of what happened to Nicole and if she was going to survive was intense and made me read this really fast.  It's definitely a fast-paced enjoyable book if you can overlook Dale's judgy-ness.

(Betwixt # 0.5)
Novella 1-Prequel
by Melissa Pearl
Publication Date: September 17, 2013

Dale Finnigan is a teenage rebel; he lives for parties, girls and joy riding in stolen cars. In spite of his uptight parents' constant warnings and lectures, he continues to run wild. His crazy lifestyle is the only way he can live and feel free… Until his reckless behavior takes him down a path where there is no going back.

In this prequel to BETWIXT, find out who Dale Finnigan was before he became known as“scar-face”—the unassuming hero everyone underestimates.

WARNING: This book is intended for mature teens due to coarse language and mature content.


My Thoughts:

This is the story of Dale "Before" he came to know Nicole and "Before" the scars.  Dale is a confused 15-year-old who is having a hard time being "the preacher's kid".  In this book you get to see what lead to Dale's ultimate lowest point and what drives him to want to change.

I am a rebel at heart, so usually I don't connect with books that judge teenage behavior as "bad".  Yes a lot of choices Dale made were not ideal, but most teens go through a rebellious phase.  People need to try out different things before they can figure out who they are... parents just have to hope that they make it out without something terrible happening.  As a parent myself, I look back on things I did when I was younger as stupid and crazy.  But I wouldn't change them.  I had a buttload of fun and made so many insane memories.  I guess what I'm saying is that this series is all about consequence.  If someone doesn't live a pure, angelic life, they're going to have harsh consequences.  And I'm not saying that is unrealistic.  Many teens have terrible consequences to breaking the rules... but I'm not a fan of "lessons" books.  On the other hand, I really enjoyed Dale much better in this book than I did in Betwixt.  He was much more of a person to me.  

If you've read Betwixt, you definitely need to read Dale's back-story.  I liked seeing how Dale got his scars and what led him to want to help Nicole.  It was cool to see how his story related to hers.  How his parents were completely opposite of hers, yet he still ended up on the same path.

(Betwixt # 1.5)
Novella 2
by Melissa Pearl
Publication Date: October 20, 2013

Have you ever been so in love with someone, but not had the courage to tell them?

Nicole Tepper is that girl. She loves her boyfriend Dale, but fearing rejection, keeps her feelings buried deep. She can’t even let on how heartbroken she is when Dale begins applying for colleges thousands of miles away from her; never even whispering a word about how much she wishes he would stay close.

But, when Dale is rejected from Columbia University in NYC, due to a police record that follows him wherever he goes, Nicole soon discovers that love can drive her to do things she never thought possible.

There's more than one way to say, I love you and Nicole Tepper is about to prove to Dale that she loves him beyond all common sense.


My Thoughts:

When Betwixt ended, I was definitely curious what was going to happen to this couple as time went on.  This Novella gave me the closure that I was looking for.  Dale is trying to go for his dream: to get into Columbia.  Nicole wants to support him, but New York is a long way from California.  She struggles with wanting Dale to get everything he wants, and not wanting to lose him.  Even though neither has said the "L" word yet, Nicole knows she loves Dale.  And loving him means wanting him to be happy.  After realizing that, Nicole sets on a mission to make Columbia happen for Dale.

I think I may have liked this book the best in the series.  It was about their next steps in life and learning to be in a meaningful relationship.  Nicole really wanted to do this Columbia thing for Dale and it was completely self-less, which showed how far she'd come.  She still struggled with issues, but she was willing to give love a shot.  Dale wasn't in this book as much, but he was not as near up-tight as he was in Betwixt.  It was nice to see him just being a person instead of an example that Nicole was supposed to follow.

If you've read Betwixt, it is nice to see what happens to all the characters (including Adam and his dad). 


Maybe I didn't get the true message in this series.  Maybe it's supposed to be about hitting rock bottom and how life and death situations make you see things more clearly.  The rebel in my heart wanted to rebel at being told to follow the rules and live a pure life.  But that could just be something that's in me and not necessarily what the book was actually saying.  I would like to think that this is more about learning from mistakes than it is preachy.  There is a religious element to it, so maybe that's why I automatically cringe?  Anyway I did enjoy reading all 3 of these books even if I didn't agree with every message I was getting.  I think the urgency of Nicole being close to death drove Betwixt and allowed me to get involved in a book about things that normally I wouldn't like.


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for such a thorough review. I loved reading your thoughts. You are right, this book is about the beauty of learning from mistakes and how precious a second chance can be.
    Thanks for your time. I'm glad you enjoyed the series :)