Tonight’s Friday Night Freebie is:
TWO e-copies of BETWIXT
by Melissa Pearl
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?
Betwixt is an amazing story of one young girl’s brush with death and her journey to self-realization and acceptance. Nicole Tepper had a lot going for her – she lives in a nice neighborhood, she’s socially popular at school, she has a hot boyfriend, and she’s pretty.
You’d think that’s all it takes to be happy. But Nicole is not even close to happy. She’s been acting out since the death of her sister two years prior and in her mind, she grabbed life with gusto, pointed her head towards the wind, and pushed on.
OK, she did do that. She just did it in all the wrong ways. And now that she’s on the brink of death after being hit by a car because her ‘boyfriend” was trying to grope her and she wasn’t interested- her bad choices are literally coming back to haunt her.
This is sort of a paranormal book, but not really. Nicole is hit by a car and left for dead on the side of the road and she’s in a lot of pain. Unimaginable pain, maybe. She lifts out of her body and finds herself able to move around her town, but the only person in the whole darn place who can hear her is a boy she belittled and teased with a very cruel nickname due to a scar on his face. A boy who liked her but who is not about to put up with her cruelty just to have her as a friend.
And now Nicole needs him. Desperately needs him because even though she never came home from a party the night before and never showed up for school – no one is looking for her. Everyone assumes she ran away because her wild behavior dictates that’s the most likely answer for her disappearance. Her friends even go so far as to run a poll about where everyone thinks she may be and make jokes about it.
This story is beautiful because it chronicles Nicole’s journey of turning over a new leaf. The overwhelming propellant in this change is Dale Finnigan, the boy she hurt and who goes out of his way to help her spirit find her body.
As the two try to unravel how she was hit, where she was walking at the time, and who may have been driving the car they become close and Nicole realizes she’s always been sort of attracted to him, she was just too worried about her friends making fun of her to act on it.
But Dale has his own secrets. As Nicole beings to know him better she realizes that even though her family has more money, his family has each other. I really enjoyed this book – Melissa Pearl’s way with words kept me reading long into the night and I finished this book in about a day and a half. The plot is original, the message is uplifting and sweet, and the mystery of both Nicole and Dale is intriguing.
Also, Nicole is funny! There’s a part near the end that had me laughing out loud. It’s a spoiler so I can’t quote, but the book is not all sadness and mystery – there’s quite a bit of fun dialog between Nicole and Dale.