Friday, August 24, 2012

For my stop on the Inbetween Blog Tour, hosted by Shane at Itching for Books, I'll be sharing my review of this super-cute reaper story, as well as an excerpt.  But first, let's meet that awesome author:

Tara Fuller writes novels; some about grim reapers and some about witches. All of course are delightfully full of teen angst and kissing. Tara grew up in a one stop light town in Oklahoma where once upon a time she stayed up with a flash light reading RL Stine novels and only dreamed of becoming a writer. She has a slight obsession with music and a shameless addiction for zombie fiction, Mystery Science Theater, and black and white mochas. Tara no longer lives in a one stop light town. Now she lives with her family in a slightly larger town in North Carolina where they have at least three stoplights.

Find out more about Tara and her books:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Title:  Inbetween
Author:  Tara Fuller
Series:  Kissed by Death #1
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing
Publication Date:  August 28, 2012
Source:  galley from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Since the car crash that took her father’s life two years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left...his soul.

I found Inbetween to be cute and clever, and although it wasn't completely original (what is these days, right?), it was still a very fun read.  It was engrossing to the point that I'd find myself skimming larger passages to read ahead and find out what happened, only to have to go back and re-read those sections to ensure I hadn't missed anything.  I love when a book has me in its clutches like that, but I also hate it because it feels like I have to read everything twice. 

Inbetween is set in our world but also in a location parallel to our world, aptly named the Inbetween, as it is that gray area between Heaven and Hell.  It is the place where souls are sent if they haven't quite earned their spot in Heaven or Hell, though if they are truly exceptional souls, they may be given the opportunity to return to the land of the living to really prove their worth. 

This novel is told as a dual narrative, from the perspectives of Emma and Finn.  They may not have known each other in this lifetime, but each feels a deep connection to the other after a chance encounter that leaves Emma without her father and reminds Finn of a painful loss he suffered some fifteen years earlier.  As a reaper, Finn takes some serious risks to ensure Emma's safety once he realizes who she is.  And Emma is in danger quite often, which leads to a lot of trouble for Finn, since he's not supposed to interfere in human affairs or "go corporeal" because his boss can sense it and will require a full report. 

Emma is a sneaky little minx, digging deep to discover things about Finn that he won't divulge himself.  Yet, she never quite figured out what I had deduced nearly from the onset of the novel.  I'm not going to sugar-coat it…this novel was a tad predictable, but that only kept the first half of the novel from being as enjoyable as it could have been.  Once the action -- aka attempts on Emma's life -- really got going, the book became a bit more suspenseful and engaging. 

The romance was sweet and cuddly but in the way a sad puppy at the pound is because there can't be a future for these two.  Emma is of the living, and well, Finn is most definitely not.  He's a reaper, meant not to develop feelings for a human but instead to send them on to the Inbetween to await their fates.  But he can't help himself.  His reaper friends -- Easton of Hell's domain and Anaya of Heaven's -- both try to convince him his intentions are fool-hardy, that he's wasting his time and causing trouble for all of them, but he's a lost cause.  He'd try anything, do anything to be with Emma. I kind of have to wonder if this guy has ANY scruples after some of the things he's done for her or even contemplated so that he can be close to her. 

Although this book is focused on the reapers and a rather forbidden romance, it has a little bit of everything in there, just to keep you on your toes:  possible body-snatching, Ouija boards, psychotic ghosts, overbearing mothers…you name it.   Oh, and a hot, if somewhat pervy, best friend who remains strictly in Emma's friend zone.  So, no love triangle…well, not in the most literal sense, anyway, so yay!  Wait, wait, wait.  I just remembered there's no cliffhanger either -- though I did feel that the ending was a little too perfect, a little too easy.  I guess this novel doesn't have everything then, but in this case, that's not a bad thing.  All in all, Inbetween is a great start to a new series that I definitely plan to continue.

Rating:  Photobucket

**This is a rather long trailer considering it's mostly text, but I love the song by the xx that they chose as the background music, so I'll forgive it. :D It does give you a good idea what the story's about, more-so than even the synopsis above.


 It’s now or never, Finn.
            I exhaled and slipped through the cold brick until the warmth of Emma’s room surrounded me. I don’t know what I’d been expecting to find, but Emma huddled over a little plastic board on her bed wasn’t it. And the hope in her eyes…It was hope that she wasn’t crazy. Hope that the little board in front of her could prove it. She deserved so much more than this. She was so much more than this. She was determined and loyal and beautiful and everything I wanted to be. She took care of the people around her. She took care of me once. She took care of me when she should have hated me.
I sat down on the bed across from her and balled my fingers into fists. I hated this. Hated that she was resorting to something so ridiculous because of what I had done. What I had caused. That what I’d done had hurt her this badly.
Emma pulled her long blond hair over her shoulder and took a deep breath. Two of her fingers rested on top of the pointer. “Is there someone here?” she asked, eyes closed. “Please. Please talk to me if you’re here.”
Screw Balthazar and his threats. If I didn’t go corporeal, he’d never know.
I laid my fingers beside hers and moved the pointer to the word yes.


I froze, afraid to move my fingers. Afraid to breathe. My eyes stayed glued to the word under the wooden pointer.
“Oh my God.” I jerked my hand away from the board and clutched it to my chest. My heart thumped until I could feel it in my palm like a pulse. I didn’t know what to do next. All I knew about Ouija boards was what I’d seen on lame YouTube videos, and that didn’t seem like much help to me now that someone—or something—was actually answering.
“Who are you?” I finally asked. When I realized my hands were still clasped to my chest, I dropped one down to the pointer, but it slid out from under my fingertips before I could touch it. “F,” I whispered, saying the letters out loud. “I. N.”
The pointer paused then slid around in a circle before coming back to N.
In that moment, the board was the only object that existed in the world. The mountains around my house could have come crashing down. The stars could have fallen from the sky. I don’t think I would have noticed any of it. This was one of those moments when everything changed. The kind of moment when reality becomes something else. When it didn’t move anymore, I looked around the room, expecting to find something. Finding nothing.
“Finn,” I breathed. “Your name is Finn?”
The pointer slid to yes and I sat up on my knees, my breaths rushing in and out of my lungs. That name…

“Say it again.”
I laughed at the shadow of a boy with green eyes and pressed my hands against his chest. “What?”
“My name. The way you say it…you say it like it matters. Like it still means something.”
I kissed the corner of his mouth and whispered, “Finn.”

I blinked the vision away. My heart thudded painfully in my chest. The green eyes, that voice… Oh God. I couldn’t catch my breath. It was him. He was the one at the school. In the forest. In my head. My dreams. I stared at the board. Finn.
“Can I see you?” I bit my lip, not letting myself think about what I was really asking for. I just knew I wanted it. Everything inside me wanted it. “Like I saw you earlier tonight?”
Nothing happened. No sparks of magic. No phantom light transforming into the boy I’d seen with jungle-green eyes. The pointer didn’t even budge. Disappointment twisted in my chest. This couldn’t be it. This couldn’t be all there was. I needed answers. I needed to know why he was here. I needed way too much for this to be it.
That memory was still inside me. His lips, his hands, the way I felt like I was going to explode if he kept touching me. Finn. What the hell did this mean? Was it even real? Or did I just want it so badly that my screwed-up brain had created it all?
“Finn?” I called in a shaky voice, staring at the pointer, willing it to move. Willing it to prove I wasn’t as crazy as the doctors thought.
It didn’t.
           So I was crazy, then. I squeezed my hands into fists so hard my nails left little crescent imprints in my palm, pushed myself off the bed, and stomped down the hall into the kitchen. Pills. I needed pills. I flipped on the light and one of the bulbs popped and went out, turning the kitchen a shade dimmer. I grabbed the little orange pill bottle off the counter. I’d already taken one today, but clearly I needed more clarity. I needed to get this memory…no. This hallucination out of my head.
“Don’t take those,” the now-familiar voice said.
I squeezed the cap until my fingers went numb and turned around. He was there, standing in my kitchen like he belonged there. Like he’d always been there.
Finn looked at the bottle in my hands. “You’re not crazy, Emma. You don’t need those.”
The pill bottle clattered to the tile floor. I jumped back, heart thundering in my chest, lungs eating up all of the air around me until I felt dizzy. It all clicked together. The guy in my dreams, the guy who had saved my life twice…he was here. Standing in front of me. How was this even possible?
“What are you?” I closed my eyes and pictured the agonized look on his face just before he’d dissolved and disappeared into the night like a ghost.
“I’m not…alive.”

And below you'll find your chance to win your very own signed copy of Inbetween!  U.S. entries only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck & happy reading!


  1. I'm glad that you enjoyed this. I'm planning to read it soon. Reapers have really become the hot item in books lately, and I hope this one is original. As always, nice review!

    1. Yep, it seems this is the year of the reapers and mermaids. :)

  2. Great review!

    Thank you for participating.

  3. I was part of this blog tour as well and I pretty much agree with your thoughts. Although, I think the idea is very original! Or maybe I'm just not reading enough books on reapers and such. Great excerpt! That one was super intense--MOMENT OF TRUTH. Hehe, glad you enjoyed the book!

    1. Well, it reminded me a lot of that Meg Ryan/Nicholas Cage movie City of Angels, but that came out way back when I was in high school, which admittedly was a long time ago, so maybe you're too young to remember it. ;)

  4. The first review I read, I wasn't sure about reading Inbetween. Many reviews later... and I really wanna read it. Great review!

    1. I'm glad we were able to change your mind, then! :) I hope you enjoy it!

  5. I've seen this book popping up everywhere on the blogosphere, but this is the first review I've read. I'm so glad u had such a positive experience reading this. I'm definitely putting it on my wishlist!

    1. It was definitely a fun book. The author has another book out called Perigee Moon that I want to check out, as well.

  6. Thanks for the giveaway. I have seen this book a lot and it looks interesting.

    1. Yep, it's getting a lot of attention, and for good reason! :D

  7. I have really been wanting this book for our Highschool library. Thanks so much for the great giveaway

    1. I think it would be the perfect addition for your high school library! Good luck!

  8. This review has piqued my interest. Can't wait to read the book!


  9. Thank you for sharing your love of reading!

  10. I have wanted to read this for a while!!!!! :D

  11. Sounds like my kind of book! Thanks so much for posting the review!

  12. Thanks so much for the giveaway. After reading your review this sounds like a book I would like. Glad to hear it was a fun read!
    ~Jess (old follower)

  13. I am very intrigued by this one. Thanks so much for linking up on my post!

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