{Review} Between Now and Never by Laura Johnston @lauralojohnston @lyricalpress

April 3, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 7 ★★★

{Review} Between Now and Never by Laura Johnston @lauralojohnston @lyricalpressBetween Now & Never by Laura Johnston
Pages: 336
Published by Kensington, Lyrical Press on March 31, 2015
Genres: contemporary, Fiction, Love & Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Source: eARC from Publisher

“A romance that will keep teens turning pages.”  —Janette RallisonBuh boom, buh boom.

My heart thrusts with a force that takes me by surprise. Telling me something I don’t understand. A splitting pain, a longing to slip back under. They tell me I was in a hit-and-run, but I can’t remember what happened that night.  All I know is that I woke up with pictures in my pocket, a card from one of those photo booths in the mall. And I’m in the pictures. Cody Rush. Me and…


Her brother was there that night, and my dad, the FBI agent, was the one who put her mom behind bars. What’s the connection? And why won’t Julianna talk to me now? Somehow, she holds the key to it all, and getting close–real close—to her for the answers I need will be no hardship at all…

YA ReviewMy Thoughts

Between Now and Never is a standalone contemporary/realistic fiction romance story. I loved Laura Johnston’s first novel, Rewind to You and I really loved it. It was a super sweet and light romance. I am going to tell you up front that Between Now and Never has a very different feel to it than Rewind to You did. It is not as sugary sweet, certainly not as light. I didn’t love it as much as Rewind to You, but it was still a good story. (What can I say, I am just more of a happy and fluffy kind of gal.) Between Now and Never had kind of a forbidden romance, Montague and Capulet feuding family feel to it.

Julianna and Cody come from very different families and you can tell that it has impacted the way they grow up. Julianna’s family is poor and her brother uses/deals drugs and because of that has money problems. To try and help, their mom committed a crime at her job and got sent to jail. Cody’s dad is the FBI agent that sent her there. So you can see where there would be issues.

I ended up really liking and rooting for Cody and Julianna but it didn’t start out that way. Cody is a really nice guy, but for some reason whenever he got around Julianna for the first couple of times, he acted like a cocky jerk. I have no idea but he wasn’t like that in any other scenes or when she wasn’t around. It was like he was putting on a very bad show for her. Not that it worked to impress her. It only turned her more off to him. And then there was Julianna. I get that she has had it rough, but it is a pet peeve of mine that when people get a tough break, that they act overly bitter and entitled to everyone and everything around them. Even the people that are being nice and did nothing wrong. They see the worst in everyone and think everyone is giving them the short end of the stick for no reason. Julianna grated on my nerves at the start and I had no idea how her and Cody were ever going to get a shot at working out.

But that is what kept me reading. I just had to see where the heck this story was going to go from the humdinger of a start that it had. Julianna was a little brat and Cody was involved in something so incredibly dangerous and awful. He was thrown into it. I felt so bad for him because he clearly didn’t want to be in that situation but he wasn’t given any choice. But Laura Johnston’s writing is kind of magic. Even with my character annoyances, she made invested in their story. She made me like them. Which is incredible! When I don’t initially like a character it is hard for me to come back from that. But I did.

Between Now and Never was different than my average read. But I liked that about it. It is good to step outside of your comfort zone every now and again. The character growth in Between Now and Then is the most impressive part. For these two star crossed individuals, I can guarantee you won’t be able to predict their journey from the first page. Between Now and Never is a good read. Give it a try if you like your contemporaries with a little more drama and grit, and don’t mind some darker issues thrown in.


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Book Briefs

About Laura Johnston

Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU is her debut novel.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

7 Responses to “{Review} Between Now and Never by Laura Johnston @lauralojohnston @lyricalpress”

  1. Victoria

    Thanks for sharing your honest opinion.. I love the cover and am definitely intrigued by the blurb so I’ll definitely be looking into this one

  2. kindlemom1

    I have read one of her other books and remember thinking it was a sweet read.
    Happy Friday Michelle, I hope you have a nice weekend!

  3. Braine

    i myself prefer contemporary YA than fantasy. It sounds like this got Angsty on some parts? I can’t stand angst, I can only take it in small doses lol

    Happy Easter!

  4. Valerie

    I’ve heard mixed things about this one and your review feels similar – mixed. Things to like and not like as much. Great review

  5. Laura Johnston

    Happy blogoversary, Michelle! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  6. Rachel @The Readers Den

    I have a tough time with a story if I find the characters frustrating or unlikable, too. Nice that you were able to recover from that by the end. Cody and Julianna’s romance sounds intriguing. Wonderful review! 🙂

  7. BerkeleyHapa

    Really enjoyed your honest review. I am not sure this is a book I will be reading since the characters do sound somewhat annoying, but thanks for clarifying my feelings on the matter!

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