Monday, April 6, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: Between Now & Never by Laura Johnston

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Between Now & Never, by Laura Johnston
2015, 324p, Clean YA Contemporary Romance
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy for an honest review

Buh 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…

Cody Rush has just moved to Gilbert, Arizona. He plays basketball and is heading out to a party with his new friend Vic. While at Vic's house, he notices a picture of his mom and recognizes her but it takes him a while to realize that his dad was the one who put her behind bars for mortgage fraud. The night with Vic takes a wild turn and Cody is soon running for his life. He goes to the mall and sees Julianna, Vic's sister, and covertly gives her evidence which she never realizes she has. Later, he's in a hit-and-run and then loses his memory of that night.

Julianna Schultz is a tough young woman. Her mother is in prison and she has to run her household for her father who is an artist down on his luck and a brother who is all kinds of trouble. She meets a cute boy at the mall one night who flirts with her and gives her gifts and then disappears. She doesn't see him for a few months and once she figures out who he is, she wants nothing to do with him. Or does she? 

The story goes back and forth between Cody and Julianna and I liked getting to know them both. Cody is athletic, handsome, charming and kind. His life isn't perfect, though. He  struggles with memory loss through most of the story and he really wants to figure out what happened that night. The story Vic told him doesn't make sense and he's curious as to why he has photo booth pictures with Vic's sister, Julianna. 

Julianna couldn't seem to catch a break. Her home life is less than ideal and it didn't seem like things would get better anytime soon. When she becomes friends with Cody, she starts realizing small moments of happiness, but she has a hard time trusting him and his motives. She decides to do something for her mother and Cody is a huge help to her in pulling it off. She's strong, talented and determined and I kept hoping that life would get better for her.

This was very different than what I was expecting and I really enjoyed it! The ending was fast paced but then it abruptly ended and I was left wanting a little bit more. There were also some loose ends that I wish had been tied up. Other than that, though, this is a great YA read. I loved Laura Johnston's first book, Rewind to You, and this book is another hit. She's definitely an author I look forward to reading more of in the future!

Excerpt —Photo Booth


We listen to the monotone voice reel off instructions. Four pictures. A light will flash before each picture is taken. Etcetera. How I ended up in this position I’m not sure. We both sit, staring at our reflections on the dark plastic and, no doubt, both stuck on the same thought that crosses everyone’s mind when they’re on this seat.

“Quick,” I say, “what should we do?”

A flash of light. Picture one down. Both of our mouths were hanging open, blank stares straight ahead.

We burst into laughter and can’t stop. A second flash. Picture number two: both of us laughing.

Our gazes meet and we pull ourselves together, his eyes never veering from mine. He leans toward me, coming halfway before pausing, his eyes seeking permission. I regard him with equal parts terror and anticipation, the intimacy of the situation whispering a thrill. He closes the distance between us and glides his nose through my hair. My heart rattles around as though this is the first boy I’ve ever been close to.

“Now smile,” he whispers into my ear. Even if I should be creeped out, forget it. My cheeks burn despite myself and I feel the corners of my lips tugging upward. A flash of light signals the third picture and I am totally seduced.

Praise for Between Now & Never

“A romance that will keep teens turning pages.” ~ Janette Rallison

“This was a lot different than I was expecting and I was honestly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. The cover led me to believe this would be a cute, love story but it was a suspenseful and gripping read.” ~ Review from Goodreads

“Best book I read all year! On the edge of your seat suspense, heartwarming romance, and characters to cheer for—Between Now and Never is one you won’t want to miss.” ~Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Saga

“I had the privilege to read BETWEEN NOW AND NEVER when it was in manuscript form. I loved loved loved it from page one! Laura Johnson is such a talented author — really looking forward to reading more of her work!” ~Kay Lynn Mangum, author of The Secret Journal of Brett Colton

Author 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.

Blog Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/26/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an iTunes Gift Code or River Street Sweets Gift Card. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Unknown said...

I LOVED this book! Loved it! Laura Johnston is such a wonderful author!

Unknown said...

Mel, thank you for participating in the blog tour! I appreciate your review and everything you'd done to help spread the word about BETWEEN NOW & NEVER. :)

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