Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
"When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.
Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.
As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever."- summary from Amazon
I really enjoyed Sabatini's debut, though I will admit I was confused in the beginning about how everything worked. But it does all get explained in the end, so be patient with it.
The story is so compelling anyway that you may not even worry about not understanding what's going on. Elliot's journey through her afterlife and going through her memories is really interesting to read through; Sabatini paces the reveals well, and also gives the reader a variety of memories- painful, heart-wrenching, romantic, and the occasional mundane.
I also really liked seeing the relationships in the afterlife grow and unveil themselves throughout the book. There's a lot more going on in the afterlife than what Elliot (and the reader) thinks. I especially enjoyed seeing Elliot and Trevor figure things out together and in the process, growing to love each other. I also liked Elliot's relationship with her teacher Mel too- there was a really interesting dynamic there.
Overall, Sabatini wrote an incredible debut and I am so excited to read more from her in the future. Definitely check this book out!
FTC: Received hardcover from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.