Between Now & Never
Releases March 31
A convict’s daughter should never fall for an FBI agent’s son, certainly not a feisty teenager like Julianna Schultz who is furious over her mother’s incarceration and the injustice of it all. But that’s exactly what seventeen-year-old Julianna finds herself doing when Cody Rush, the cocky son of the FBI agent who put her mom behind bars, moves into her hometown of Gilbert, Arizona.Cody Rush—studious, principled, athletic, good looking and blond to boot—is everything Julianna hates, or so she thinks. Yet a series of ill-fated events one night brings them dangerously close, entangling the futures of two people who were never meant to be….
Exerpt – 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.
I had been looking forward to this book for quite some time. Let me say that I absolutely loved Laura’s first book! What a debut novel. It was written like a Nicholas Sparks novel, filled with wonderful emotions and vivid descriptions that left me feeling the story rather than reading it. Needless to say I had high expectations. And Laura definitely met my expectations, and then some!
This story is written in 2 POV, alternating almost in each chapter between Julianna and Cody.
As you can read in the book info, Julianna’s mum has been put into prison for fraud. She committed this crime to pay for rehab for Vic, Julianna’s older brother.
Julianna is left behind trying to keep the family together. She is doing all she can to make it in school, working as a tutor, and after school in the Chocolate Shoppe. She cleans, cooks, takes care of Vic and her dad, she has too many responsibilities to deal with.
Cody is the son of an FBI agent, and a wealthy mother. He seems like the picture perfect kid, good-looking, great family, wealthy, a top-basketball player. But he has his struggles in life. He lost his brother at a young age, and is still trying to deal with all of the hurt that left in his life.
At the beginning of the book he is pulled into a drug deal that doesn’t go well, leaving him hiding and on the run from the dealers. He tries to make an escape but ends up getting run over and left in a storm with no recollection of what happened to him, including his meeting Julianna. Now he needs to try and figure out what happened to him, and all he knows is that somehow Julianna is the key to answering his many questions. Sadly she is not impressed with the guy who almost kissed her, and then disappeared for weeks, and who also happens to be the son of the FBI agent that put her mum in prison.
This book took me on a journey. It left me feeling all types of emotions. I found myself connecting with both Julianna end Cody, understanding both their fears and struggles. I could not seem to put this one down, and once I finished it, I felt changed somehow. This book has that ability. Laura’s style is so eloquent, it has a way of touching you deep inside. I look forward to sharing her books with my daughter once she is old enough to appreciate them.
About the author
Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and three 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.
Connect with Laura on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.