Within Reach

A Novel

2016 Best Book Awards: YA Fiction, Finalist

“In alternating chapters, the present-tense, frequently purple narrative of the vividly drawn Xan and Lila is urgent, keeping the intensity taught. An intense, at-times overwrought romance for genre fans.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Ms. Stevens’s first novel is so intriguing . . . a romantic fantasy between two separate worlds. Full of imagination, mystery, and possibility, it leaves you with a sense of danger, fear, and hope all at the same time―and keeps you thinking, ‘what if . . . ‘”
―Rene Steven, primary school librarian, Brookfield Academy

What if, after you died, you had a chance to come back? Fix the one fatal mistake that turned everything around. One more chance with the one you left behind?

Dying wasn’t on sixteen-year-old Xander Hemlock’s summer to-do-list. Finding ways to spend more time with his girlfriend, Lila, was the most critical thinking he planned on doing. That was before he found himself trapped in a realm of darkness with thirty days to convince Lila he’s not dead, well, not completely.

As Xan tries to show Lila she isn’t alone, she struggles to comprehend why six months ago her life was perfect, she was on her way to becoming a professional dancer, her parents were still married, and her boyfriend was alive. Now, with her anorexic tendencies stronger than ever, she must decide which is the lesser of two evils; letting go, or holding on to the unreasonable, yet overpowering feeling that Xan is trying to tell her something.
 
Within Reach is a story of two teenagers discovering that sometimes, it takes more than one lifetime to get it right. Join Lila and Xan as they struggle to find the inner strength to trust in their intuition. It will leave you believing in the impossible and questioning life as you have always known it.

Publication Date: August 11, 2015

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Description

2016 Best Book Awards: YA Fiction, Finalist

“In alternating chapters, the present-tense, frequently purple narrative of the vividly drawn Xan and Lila is urgent, keeping the intensity taught. An intense, at-times overwrought romance for genre fans.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A powerful love story, Within Reach grips the reader from page one as two soul mates fight against all odds to rediscover each other and prove that death is only temporary.”
―James Marsden, actor of The NotebookEnchanted, and more

Within Reach is an elegant and sometimes painful story of teenagers struggling with love, loss, and redemption. Jessica Stevens’s unique portrayal of misguided souls finding their way through darkness dances confidently off the page. The story’s ending lingers reflectively long after the music stops.”
―Brady G. Stefani, author of The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman

“Ms. Stevens’s first novel is so intriguing . . . a romantic fantasy between two separate worlds. Full of imagination, mystery, and possibility, it leaves you with a sense of danger, fear, and hope all at the same time―and keeps you thinking, ‘what if . . . ‘”
―Rene Steven, primary school librarian, Brookfield Academy

“Jessica Stevens has written a gem of a first novel. With relatable, believable characters, carefully crafted dialogue, and a compelling story, this novel is truly a work of art. All at once it is a ghost story, a mystery, and most of all, a love story―a love story spanning lifetimes. If this book is any indication, I’d say that Ms. Stevens has found her calling, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”
―Abigail Jensen Waugh, Librarian

“Don’t pick up Jessica’s debut novel unless you have cleared your schedule because you aren’t going to be able to put Within Reach down. It has something for everyone: a phantom boyfriend with something to prove, a beautifully broken ex-ballerina, and a sexy All-American with a dark secret.”
―Emily Norris, blogger at www.godsknot.com

Within Reach is an intoxicating, heart-pounding tale of love, loss, and two souls forever bound by their choices. Xan and Lila are the modern-day Romeo and Juliet―proving that nothing will keep true love apart.”
―Kristen Hunt, author of Blonde Eskimo

About the Author

Jessica Stevens grew up knowing without a doubt that she would become a professional ballet dancer. When life told her otherwise, she went to college like the rest of the world and earned a degree in psychology. Shortly after, while raising her two boys, she found herself glued to her computer all hours of the night while everyone else slept. Today she lives in suburbs of Milwaukee spending as much time as possible on lakes and rivers.

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