Thursday, July 9, 2015

Between Us & the Moon ~ Rebecca Maizel review [@EpicReads @HarperTeen]

Between Us and the Moon
Harper Teen
June 30, 2015
384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

A luminous young adult novel that evokes Judy Blume’s Forever for a new generation.

Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she’s determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who’s older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.

Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this story about how life and love are impossible to predict.

I am still a little bit confused just how I feel about Between Us and the Moon. It is a sweet summer romance but it is also a poignant coming-of-age story.

Reading about Sarah's  summer - her journey, her growth, her mistakes, her love, her life - is what made the coming-of-age tale so engrossing. It's also what ruined the romance, for me. She lies to Andrew, when they first meet, about her age. Fifteen (sixteen in a few weeks) year-old Sarah tells nineteen (almost twenty) year-old Andrew that she's eighteen and going to college in the fall.

When a is not just a chance encounter, but a romance begins between the two, she keeps up her lie - e even embellishing it at points to fit college-girl-Sarah with reality-Sarah and her life. There are times when it seemed strange that they were all believing she was really an eighteen-year-old, headed to MIT in just a few months.

I have no problem with characters acting their age and at (only just) sixteen, Sarah acted that age. She made some stupid, selfish decisions, she didn't have a lot of things figured out and realized things she thought about others may have been wrong. I loved that for her own, personal, growth and because it fit with her story (and age).

It was strange that characters who were older, even, than her fictional age, never seemed to question it.

Now, Andrew Andrew I loved - loved, loved, loved. I wanted, so badly, to love his relationship with Sarah, but I couldn't. If it had been less serious or if he had seemed less invested in it, I think I could have. (Yet, at the same time, I recognize that would have made the coming-of-age parts not work as well.)

It is a relationship started on a lie. As things progress, he is so heartbreakingly honest with Sarah - about his self, his past, his future, his own issues - and she keeps lying. There was such an imbalance between what Andrew was giving Sarah and what she was giving him in return that you really hurt for Andrew.

Sarah was selfish and, at times, immature while Andrew's pretty close to perfect (with his pain and problems). Though it was impossible, I somehow wanted Sarah's coming-of-age story told and a sweet, healing romance for Andrew - but the two told together leave me unsure what I think. There needs to be another book with a new girl for Andrew.

finished copy received, for possible review, from publisher

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