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Between You & Me by Marisa Calin

Between You & Me

by Marisa Calin

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665180,945 (3.32)5



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I always find second-person POV narratives to be a bit off-putting, but I didn't mind it so much here. I loved the slow, heady building of tension between the main characters. ( )
  majesdane | Aug 8, 2017 |
Review originally posted on my blog http://hobbitsies.net/2012/08/between-you-me-by-marisa-calin/

Between You & Me by Marisa Calin is a kind of a ballsy book. There were a lot of risks taken with Between You & Me – and a lot of subjects discussed – that are usually overlooked in young adult literature and I really admire Marisa Calin for that.

The screenplay format of Between You & Me was definitely a change from the typical novel and felt very refreshing to me. It was a risky move, but I thought the screenplay format worked very well with the story of Between You & Me.

The storyline in Between You & Me touched on a lot of different issues, including sexuality, coming to terms with it, feelings for teachers, and just the ups and downs of relationships and unrequited love altogether. I loved how Marisa Calin touched on female sexuality in a way that we so rarely see in young adult literature and the genderless YOU just helps to push it further.

Phyre was an interesting protagonist and I loved seeing her process of coming to terms with herself (and the screenplay format really helped to visualize that). It’s not easy figuring out who you are, especially when you’re conflicted with feelings you never thought you’d feel. The fact that Phyre’s feelings were towards a teacher never really bothered me – the story really felt more about the struggle with her feelings than anything, at least to me.

I loved YOU. I just did. I thought YOU was a fantastic character, even though we know next to nothing about YOU’s identity on paper. But we got such a strong sense of who YOU actually is and I thought YOU was brilliant.

Overall I thought Between You & Me by Marisa Calin was a beautifully written contemporary that touched on important issues. I applaud Marisa Calin for the way she decided to write her story and for the way she addressed female sexuality. If you’re a fan of contemporary and you want to try something a little different, I definitely recommend Between You & Me by Marisa Calin. ( )
  hobbitsies | Sep 30, 2012 |
When Phyre develops feelings for her new drama teacher, it takes her by surprise. She's never had feelings for someone of the same sex before, and she's not quite sure what to make of it. These new feelings unleash a barrage of questions which Phyre takes up with "you", her best friend, who is dealing with their own feelings for Phyre. It's a curious little love triangle, which on the surface was sweet, realistic, and handled well (in context) by the author.

This book is definitely unique, not so much in the story, but in it's execution and the way it is written. Unfortunately, for me, this was what hampered my enjoyment of the book. The entire story is written in screenplay format, and while I found that extremely creative, especially seeing as how the book deals with theatre and film, I also felt it distanced me from the characters, and the voice. I can see why Ms. Calin used this approach, as it is probably something Phyre would do -- how she would write her own story -- but it felt like it placed a wall between me and the characters.

I am a huge theatre nerd (acting and directing) and I've read plenty of scripts, and while Ms. Calin's style followed the script layout well, it just didn't work for me. I enjoyed the story, the characters and the way Ms. Calin handled "you". The reader never really knows if "you" is male or female. I also liked how she handled the whole student/teacher relationship. The story isn't so much about a romantic relationship between the two of them, but more of a teen girl coming to terms with feelings she doesn't understand. It's a great premise, I just wish I had connected on a deeper level with the overall story and characters. For me, it was a good story, and an interesting concept that didn't grab me the way I'd hoped it would. ( )
  booktwirps | Aug 8, 2012 |
It's easy take a gimmick and make a book out of it. It's hard to make it work. Marisa Calin's debut, BETWEEN YOU AND ME, is told in the form of a screen play. A screen play in first person that addresses the protagonist's best friend only as "You." And the best part is: it works.

High school theater student Phyre is thrilled for the new semester. And as soon as her new theater class starts, her whole world changes. At least that's what it feels like. Their student teacher, Mia, is unlike anyone Phyre has ever met. And although she's only dated boys before, Phyre soon finds herself not only intrigued by Mia, but infatuated. She's thinking about her all the time -- at home, hanging out at the coffee shop with her best friend, in class, and, of course, at the theater. She gives up her lunch period to do an extra study with Mia. And all the while she thinks she might be getting an in. But Phyre's world is bigger than Mia. She just isn't seeing it. Soon her best friend is not only worried about Phyre, but about their friendship. This is not only the story of first love, and it's bigger than it's soon-to-be-classification as an LGBTQ book. It's ultimately a story about friendship, the tunnel vision that is an epic crush, and finding one's identity. It's a lot to fit in this narrow volume, but it's all there. And I can't recommend it highly enough. ( )
  EKAnderson | Jul 29, 2012 |
Holy crap. What I thought was just going to be typical young adult romance novel (judging from the cover and the title) completely blew me away. This is what I get for not reading the included plot summary.

16 year old Phyre (yes, that's actually her name, get over it) is entering high school with her best friend. She is fairly popular, generally liked and has landed on the "Hot List" once. Just your average teenage high school protagonist.

Until the new drama teacher Mia comes along and we learn that Phyre has feelings for her. At first she's confused. This is a woman she has a crush on! But the more time goes by, the more it feels right. It starts out with mild fascination, and grows into a near obsession, with Phyre constantly thinking about Mia and seeing her everywhere. But while Phyre is sorting out her feelings for Mia, she fails to see that her best friend has feelings for her.

The book was in a screenplay format which took me a while to get used to but I really ended up liking because of it's tie-in to the plot. The writing style was very simple and straightforward but scattered jewels of detail here and there placed the reader in Phyre's world. This made for a quick easy read but the subject matter kept Between You & Me from being light and forgettable...

full review at http://bookdoll.blogspot.com/2012/07/book-review-between-you-me-by-maris.html ( )
  Jennypoke | Jul 11, 2012 |
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Phyre, sixteen, narrates her life as if it were a film, capturing her crush on Mia, a student teacher of theater and film studies, as well as her fast friendship with a classmate referred to only as "you."

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