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Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

Between Us and the Moon

by Rebecca Maizel

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*Received an ARC for honest review*
I tried, I really tried to make it through this one, but the flow was off for me. It seemed choppy and I never got into it. I would read five pages and then stop. The story never pulled me in and sadly this one was DNF. I think it had potential, but the sentence structure and writing style ruined it for me. At this time I don't recommend.
( )
  ReadersCandyb | Oct 7, 2016 |
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

For the most part I really enjoyed this book. Sarah's journey to find herself and the struggles she deals with as a sibling, child, and outsider are wonderfully written and explored. However, the one thing that irritated me almost to the point of infuriating, is the fact that she lied about her age to Andrew. I know it is an integral part of the story, but I found that her reasoning for why she never told him was flawed. She justifies it as not being important to who she is and who they are, but really, that age gap at that time in life is a huge deal and I can't imagine she didn't really know that. (I also did not know that the age of consent in MA was 16; I think that should have been stated early on as this is rare. I spent most of the book being furious that she would put Andrew in a position where he could possibly, unknowingly, commit a crime).

Sarah thinks logically and often rationalized aspects of her Scarlett Experiment using faulty logic. I like that although she was smart, she still thought like a 16 year old girl trying to find her place in the world. As she works her way through the experiment, she discovers many things about herself and finds her voice when so many teens that age do not. ( )
  Kristymk18 | Dec 8, 2015 |
Dumped by her boyfriend just after school lets out at the end of sophomore year, mathlete and astronomy geek Sarah goes to Cape Cod for the summer with her family. She feels invisible to her family who is concentrating on her older sister Scarlet's imminent departure to study ballet at Juilliard. They are living with her great-aunt who is very much the managing sort who always knows what's best (without bothering to ask the people she's making decisions for.)

A stinging rejection from her former boyfriend has her trying the Scarlet Experiment to see if she can be more like her popular, out-going older sister. She meets a boy - well, a young man - almost 20 to her just barely 16 and lies to him about how old she is and about her future plans. Being with Andrew lets her experiment with who she wants to be. She also finds that she can make friends and be more than just the scientist.

Of course it isn't that easy. Her relationship with her aunt is strained and her parents don't seem to notice that she is growing up. While Scarlet has a curfew and is under parental supervision, Sarah is left to do what she wants. I think her parents just don't realize that she could be doing something other than being careful, responsible, and serious. This does lead to some nights spent with the boyfriend who thinks she is old enough to make those decisions.

Things come to a head at her sister's bon voyage party - with a Titanic theme - which Sarah finds really funny. I thought the ending was realistic. And I was really happy about the way Sarah grew and changed throughout the book. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jun 4, 2015 |
I wanted to read Between Us and the Moon because it sounded like a summery novel that I could delve into that would give me some romance, a dash of angst (the lies), and a story with good characters and development.

I liked Sarah aka Bean. She is analytical and smart. She needs things just so. But she takes it to an extreme and at the beginning we see her sister and her best friend/boyfriend accuse her of the same things. "Head being in the stars" (she loves her telescope, and tracking the comet and such), and watching the world, not living in it. I was expecting a bit of angst, but the break up. Man, it was described just like I remember my heart being broken and I felt so hard for her. My chest actually hurt like she described hers. So, wear some waterproof mascara, I am not the crying type, but almost had even me.

And lets get it out there. Yes, she lies. About her age. After her heart was broken. And after meeting a sweet and hot guy who's older. It is off putting, but it is one of the things where she thought that she was growing and expanding as a person, but it really just came to show how much she needed to do it the right way.

Loved her closeness with her gran. One of the coolest old ladies I have read about in a while
Family aspect... she doesn't realize it but she is sort of the typical jealous little sister, wishing she looked more like Scarlett and had her ease of making friends, getting boyfriends and being well liked. I have social anxiety as well and assume that people don't like me or that I won't fit in or have things in common just like her, so I know its a real fear.

Although her and Scarlet weren't the closest through most of the book, I was glad that they finally opened up to one another, and it didn't stay so messed up. They had the example of their Aunt Nancy that they'd been staying with at the beach and their Gran who lived all the way across the country and they didn't get along. To me it was important that both sisters acknowledged that and said they would figure out a way for that not to happen to them.

She tried to be more like her so that she could have a different type of summer, but in some ways she found who she wanted to be and in others she realized the ways she didn't want to be like Scarlett. She found a few friends who actually liked her and didn't like some of the ways that Scarlett acted, but it did take honesty in the relationship to figure that out. But unfortunately she didn't take that new found honesty back to Andrew because of her fear of rejection and being caught in her lie. She was overall just trying to find a balance of who she is and what she wants.

It was even more hard because Andrew is all open and honest with her but she feels so trapped and uncertain. She actually gives him a dose of what she sees as reality about some of his life choices, and that really made me irritated because she still wouldn't own up to her mistakes and lies. I just felt a huge storm and knew it would blow up on her, and I just wasn't sure how or if I would get a HEA.

I liked that it was a realistic ending. I know some complain because it wasn't a dreamy HEA with him, but I liked the epilogue and what she discovered about herself. She had to finally be fair and get the truth out. But the epilogue to me showed that she was stronger, I liked that she was with her friends, and she realized that she had what she called a piece of the stars, and she was so hopeful for her future and doing things right. So to me it was a fitting and realistic ending.

Bottom Line: Flew through it, liked the character growth though the lies lasted almost to ending. ( )
  brandileigh2003 | May 30, 2015 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A great summer read with a mix of romance, family drama and social awkwardness!

Opening Sentences: “What’s the point of doing all this math just to track a comet?” Scarlett says and squints through the lens of my telescope.

The Review:

I love an unusual protagonist and Bean happens to be a genius teenage scientist, with zero social skills and who spends every waking moment tracking the movements of comet Jolie. Bean doesn’t think she’s missing out on anything in her life until her best friend and boyfriend, Tucker, suddenly breaks up with her, claiming she spends all her time watching the world as opposed to living it.

Bean decides to try her own experiment, based on her sister Scarlett’s popularity and charismatic personality. By stepping into Scarlett’s shoes, Bean has a newfound confidence that allows her to stop being Baby Bean, and become the funny, quirky Sarah she wants to be.

This was a fun, lighthearted read, despite some more serious topics like sibling rivalry, alcoholism and dealing with grief. I enjoyed it because I wanted Sarah to be able to recreate herself, I hate the idea that the person you used to be sticks with you forever. People change; it’s a fact of life. But the impressions you make usually stick, which is why the Scarlett experiment is so important to Sarah, because this is her new slate. I also adored the advice her cool Gran gives her:

“You should only give someone what you think they deserve,” Gran says.
“What they deserve?” I ask.
“You are on the inside. Deep in your muscles. That’s you. The body is the extension of you. Only give someone your fingers, your skin, and toes if they deserve to touch your soul.”
“Wow, Gran,” I reply. “You should be silent for a week all the time.”

Andrew is the love interest and I found him to be incredibly sweet. First, I thought he’d turn out to be a bit of a jerk, but I ended up liking him a lot. Whilst reading the book, I kept thinking in my head, ‘tell him now, Bean!’ because I knew there would be heartbreak the longer she left it and humiliating if he found out her true age from someone else! I wished things could have turned out differently but it is what it is. There were a few sexual scenes making me wonder if this book was suitable for younger adults.

Between Us and the Moon is a tale of a bittersweet romance and although I was aware that this romance might not have a happy ending, I still hope it will. I would love to read about Sarah’s story when she goes to college and if she ever meets Andrew again; Rebecca Maizel is surely an author I will be keeping an eye out for.

Notable Scene:

“You’re just really logical, Bean.” This stops me and I freeze. I hear Scarlett in my head: you need to get your head out of the stars once in a while.

I face Tucker again.

“You watch the world. I’m not even sure you live in it,” he says.

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Between Us and the Moon. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Apr 27, 2015 |
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To Brooke Darcy Nordstrom, Aviva Fink Cantor, Zoe
Houldsworth LoPresti, Leigh Ann Razza, and Katie
Caramiciu, my childhood friends-now and always.

This is my love letter to you.
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Just before spending her sixteenth summer on Cape Cod, Sarah's boyfriend breaks up with her and, as a scientist whose focus is on winning a scholarship through her study of a comet, she designs an experiment to become more like her older sister to see if she, too, can be popular.… (more)

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