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Between Us and the Moon


Between Us and the Moon

Sarah --- Bean to her friends and family --- is an aspiring astronomer and champion mathlete. She lives behind her beloved telescope, with her head in the stars and her feet planted firmly on the ground. For as long as she can remember, she's also lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But after a traumatic end to the school year, Sarah goes to Cape Cod for the summer with her family, determined to grow up. It's there that she meets gorgeous, older college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl like Scarlett. He thinks she's older, too --- and she doesn't correct him. For Sarah, it's a summer of firsts. 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.
The best part about a book is the personal connection one can build with the characters. We are immediately drawn to the character that exhibits similar characteristics to us only to realize later that the character displays characteristics we didn’t even realize we had. For me, that was the case with Bean in BETWEEN US AND THE MOON. Bean was a typical 16-year-old girl with her head in the clouds who suddenly crashed back down to earth over a summer. Although I haven’t crashed back down to earth yet (I like to think of it as a slow descent), Bean’s awkwardness and underlying hilarity resonated with me. However, throughout the book, Bean grows in ways we don’t expect her to when we first meet her. She finds parts of herself she didn’t know existed, something that I have begun to do as well. She finds the confidence to showcase her nerdy side as well as her confident and fierce side, which has inspired me to do the same.
While books are often popular because they bring a sense of realism, they’re also appreciated because they bring about a sense of fantasy and mystique. Things happen in books that would never happen in real life. When was the last time you attended a school in Paris and found the love of your life? Or when was the last time you commanded a spaceship as a pre-teen? They provide a way to escape the mundane world for a little bit and experience things we would never be able to otherwise.
The main reason I like BETWEEN US AND THE MOON is because of the way it balances realistic and fantastical aspects. There was a dose of reality in the way Bean’s character develops and it was very revealing to me, personally. However, the relationships Bean formed with others gives the book a whimsical twist, which I really enjoyed. Bean and Andrew’s relationship is something that could never happen in real life (a relationship with a boy will certainly not happen in my life), but it is fun to fantasize and imagine that it will happen. I like how this book made me forget about the world I live in and transported me to a magical land.  
[Bean] finds the confidence to showcase her nerdy side as well as her confident and fierce side, which has inspired me to do the same.
I imagine a lot of people will have mixed feelings about how Bean lied about her age. Personally, I feel like she should have definitely put more thought into what she was doing. Andrew could have very well lost his job --- and jeopardized his entire career --- because of Bean. However, all characters have flaws, and Bean eventually realizes her mistake, which is the second best thing she could have done (aside from telling the truth in the beginning).
The end. Oh my goodness. That was the most frustrating ending I have ever read. The whole time, we’re waiting for Bean to tell Andrew that she’s actually 16, not 18, and when she does, he runs away. RUNS. AWAY. That’s it! They have no interaction after that and we never get to see Andrew’s reaction after his initial shock (and what seemed to be disgust). And the eye contact they make a year later doesn’t count because that went nowhere, too. I may have thrown the book a few times in my frustration. But we’ve all done that, right?

Reviewed by Pranshu A., Teen Board Member on June 29, 2015

Between Us and the Moon
by Rebecca Maizel

  • Publication Date: June 30, 2015
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance, Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0062327615
  • ISBN-13: 9780062327611