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BOOK REVIEW: Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

| 20 June 2015 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

June 2015
Hardcover, $17.99
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli


Between Us and the Moon

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

All her life, fifteen year old Sarah (or ‘Bean’) has been the good kid, the studious kid, the never-made-a-mistake kid. She’s lived in the shadow of her older sister, Scarlett, for as long as she can remember. Where Scarlett loves boys, parties and friends, Sarah watches the world and studies the universe. They couldn’t be more different.

When Sarah’s boyfriend, Tucker, breaks up with her, she’s at a loss. Was it something she did? Was it something she said? Why did he cheat on her with popular, gorgeous Becky? Or was it because Sarah only ever really paid attention to sky and Comet Jolie, and not to the world around her?

Cape Cod has been a summer retreat for Sarah and her family for as long as she remembers, so after the break up, she jumps at the chance of spending an entire summer by the sea and tracking the comet in a star-filled sky. Sarah decides to start an experiment — will pretending to be her sister give her the confidence and self-esteem she’s always lacked?

Observation is reductive. I’ve had fifteen years to research my sister. If I pretend I am like Scarlett, dress like her, talk like her, and behave like her, I will live the life I have always wanted. I’ll have friends and a boyfriend who is nothing like Tucker. It’s a set of very specific parameters to follow. It’s genius!

Sarah counts on the experiment to turn her into the person she’s always wanted to be, but what she doesn’t count on is meeting Andrew. A hot, surfer local, the kind of guy Scarlett would date and who would be interested in Scarlett in return… who is also nineteen. 

The Scarlett Experiment is working! I am a Scarlett-pheromone-wielding phenom who can summon anyone while wearing an American flag string bikini.
“What about you?” I ask, trying to turn the question of school back on him. I figure the more vague I am, the more time I can buy to figure out what I should say.
“Nineteen,” he says. “But twenty in August.”
I almost blurt out that I’ll be sixteen in a few days.

The experiment seems to work and, suddenly, Sarah finds herself falling in love with Andrew, and a whirlwind romance blossoms. But Sarah needs to come clean about her age, about her future, about the experiment itself. Can she do it?

Between Us and the Moon is a classic example of a teenage girl striving to be something she is not, and putting someone’s life in jeopardy for it. I didn’t enjoy Sarah’s selfishness when it came to Andrew, how she didn’t think twice about the danger she would land him in if someone ever found out that she was underage. In fact, it enraged me. I liked the idea of the Scarlett Experiment, but I honestly believed Sarah would find someone her own age. It bothered me that she refused to hang out with boys her age, and how she lied to everyone including herself. 

For the most part, it was an enjoyable, quick read and it was easy to forget that Sarah was only fifteen and see just how badly a tiny little lie can snowball into something huge and unpredictable.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.

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