Between Us And The Moon

Between Us And The Moon - Rebecca Maizel this is silly, and i know it's silly, but this book is so hard to review. i've never felt quite so jerked around by a book before - which is almost ironic, considering that the very heart of this book lies there: jerking people around.

bean (or sarah, if you want her government name) is a silly, star-brained girl who's in what she thinks is a perfect relationship with her lifelong best friend. the problem, of course, is that people change more in their teenage years than they do at any point in their lives, and she's a little too preoccupied with her beloved comet observation to realize what's happening until it's too late.

enter a break up. enter lack of a best friend. enter a broken heart.

and then, as is almost always the case, enter a sister. a perfect, blonde, graceful ballet dancer of a sister whose shadow is damningly cast over sarah and has been since... well, birth. basically.

the rift between these two sisters is obvious within a couple of pages, but so is something else: scarlett loves her sister. she really, truly loves her so much that she pretends to be interested in space and tells her things are cool when they're lame, and she makes efforts, even though they're tiny.

our bean, however, is stubborn. she's awkward, socially inept, slightly (and somewhat ironically) self-centered, and above all else, she is presumptuous. she assumes people feel a certain way without asking, without giving them a chance. she writes everyone off and isolates herself purely because she assumes no one wants to spend time with her. this is a problem, obviously.

when the annual family vacation to cape cod to stay with her rich, widowed aunt nancy rolls around and her sister is out and about, living her life while sarah is stuck inside without any opportunity to live one )because, much like her, her parents and her aunt assume she's going to stay the same, that she doesn't ever want to do anything different,) the weight of her break up becomes too much for sarah, especially when she finds out that her former best friend, current ex-boyfriend cheated on her before their break up was official.

and, in true nerd fashion, she decides to fix it the best way she knows how: science -- social science, that is. she steals her sister's clothes, and even bits and pieces of her personality in the beginning of her "experiment", and parades around cape cod like she's one of "those girls" (which i hate - i hate the those girls stereotype, that we still support a world where we 'other' other girls, but it's impossible to avoid such tropes in ya fiction, i suppose, since teenage girls tend to do that,) so she can impress boys. make friends. change her life. what she truly wants, however, is simply to be noticed by her family.

the journey that sarah/bean takes throughout this book is realistic to the point of occasionally being infuriating. i liked her from time to time, i wanted to smack her other times, and overall, i felt a need to... embrace her to teach her, to protect her, to help her -- but also to smack her, never, ever forget that i wanted to smack her for at least the final 30% of this book.

her lying is immature, it's unnecessary. her childlike desires for her family's attention, to be noticed, to outshine her sister, to feel like she matters (which is, of course, the most ridiculous because it's so very obvious from the outside that she does,) but it's fitting. it's compelling. it's good reading. it's incredibly relatable for my inner 16 year old that remembers feeling like i was never good enough for attention or acceptance or love or anything because i was fat, i preferred books to tv/movies, and i was downright awkward with a shitty sense of humor and no perception of boundaries whatsoever. she's a real, live teenager with all of the frustrations and irritations that come along with it. she's a complex, layered character that jumps right off of the page and into your life and demands your attention.

this story told itself beautifully. the writing, the pacing, everything. it was a roller coaster in reverse: it climbed speedy, sure, fluid and without fear, and it declined with all of the hesitance of a girl who's fucked up, of someone who's afraid of losing everything that they have.

andrew is a heart throb. he is also a heartache. i found myself swooning and mooning over him, over the way he spoke, the things he did. he was a dream, a vision. i loved him. i loved him until the very last second of the book. he was realistic, damaged, flawed, every bit as complex as sarah.

i can't say i supported the couple, knowing what i knew, but i loved their interactions. i loved how effortless it was. i loved how he truly saw her (as much as he could) and how she truly saw him. i loved the ending.

oh my god, the ending. i won't go into details but it was unexpected in an entirely pleasant way. no disgusting cliches here, no dusting problems under the rug, no tying of pretty pink bows around broken, shattered things and calling them perfect. this book was real. it was vibrant. it was wonderful. i loved it.