Release date: June 30, 2015
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she’s determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who’s older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.
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.
At first, Between Us and the Moon is a pretty standard nerd-meets-hottie story. Sarah is a physics genius, and is in love with the stars. She has been so involved in her research for an application, that she keeps missing out on a ‘normal’ teenage experience – according to her aunt. Living in the shadow of her popular and beautiful older sister, Sarah feels the urge to live her life differently. She plans an experiment – if she becomes more like her sister, would she stop being invisible?
The story she then spins is a big web of lies – that she is older than she is, and that she is going to MIT in the coming semester. The guy whom she falls in love with, Andrew, doesn’t suspect a thing. They get more serious, and she still doesn’t tell him. Her reasoning is that since he is the only one who sees her, she doesn’t want to lose him, and even though she feels guilty, she doesn’t do much about it.
As far as character portrayals go, Sarah has been written with a good deal of complexity. She isn’t just a girl who is feeling unpopular and wants to hook up with the hot guy to feel better about herself – to her it is something she does to break out of the mold she was in. She kept thinking that people wouldn’t like the real her – because so far no one really did. Feeling invisible – that was the central conflict of the story, and the author presented the loneliness such a character would experience. The end, well, that was quite realistic – I felt it was good leaving it open-ended.
The few things that irked me, however, were inconsistencies in character and some unnecessary conflicts. Sarah doesn’t make sense at times – like when at Fort Hill, she lashes out at Andrew. It felt like she was just trying to deflect. Then there was her ex – his reasons for breaking up with her were flimsy and honestly, I wouldn’t have forgave his ass at all. Her aunt and that deal with the dress; that was just blown out of proportion, I feel.
It’s a pretty good read, echoing of loneliness and two kindred souls coming together.
Received a free ARC from Harper Teen via Edelweiss; this does not affect my opinions or review.