Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel is a young adult book about soon to be sixteen-year-old scientist, Sarah, as she conducts what proves to be her most important experiment ever. Ultimately it’s a coming-of-age tale. Any girl can find herself in Sarah, an insecure sixteen-year-old girl who looks at the popular girls longingly – believing their lives are perfect and effortless. In this case, the perfect girl is her sister, Scarlett. Scarlett gets the boys. Scarlett has lots of friends. Scarlett looks gorgeous every day.
Right before Sarah and her family are to leave for the yearly trip to Cape Cod, her childhood best friend and new boyfriend, Tucker, dumps her, pretty heartlessly, sending shockwaves through her system. He tells her that she “watches the world.” So Sarah decides she doesn’t want to be on the outside anymore
When she gets to Cap Cod, in true Scientist Sarah fashion, she embarks on an experiment, The Scarlett Experiment. During this experiment, she will forget who she is and make all of her choices based on what she believes her sister would do. She believes if she becomes someone else she’ll get what she wants: boys, friends, a life.
On Day 1 of The Scarlett Experiment she meets Andrew. It’s as if she dreamed him up. He’s perfect – sensitive, sweet and soulful. He says all the right things at the right times and means them. The only problem – he’s nineteen and mere weeks away from twenty years old. When they meet, Sarah is just fifteen but tells him she’s eighteen and heading to MIT in the fall. This is the only truly frustrating part of the story. Sarah truly is a genius but seems to genuinely believe this lie is harmless, even as they embark on a sexual relationship. Sarah has a tendency to be a bit frustrating throughout the book, but she’s not without her redeeming qualities.
“Lies are like water. They ripple out, the details slip through; they’re hard to contain.”
Her one white lie quickly escalates into more and more lies and before she knows it she’s in far too deep and I can’t blame her. Andrew is the perfect guy. I wouldn’t want to tell the truth and give him up either! Andrew fixes the insecurities Tucker created, while loving her because of exactly who she is. When they’re together she actively acts the way she thinks Scarlett would but sometimes her true clumsy dorky self slips out. And in those moments Andrew likes her the most. He doesn’t like who she’s pretending to be.
The moments these two share are captivating. They’re tender, yet passionate. Andrew is the perfect boyfriend. I so enjoyed the way their love unfolded into the perfect summer romance. It’s what we’re all dreaming about with July on the horizon. And while I don’t know anyone who has actually met such a perfect nineteen-year-old boy, it was sure fun to read and dream about.
YA Coming of Age
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Page Count: 384