Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: Between You & Me by Marisa Calin (ARC)

Between You & Me by Marisa Calin
Bloomsbury Children, 242 Pages
US Release Date: August 7, 2012
Format: ARC
Source: Jen from Novel Thoughts, via ARCycling (thank you!)

Phyre knows there is something life-changing about her new drama teacher, Mia, from the moment they meet. As Phyre rehearses for the school play, she comes to realize that the unrequited feelings she has for Mia go deeper than she’s ever experienced. Especially with a teacher. Or a woman. All the while, Phyre’s best friend—addressed throughout the story in the second person, as "you"—stands by, ready to help Phyre make sense of her feelings. But just as Mia doesn’t understand what Phyre feels, Phyre can’t fathom the depth of her best friend’s feelings . . . until it’s almost too late for a happy ending. Characters come to life through the innovative screenplay format of this dazzling debut, and unanswered questions—is "you" male or female?—will have readers talking.
--------------------Goodreads summary

Notable Quote
HARMONY: I've had a hundred crushes. There's a lot to be attracted to in this world. There's nothing wrong with that.
I'm kind of in love with the concept of this book, you guys. That it's written in a screenplay format, and that the best friend is simply referred to as "YOU"'s unique and intriguing and, frankly, quite brilliant.

This is kind of a weird thing to say I feel, but one of the things I liked best about this book is how...normal it all is. Phyre is a drama student, and a lot of the time those characters are stereotyped into an extreme: either sitting in the corner, super off-beat and wearing a black beret, or just outlandish and over the top and a bit annoying. But Phyre...she's unique, and loud, and out there, but she's also just a normal teenage girl. She embarrasses herself, she has doubts, she volunteers in class sometimes and sits back sometimes. It's refreshing to have an average teenage girl as a main character when it could have gone so many ways.

The story itself is a bit normal: girl begins to have feelings for an enigmatic, new person in her life, and now she struggles to figure it all out. It's a bit elevated by the fact that the new, enigmatic person is a girl - which Phyre has never desired before. But still, the trajectory and the feelings remain the same as it would for a boy/girl situation, and I can't say I was surprised by any parts of the story. What you think will happen, probably will and does.

Not that that's a bad thing though! I loved it. I loved getting to experience Phyre's mixed emotions and doubt, seeing her friendship with "YOU" and sorting it all to make sense. Every reader who picks this up will recognize the feelings and indecision in it; we've all gone through it, and Marisa Calin captures it perfectly.

The best part of this novel though is that even though it seems to focus a lot on the fact Phyre finds herself falling for her female teacher, it really is about Phyre and "YOU". Amongst all the angst, it's about the friendship between Phyre and her best friend, and what happens between them. How they struggle sometimes, how they make up, how the best friend is really there for her whenever she needs him/her. The title is perfection, because ultimately, that is the story, and it is best that way. It's a nice, gentle reminder that even though the love interest can take up all the time, right there behind, steady and true, is the best friend.

4.5 Stars / 5


  1. Alexa S.October 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    "It's a nice, gentle reminder that even though the love interest can take up all the time, right there behind, steady and true, is the best friend." --> SO TRUE! I love the fact that this book really focuses on the friendship. To me, apart from the love of your life, friendships are essential! And good ones come few and far in between...

  2. fakestephOctober 12, 2012 at 5:25 AM

    This one sounds so interesting, even though I'm not sure it's for me. I like to know what's going on. The end of Where Things Come Back was brilliant, but it also frustrates me because I often doubt what I think really happened. Not sure I could handle a character that we are basically given no information for.

  3. Estelle @ Rather Be ReadingOctober 12, 2012 at 6:06 AM

    Ah! Great review! I'm so glad when I see love for this book because it was one of my favorites this year. You are so right -- it is SO normal and I wonder how we miss that in some other books, ya know? I feel like I'm always repeating the words genuine, accurate, real, raw in my reviews and still, it's not enough. haha. Yay for contemporaries and yay for spreading the word on new writers!

  4. Kimberly @ Caffeinated ReviewerOctober 14, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    You have me curious about the screenplay format, so glad you enjoyed this one!

  5. UnknownNovember 2, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    This sounds very good. I'm fairly bored with the girl meets boy idea, but this sounds like it could be interesting. Especially the screenplay format...

  6. Jaime LesterNovember 2, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    This is one of those books that I would never have given a second look. I know how horrible it is to judge a book by its cover, but it happens. All of the time. I usually don't let it affect my decision to read or not to read, but sometimes it happens. It has happened with this one, I do believe. Now that I know what it is all about, I think I might have to go apologize to it at the library, and then bring it home!

  7. Cheyenne WilliamsNovember 5, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Wow, the screenplay format sounds mega-intriguing. I just love that quote you included—sounds like a fabulous book! Thank you for reviewing it! (:

  8. UnknownNovember 8, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    This sounds fantastic! I love the idea of addressing the best friend as "you" and the storyline sounds fun while still covering a real and important topic. I'm so glad I read this review, I'll definitely look for this book! :)

  9. Jolene and FamilyNovember 14, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Wow, this sounds like a great read! Thanks for the review, adding this to my wishlist!!

  10. The Romance BookieNovember 22, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    This looks super cute! I love the cover! :) Great review!

  11. MonicaNovember 27, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Ive been curious about this book. It looks interesting and I might have to check it out.

  12. DanaNovember 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    This isn't something I would normally read but it sounds great!

  13. Jaime LesterJuly 28, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    I have seen this several times, but never read the synopsis. I am so glad that I chose to read your review for this book. I love the fact that it is written as a screenplay. I think that I will be reading this book when I run across it again. I must admit that YOU is driving me crazy. I need to know: He or She!


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Have a wonderful day <3
***This blog should NEVER have a security captcha - please let me know if you encounter it and I will fix ASAP. Thank you!