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Between You & Me Kindle Edition

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Length: 256 pages Age Level: 12 - 17 Grade Level: 7 - 12

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Phyre wants to be an actress. As such, she is dramatic and self-involved. She is popular, but has a reputation for being cold and aloof because she never dates any boy for long. The 16-year-old has one longtime best friend, referred to, in an obvious plot device, as "You." In her theater studies class, Phyre comes under the spell of Mia, the student teacher. She becomes obsessed with the pretty young woman and lives for the time she can spend with her, oblivious to the effect it's having on her best friend. The story is told as a screenplay, and although the format fits the action, it also hinders it. Readers get no description or details beyond the most superficial. Phyre's crush ends as quickly as it begins. Much of the action is highly unlikely: Mia starts teaching the first day, there is no appearance of a supervising teacher, and many of Mia's actions would end her career before it began. The LGBTQ hook is weak; Phyre's crush on her teacher, her first on a female, seems to cause her little soul searching, and the failure to reveal the gender of "You" at the end is irritating. Although this novel is an easy read, it has little appeal for reluctant readers. Drama enthusiasts or girls questioning their sexuality may find it intriguing, but its purchase is strictly additional.-Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FLα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

Kirkus *Starred* Review, Kirkus Best Book of 2012 A girl in love with the theater tells the story of her first great love in the form of a script... Phyre falls head over heels for Mia, their charismatic new theater instructor... The direct-address/script format works beautifully for her story; her self-absorption is so extreme that she can't see what's going on with "you," but readers do, in those bits of dialogue Phyre records but does not reflect on...
This total-immersion emotional experience is one readers will both recognize and thoroughly enjoy.


Publishers Weekly
Calin's first novel, a story of romantic entanglements and self-discovery, has a few tricks up its sleeve that help it stand out from the pack. First is the pseudo-screenplay format, which has dialogue appearing between prose sections written from the first-person perspective of 16-year-old Phyre... Calin's second hook is that Phyre's closest friend is referred to only as "You."
The novel reads more like an extended monologue than a conventional screenplay, but readers will feel as if they are sitting beside Phyre on her emotional roller-coaster.

Booklist
Phyre's roller-coaster emotions carry her through her crush, the school rumor mill, and a play within this loosely screenplay-styled first novel... This is a quick read that addresses the pain and exhilaration of infatuation--with a same-sex teacher, no less; the basic need to love who you love; and the confusion and possibilities of questioning one's sexuality, without judgment or sensationalism.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1800 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (August 7, 2012)
  • Publication Date: August 7, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007N6JDIO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,085 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Marisa is an actress, screenwriter and novelist. She grew up in Bath, England and moved to New York City to train at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She tried her hand at plays and screenplays before her love of a good book inspired her to take charge of every facet of the creative picture and tackle a novel. The only thing better than being absorbed in the world of a film for two hours is being absorbed in the lives of characters for the duration of a book. She lives in Greenwich Village, New York. Inspired by the style of a screenplay, 'Between You and Me' is her debut novel.

Read more at marisacalin.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jenni French on February 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Calin, Marisa. Between You and Me. Bloomsbury, 2012.

This is the Goodreads blurb about this book: "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."

Here's my take on this book:

1. I was intrigued by the premise. An LGBT YA book with the teen protagonist crushing on a teacher. It sounded interesting (as long as it didn't get creepy - which it didn't). A focus on drama/theater high school groups. It sounded good, and sounded like it would reach a new audience, the same way Beautiful Music for Ugly Children did with its emphasis on music and radio shows.

2. I hated, really hated the format. I don't think in screenplays, so it's hard to read one. Also, the protagonist spoke to the reader, so there's lots of "you" going on, but she referred to herself as "me," so I'm the "you" reading what "me" said, but I'm not "me." If that sentence confused you, try 242 pages of that.

Also, I checked with my better half, who has a degree in theater performance, and she said that the screenplay isn't formatted correctly.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Liviania VINE VOICE on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Actress Marisa Calin's young adult debut is a fun, creative novel. BETWEEN YOU & ME is written in a hybrid screenplay/direct address format that expresses main character Phyre perfectly. She's an actress and someone who manages to be much more eloquent in her head than in real life. She analyzes her words deeply but rarely thinks about the things people say to her. Except for Mia.

Phyre is crushing hard on the new drama teacher, Mia. She tries to talk to her as much as possible, waiting in places she's seen her before, but often fails to say anything more than "Hi." If she does say more, it's a babbling mess. I loved that Phyre is never fazed that she's crushing on a woman. She doesn't ponder whether this means she's a lesbian or bisexual or any other sort of label. She's more confused by the depth and strength of her passion. It's obviously the first time she's truly been infatuated with someone.

(Also good: BETWEEN YOU & ME never goes for some sort of creepy Mia-likes-her-back or Mia-acknowledges-the-crush storyline. Mia acts professionally. Do not expect any sort of LOLITA action due to the heart-shaped sunglasses on the cover.)

Waiting in the wings is Mia's best friend, addressed only as you. Much like Steve Brezenoff's BROOKLYN, BURNING the gender of the significant other is never revealed. You clearly likes Mia, but never says it clearly enough to pierce Mia's crush bubble. I liked that you calls Mia out whenever she acts egregiously insensitive, but hoped Mia might call you out a few times. They're both guilty of communication issues. That's part of what makes the direct address so effective. It implies you and Mia have reached a point where they can talk about their feelings frankly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tiia on January 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a great read. I didn't mind the format. I trust a writer to do their writing style. I did at times wish there was more about the other characters but I guess because of the format it was geared to the main character.

The "You" & "Me" was interesting. The guessing game was fun but in the end after a few days I wanted to know which gender. Judge me.

The ending was not my kind of ending. Not... complete so to speak.

Fast and cool read for someone on a 8 hour plane.
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By Shay on July 23, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
When your main character's name is Phyre, I expect her to be, well, fire. Instead, Phyre is more like the heat radiating off a lightbulb in an Easy Bake Oven - I never warmed up to her, and she's the immature version of what I wanted.

It wasn't that Phyre was immature in a personality sense like how grown men can act like 15 year olds, it was more that she really was that young. So maybe her lack of knowledge about the world fits her age, but it just wasn't what I was looking for. I didn't expect this to be an R-rated novel by any means, but I thought it'd be a step or two up from 'man my new drama teacher is really hot omg do I have a crush on a girl?? i can't like girls!' and yet that's exactly what it was. The whole 'falling for a teacher' trope ins't new and neither is the coming-out storyline, but put together the plot did have some uniqueness, I suppose. There was a lot that was too predictable about this book, though.

"You" is (are?) Phyre's gender-ambiguous best friend who is painfully obviously in love with Phyre from the very beginning of the book and everyone but Phyre knows it. It's so predictable that You is Phyre's knight in shining armor that of course she'll eventually fall mutually in love with by the end of the novel, and It's also predictable that You is never going to be given a gender. The blurb I read on goodreads for this book made it sound like there would be a reveal at the end, but (spoiler alert) there wasn't. You is supposed to be, well, you. The reader is supposed to identify with the character and imagine themselves as You, but You was nothing like me, and I had a hard time doing that.

Something else that confused me about the whole you being You thing was the script format.
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