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Between You & Me [Kindle Edition]

Marisa Calin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.


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)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007N6JDIO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,413 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Between You and Me 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative debut novel 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun and engaging read! November 16, 2012
Format:Hardcover
This story follows outgoing teen, Phyre, as she goes through the motions of crushing on her new film (female) teacher. Phyre has never developed feelings for another female before, but as soon as she lays eyes on Mia, she's smitten. Mia projects an air of whimsy and breeziness that Phyre just can't resist.

Phyre's crush propels her to try out for the school play as a way to be closer to Mia as well as further her experience with acting. At every turn, Phyre feels increasingly overwhelmed and frustrated by her feelings.

All the while, her best friend, referred to throughout the story as "you," grapples with feelings for Phyre. Only Phyre is so busy with her own struggles that she fails to notice her closest friend slipping away.

- - -

This book is unique to me! I've never read one quite like it. It's written in screenplay format with Phyre being first person, and "You" (the reader) being second person. I found this to be a very creative way of helping to engage your reader. For one thing, you never find out the gender of "You" - it makes you pay closer attention to details and keeps you guessing. There's also the fact that writing the book in this way gives readers a chance to actively play a part in the story--the part of "You." It was certainly something that helped me to connect with the protagonist as well as her best friend.

There are two reasons I left off a 5th star from my rating of this novel. One: The name "Phyre"... Now, I have never once criticized a character's name, but I suppose there is a first time for everything. I simply think choosing this name was a trying-too-hard show of being "cool" ... It just bugged me A LOT.

Two: Just the simple fact that the story lacked some depth.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The ending.
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... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Tiia
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
At first glance, I admit I was a little worried about the screenplay format. But BETWEEN YOU AND ME is written so well with such a fantastic plot that "format" went out the window... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jessica Burkhart
3.0 out of 5 stars Creatively done + so very interesting
ME
What should I say to all these visitors who come to the blog today?

YOU
Weren't you going to tell them about this incredible book that you finished reading? Read more
Published 23 months ago by Alexa (Alexa Loves Books)
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't recommend it highly enough.
It's easy take a gimmick and make a book out of it. It's hard to make it work. Marisa Calin`s debut, BETWEEN YOU AND ME, is told in the form of a screen play. Read more
Published on October 22, 2012 by E. Kristin Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and absorbing
Phyre is shocked when she meets her student drama teacher Mia and experiences an attraction to the other woman that she can't define. Read more
Published on October 6, 2012 by The Compulsive Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and touching
The story line might seem deja vu, but it is written from an unusual angle and the style is very gripping. Read more
Published on October 6, 2012 by T. Heath
4.0 out of 5 stars Hobbitsies Reviews: Risk-taking really pulled off
Between You & Me by Marisa Calin is a kind of a ballsy book. There were a lot of risks taken with Between You & Me - and a lot of subjects discussed - that are usually overlooked... Read more
Published on September 30, 2012 by Tara Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Novel
There were so many things about this novel that caught my eye that had me crossing my fingers that I'd get a chance to read it! Read more
Published on September 5, 2012 by Josie Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars I Expect This To Win Awards For YA Fiction This Year!!
I'm very excited about this book. It's a truly unique read with all the components that make it a stand out for YA and general fiction. Read more
Published on August 30, 2012 by The Bookish Dame
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5/5 from Bookworm1858
I love love love epistolary novels (this one is told as a screenplay in homage to the main character's love of films) so I thought this would be an enjoyable read. Read more
Published on August 26, 2012 by bookworm1858
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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

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