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A Season for Fireflies Hardcover – June 28, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Penny Berne's life seems idyllic. At home, she is the daughter of a successful inventor and event planner. At school, she is surrounded by a close-knit group of drama department friends. She is even cast as the lead in the school play opposite her close friend, for whom she harbors romantic feelings. However, Penny's life is far from ideal. Her mother has a mental illness and struggles with addiction. In an attempt to hide her problems at home, Penny quits the school play and develops an icy indifference toward her friends. For a year, the teen leads a very different life than she did sophomore year—when she wasn't consumed with her mother's problems. When disaster and lightning strike, the past year is completely wiped from her memory, and Penny must figure out who she really is. This book starts slowly, but it picks up after a few chapters, becoming a more engaging read. Descriptions of Penny's mother's mental illness and addiction are vague enough for sensitive and middle school readers. Maizel adeptly weaves facts about lightning strike victims into the story. They are absolutely fascinating and are well placed within the narrative. VERDICT A sweet and sour tale that would make a good addition to YA romance fans' summer reading lists. Give to teens who enjoy books by Katie Cotugno or Robin Constantine.—Ellen Fitzgerald, White Oak Library, Lockport, IL
“Maizel delivers a satisfying and fairly distinctive twist on the trendy teen-amnesia novel. Cloaked in the glow of a mysterious and almost magical influx of fireflies, it’s a fresh take with a familiar feel.” (Kirkus)
“A good addition to YA romance fans’ summer reading lists. Give to teens who enjoy books by Katie Cotugno or Robin Constantine.” (School Library Journal)
“A contemporary, coming-of-age romance about first friend betrayals and first loves…Teens who are fans of light summer romances with a dollop of drama…will be intrigued and rooting for Penny in her journey towards self-love, actualization, and acceptance.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
Praise for Between Us and the Moon: “The romance between Sarah and Andrew is what first love is meant to be. A fine summer fling for a satisfying summer read.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“With its themes of confidence and discovering one’s true self, this summer romance is a great choice for teens.” (School Library Journal)
“Between Us and the Moon [is] the absolute, perfect beach/summer book. It will make you laugh and smile and it will break your heart at times as well.” (Confessions of a Bookaholic)
“Rebecca Maizel is surely an author I will be keeping an eye out for.” (Dark Faerie Tales)
“Between Us and the Moon is wonderful! It has a great heroine, a girl who uses the summer to find herself and define herself and everything she went through felt perfectly genuine. (Bewitched Bookworms)
Top customer reviews
Penny does no longer spend time with her theater friends and now has a new best friend, Kylie. Kylie seems to get her and Penny doesn't have to talk about the difficult things in her life to be understood. She misses the stage, but she has found other ways to spend her free time. When a terrible accident nearly kills Penny she loses part of her memory, the past year. She can't remember her new friends and doesn't know how she lost her old ones. Will Penny be able to find out the truth about herself and will she be able to share her memories with the people who care about her when she does?
A Season for Fireflies is a beautiful, moving story. Penny doesn't want anyone to know what's going on inside her. She's closed off and doesn't want to share the bad things, so she can pretend everything is great. Her friends know that something is going on, because part of Penny's story has been in the papers, but as she doesn't talk they don't know what it is exactly. I could feel her pain, her struggles and her heartbreak. Rebecca Maizel has described these feelings in the exact right way. Her writing is impressive and sensitive and she definitely knows what she's talking about. The tears were streaming down my face when I read about Penny's situation. I was completely overwhelmed by how well the author portrays her emotions, her descriptions are spot-on.
Penny is an incredibly strong girl. She's actually much too tough on herself which leads to a lot of difficulties. Rebecca Maizel describes them in a realistic and heartfelt way. She plays with tension and that meant I kept being curious about what would happen next. A Season for Fireflies is a fast-paced story. It's filled with meaningful scenes. I think this book is absolutely amazing. You often have no idea what happens behind closed doors. This story is an impressive example of the problems difficulties at home can cause in someone's life. Penny needs to find a way to deal with hers and even though her journey is far from easy she will learn how to manage eventually. I loved the wisdom she gathers along the way. A Season for Fireflies is a fantastic mix of compassion, honesty, sadness and hope.
First Thought After Finishing: Like Shakespeare said, all’s well that ends well--no matter how you get there.
Some books are quick reads but leave you thinking; others you have to take stretch out over several days. A Season for Fireflies is the former. I read the book in one day, mostly in one sitting, but it’s been on my mind for a few days since then.
Penny lives for theater. She acts in plays year-round and hopes to be an actress, and her best friends are there. However, her best acting job is what she dos every day—hiding how bad her mom’s drinking is from everyone. However, when the effects catch up with her, she’s desperate for a change that gets her out of the spotlight and away from questions. She spends a year hanging out with the popular crowd, balancing partying and studying, as long as it keeps her away from home. But when a lighting strike takes a year of her memory, Penny has to decide how she wants to rebuild her life.
Penny’s struggles hit close to home. Opening up and accepting help can be a challenge. She finds it easier to ignore the problems, to push away others before they can push her away. Wes, who wants to be more than her friend, scares her most of all. But when she has to face how she reinvented herself, she realizes that even though parties are fun, she can’t escape from life for forever. For anyone who has a hard time sharing personal information for fear of reactions, Penny’s story is worth reading.
This story was easy to get caught up in. I wanted to know if Penny could rebuild her relationships and if she would get her memory back. Her friends were also fun to read about. Panda especially made me smile and was someone I wanted to know more about—if there was to be a spinoff story, I would choose him to be the main character. Then there was Wes. He’s the kind of first crush that every girl deserves, and he plays an important role in the story. Finally, I loved the idea through the book of creating a life for yourself. Life didn’t have to be all or nothing; sometimes bold choices work out for the best.
Most Memorable Aspect: I liked the firefly imagery throughout the book. It brought back so many childhood memories and made me wish I’d had some of the same picturesque backdrops. I also loved the theater references throughout the story.
A sweet story of self-discovery and making choices for yourself, A Season for Fireflies is a fast read but a touching one. Rebecca Maizel has a unique style that I definitely enjoyed, and I look forward to reading more from her.
Most recent customer reviews
It was not my cup of tea even if the story was well written and...Read more