Parents' Guide to

Between Us and the Moon

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Honest, complex story of girl's first sexual relationship.

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By pretending to be someone else, 16-year-old Sarah finds herself, but the journey isn't all moonbeams and roses in this honest story of a complicated sexual awakening. Themes of authenticity and the need for connection give weight to the summer romance in BETWEEN US AND THE MOON. Rebecca Maizel offers a classic romantic hero: Andrew is gorgeous, sensitive, and responsible and loves working with troubled kids. Sarah is more interesting: Her desires and drive are relatable, but her poor choices betray a lack of experience with relationships of all kinds. Though the sexual content will raise some eyebrows, it depicts sexual intimacy as loving and attentive.

There are strong messages here about immaturity, selfishness, and trying to do too much too soon, but they're undermined by the abrupt ending. It's clear from the start that this romance is unlikely to last: We follow Sarah's Internal torment and glimpse the damage she causes, but we don't see the hard work of putting the pieces back together.

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