Between You and Me by Julia Clarke

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Between You and Me by Julia Clarke

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A fabulous read, this may be your clichéd 'teenage girl has messy love life just as her family is falling apart' tale but the approach is fresh, and the writing wonderfully engaging.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: July 2009
Publisher: OUP
ISBN: 978-0192755902

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Jade and Jack, Jack and Jade. No, not Goody and Tweed, the other Jade and Jack, the ones this book's about. Best friends forever in a probably platonic but you never quite know kind of way. At the end of the summer hols, Jade's excited about returning to school, starting in the 6th form and, of course, reuniting with Jack, so how is it that just days later, her once quite nice life has begun unravelling around her? There's new girl Sybil – just what is the deal with her and Jack? – and the mysterious Finn, entering her life for what she thinks is the first time, but is it? Toss in two super secretive parents at the same time she's juggling her first Saturday job, and life has suddenly become rather complicated.

That's life, though, isn't it? The book, on the other hand, is delightfully uncomplicated. It is beautifully written and packs a great deal into a relatively small number of pages. Jade was someone I warmed too immediately, though until the school year references appeared, I couldn't place her in age (I had her pegged at anything between 13 and 20 to start with). This, combined with the fact that most of the action takes place outside the school gates, widens its appeal to a larger age group. It doesn't read specifically as teen literature – the writing's too intelligent for that – but at the same time is not overly complicated by annoyingly long words that seek to isolate younger readers.

The book features many of the issues teens (and teen books) regularly deal with: first crushes, first kisses, family dramas, jealousy and rivalry. It's not a heavy book, though, nor is it perhaps as graphic as titles such as Good Girls but it manages to approach the topics it does include with a certain degree of seriousness and respect: this is not the kind of book where either the reader or the writer want to tell the characters to pull themselves together and move on.

The book is short but sweet, and an easy yet engaging read. The story has a real momentum to it, as the mystery builds up and then begins to solve itself, and the ending is satisfying without feeling rushed. Highly recommended.

Many thanks go to the publishers for sending us this title.

Julia Clarke really hits the nail on the head with her teen books. Bookbag also loved The Kissing Club.

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Buy Between You and Me by Julia Clarke at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Between You and Me by Julia Clarke at


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