“But in spite of everything, we’re always going to feel a bit lost. it’s [art of growing up that no one ever tells you about.“
**I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Between Everything and Us is the first book by Rebecca Paula I’ve read. I really enjoyed her writing style, and the characters she created in the book. Mati and Beau’s story was one filled with a lot of pain and struggle, but it was very real and not shiny and glossy, as is the tendency with many romance novels.
“Mati is a someday-girl, the one you’re supposed to meet later when you’re less of a prick and have your shit together.”
Matisse (Mati) is a talented artist who failed out of a prestigious art school in Chicago after getting “distracted” by the big city. She is trying to get her life back together while working at a coffee shop and attending classes at Sutton College in Portland, Oregon. Beau sees her as someone who has everything going for her, and thinks she has everything under control, but in truth, her life is quickly falling apart. I relate a lot to Mati. I know that lost feeling that can tend to overwhelm college students. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what you truly want to do with your life. Additionally, your twenties are an extremely tumultuous time, full of a lot of change, and sometimes it’s just to much. Mati is a really good depiction of that. However, she’s still inspiring in that she never loses her inner brightness, something that only artists possess. She’s busy struggling to pay rent and please her overbearing parents, and the last thing she needs is a hot, tattooed bad-boy roommate complicating things. That’s where Beau comes in.
“Beau never stays within the lines. …He moves through Portland as if it’s his city… he’s that drop of water that runs and seeps into the paper, smearing the other watercolors until they’ve run wild as well.”
Beau is a former hockey player with a big secret. He received a life changing medical diagnosis, and ever since then his life has been tipped upside-down. He seems to have given up on life and a future, and feels he doesn’t deserve someone like Mati, and as a result tries to resist his feelings for her. I wasn’t a big fan of Beau’s at first, but he slowly grew on me. As he began to accept his diagnosis and turn his life around, his character became much more likable.
“It’s frustrating to balance on this thin line between us.”
Mati and Beau’s relationship was filled with a lot of angst and pain. Neither of them was really in a good place for a relationship, yet somehow by forming one together, they pulled themselves out of their respective darknesses. Once Beau really lets Mati in, the story shifts. I think they had amazing chemistry, and their banter was fun to read. Their push-pull relationship was frustrating at times, but fit perfectly with the story line.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. There were times it got so chaotic and the characters were filled with so much turmoil and pain that it got hard to read, but in general it was a beautiful coming of age story. They really figure out what they want to with their lives by the end, which is something every twenty-something wants to happen to them. I would definitely recommend this book, and I can’t wait to read Reagan and Noah’s story!