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Girls in the Moon

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An exquisitely told, authentic YA debut about family secrets, the shadow of fame, and finding your own way.

Everyone in Phoebe Ferris’s life tells a different version of the truth. Her mother, Meg, ex–rock star and professional question evader, shares only the end of the story—the post-fame calm that Phoebe’s always known. Her sister, Luna, indie-rock darling of Brooklyn, preaches a stormy truth of her own making, selectively ignoring the facts she doesn’t like. And her father, Kieran, the cofounder of Meg’s beloved band, hasn’t said anything at all since he stopped calling three years ago.

But Phoebe, a budding poet in search of an identity to call her own, is tired of half-truths and vague explanations. When she visits Luna in New York, she’s determined to find out how she fits in to this family of storytellers, and to maybe even continue her own tale—the one with the musician boy she’s been secretly writing for months. Told in alternating chapters, Phoebe’s first adventure flows as the story of Meg and Kieran’s romance ebbs, leaving behind only a time-worn, precious pearl of truth about her family’s past—and leaving Phoebe to take a leap into her own unknown future.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published November 29, 2016

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About the author

Janet McNally

8 books143 followers
Though her family is not rock and roll royalty, Janet McNally has always liked boys in bands. (She even married one.) She has an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, and her stories and poems have been published widely in magazines. She has twice been a fiction fellow with the New York Foundation for the Arts. Janet lives in Buffalo with her husband and three little girls, in a house full of records and books, and teaches creative writing at Canisius College. Girls in the Moon is her first novel, but she’s also the author of a prizewinning collection of poems, Some Girls. You can visit her online at www.janetmmcnally.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 425 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,471 reviews19.1k followers
February 27, 2019
I had never read anything by Janet McNally before so I went in with pretty low expectations, and I ended up really liking this! I loved the family dynamics and the 90s grunge rock vibes and the New York setting SO MUCH. I felt like I could perfectly picture every single scene of the book. The only thing that I felt really detracted from the story was the romance (which is saying something bc y'all know how much I love me a good romance). The one in this book honestly felt a little pointless and just kind of took time away from the other amazing elements of the story. BUT STILL, even with that I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read more from McNally in the future!
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,089 reviews7,947 followers
February 7, 2017
You know that feeling when you really want to love something, but then your experience turns out to be more like 'okay'? This book was that for me. It has all the fixings of a book I'd really enjoy: lyrical writing, multiple perspectives, unique narrative structure, and music. But even with all that it never really wowed me.

The story follows Phoebe Ferries, daughter to famous musicians and bandmates, Kieran and Meg Ferris of the 90's band Shelter (I took it to be a sort of Fleetwood Mac-inspired group). She's going to NYC to spend a week at the end of summer with her sister, Luna, who's now also in a band and starting to find success. Phoebe wants to get away from her mom and ex-best friend in Buffalo, to see her sister, and find her dad in the city who she hasn't talked to in 3 years.

Plot-wise, that's pretty much it. This isn't a story that's heavy on action; Phoebe is both a very observant and introspective narrator, so most of the story is her perspective. But we also get some chapters sprinkled in from the mom's perspective, chronicling her rise to fame and subsequent fallout with her husband. These chapters are told in reverse order, so we move from the present to the past. And honestly, I expected this structure to serve a purpose to the story, like we'd get some big reveal by the end that would inform everything I just read...and I don't think it did. It had a slight pay-off, but ultimately that reverse order did very little to move the plot or add to anything within the story.

I think the author is also a poet, and that definitely shows in the writing. If you're turned off by lyrical writing, lots of metaphors and descriptions, you probably won't like this. I loved it. The writing was some of the best stuff about the book for me.

Even though it sounds like I'm harping on this book, I would still recommend it to people—especially people who love young adult novels. This had some of the most accurate dialogue in a YA novel that I've read, as far as sounding like real teenagers. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone that is intrigued by it.
Profile Image for Emily.
Author 11 books64.1k followers
March 24, 2016
A literary, complex, and warmwarmwarm coming-of-age story.

I had high expectations for this book and they were all beautifully met. This book is a snapshot of several moments in time, connecting a significant time in the lives of two teenage sisters (Phoebe and Luna) with a significant time in the life of their mother, former rock goddess Meg Ferris. It's supremely nuanced and thoughtful in the connections it draws, subtly nudging the girls toward questions of identity, heritage, and agency without becoming messagey or obvious. It felt very understated, like it was zeroing in on the quiet moments of revelation or transformation where so often our greatest revelations and transformations actually occur--the moments that WE know are significant more because of what was happening in our minds than because of what was happening in the physical world around us.

And it all feels so personal and intimate that it actually has the effect of making the Ferris girls story feel MORE universal. Because McNally pinpoints the thoughts and feelings that probably all of us have and probably all of us assume are too specific to us to be able to explain.

I loooooved how wholly this was the Ferris girls' story. While each of the girls has a love interest (and the sisters are also separately exploring thoughts about their relationship with their father), it's so clearly THEIR book about THEIR relationships to one another and THEIR futures/identities. And on that note, I absolutely LOVED the sisterly relationship. The peaks into their mother's old journal allow us a view of Luna and Phoebe from childhood on, showing us the way their relationship evolved and how the girls' two personalties have always been so distinct. Some of these flashback sections were my favorites. I would honestly love a prequel centering on Meg's life in her twenties because I found her sections to be so ridiculously rich and poignant.

The pockets of pop culture, real and imagined, gave the book such a thorough, real feeling and were also just one of the most fun parts. These details made the story come to life. It's interesting to think about "world building" in terms of realism but this book kept making me think "what amazing world building!!" I'm not sure I've never had that thought while reading a contemporary novel. But I did this time.

While there was so much I adored about this book, I honestly think my favorite thing of all was the language. McNally blends simplicity with lush, surprising phrases. Pretty much anytime the sky, moon, or stars were described I found myself pausing to let the words sink in. I honestly felt like I was learning to be a better writer the whole time I was reading, and the book left me feeling inspired, eager to work on my own voice.

Very quiet but very beautiful. I highly recommend for fans of pop culture, sophisticated writing, and nuanced stories about family.
Profile Image for Kali Wallace.
Author 26 books536 followers
April 26, 2016
This is such a beautiful book! It's the story of a family told past and present, from the points of view of both a daughter and a mother, It's like being invited to spend one dreamy, lyrical week with this family of poets and musicians. They're a complicated, fractured family, sure, with problems and rifts pushing them apart, with secrets and misunderstandings, and they all feel so incredibly REAL.

The way McNally writes them and their relationships with each other is stunning. I love the different versions of each person they see, the different stories they all remember and cling to, and the fact that they're all carrying their own version of the truth. They're people who have hurt and disappointed each other, but there is so much love and hope and understanding here too.

I don't even know how to explain it except to say that reading this book feels good. It feels like wandering through a beloved city on a summer afternoon, or listening to a favorite record on scratchy vinyl, or sharing a starlit walk with a loved one. It's that kind of feeling, warm and so full of life, and I am in awe of Janet McNally for capturing it so well.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
Author 3 books94 followers
April 3, 2016
Absolutely gorgeous, stunning and moving. A book about sisters and families - the way we come together and the ways we fall apart. A love story about all different kinds of love. The love of family. A love for the places you've been and the places you're going. A love for music and words.

And it's so, so beautifully written. The images. The language. Stunning.

I highly recommend immersing yourself in this story. Loved. 1000 stars!
Profile Image for Laurie Flynn.
Author 8 books1,059 followers
June 26, 2016
Warning: I’m writing this review under the influence of a massive book hangover. I’m in that dreamy, gauzy state where my head is still in the pages I just read, full of their beauty and wonder. And I have a feeling this particular book hangover will be long-lasting, because the pages of GIRLS IN THE MOON are rich and sumptuous and soaked in gorgeous language and depth.

GIRLS IN THE MOON is the story of Phoebe, the daughter of rock stars who were famous in the 90s with their band, Shelter. Phoebe lives with her mother, Meg, and hasn’t seen her father in over three years. In the heart of summer, she visits her older sister Luna in New York City, where Luna has recently dropped out of school to pursue her own musical career—a choice Meg isn’t too happy about. Phoebe wants to get the kind of answers from her family that nobody can provide, as Meg avoids talking about Shelter and Luna has seemingly convinced herself that she doesn’t need her father in her life. Phoebe’s story in the present is interlaced with flashbacks from Meg’s point of view in the early days when Shelter was being formed, and I loved the contrast—that as Phoebe surges forward in her quest for truth, Meg’s journey is going backwards, from marital breakup to the first seedlings of fame.

I cannot adequately describe how incredible the writing is in this book. Janet McNally is a poet as well as a writer, and this comes as no surprise—her use of words is thoughtful, visceral, lush, and utterly original. Her descriptions of things through Phoebe’s eyes are so unique and compelling that I wanted to highlight pretty much every line. Her sentences are infused with grace, hope, curiosity, sometimes sadness, always so much insight.

This is a book that deals with a lot of things. It’s about relationships—sisters, mother-daughter, father-daughter, friends, romantic love. It’s about regret and mistakes and choices. It’s about faith and taking chances and finding not only yourself, but different versions of yourself that you may not have yet stepped into. It’s the brassy collision of music and reality and fame and responsibility. And it’s completely captivating.

I’m so excited for everyone to discover GIRLS IN THE MOON. This is a book I’ll come back to when I need to feel inspired, because it has this magnetic energy. If there’s a formula to make words jump off a page, Janet McNally has fully mastered it.
Profile Image for Jeff Zentner.
Author 10 books2,131 followers
August 5, 2016
This is an absolutely gorgeous, lyrical exploration of family, love, and art. It manages to be page turny without ever resorting to any gimmick; just compulsively readable characters with achingly real problems and vivid personalities. I read this book weeks ago and I still think about it. This is a summer-night-full-of-stars of a book that will leave you breathless with how it shimmers and pulses. Also, I would not hesitate to recommend this to adults as well as young adults. Janet McNally, I am your fan.
Profile Image for Ashley Blake.
Author 12 books3,349 followers
May 28, 2017
This book was so magical and so...New York. It felt like a beautiful, more romantic ALMOST FAMOUS. I absolutely loved McNally's writing and this sister-mother-daughter story was just what my heart wanted.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,670 reviews1,269 followers
October 3, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Secrets, my mother told me once, and just stories turned inside out.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl visiting her old sister for 1 week in New York.

Phoebe was an okay character and she seemed to care about her family, even when her father hadn’t spoken to her for nearly 3 years. Luna seemed a little more focused though, and seemed to have a clear plan for what she wanted to do with her life.

The storyline in this was about Phoebe going to visit her older sister Luna for a week. Luna was just about to take a break from college to go on tour with her band, which her mother didn’t want her to do. Phoebe didn’t really know what the right thing for Luna to do was though, and was more concerned with tracking down her father. We got a bit of mystery surrounding Luna and Phoebe’s father, a bit of mystery surrounding the person that Phoebe was always texting, and a bit of a musical theme to the story with both of Luna and Phoebe’s parents having previously been in a band.
We also got chapters that were from Luna and Phoebe’s mother’s point of view (Meg), which seemed to chronicle her time in her band, and finding out she was pregnant, but I found these a little odd as they seemed to go backwards in time, from Meg leaving to when she first signed a record deal, and I didn’t really feel like they added much to the story.

The ending to this was okay, and we did get some answers to the mysteries. This book was missing something for me though, and even though I found it enjoyable, I didn’t love it.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Karen Hattrup.
Author 2 books58 followers
April 7, 2016
Before Janet McNally was a novelist, she was a poet – a fact that will come as no surprise to anyone who reads GIRLS IN THE MOON. This book is lush and lyric, full of beautiful metaphors, gorgeous description, heady atmosphere. It’s also a nuanced and compelling portrait of a tentative girl on the brink of adulthood, standing at the edge of discovering who she is. She happens to be the daughter of (fictional) rock royalty, but she is first and foremost a deeply relatable character, one who will feel familiar to anyone who has struggled to find their voice and their sense of self as the end of adolescence approaches.

There are so many lovely aspects of this book. It has insightful explorations of the relationships between female friends, sisters, mothers and daughters, as well as thoughtful ruminations on fame and art. The sense of place is strong and memorable throughout as well, from the quiet, shady streets of upstate New York to the lights of Brooklyn. (For anyone who has spent a magic weekend sleeping on a friend’s couch in NYC, the pacing, sights, and sounds of Phoebe’s trip will ring extraordinarily true – for those who haven’t, the book takes you there.)

If GIRLS IN THE MOON was a song, I think it would be an indie rock lullaby – hushed and sad and glittering, filled with emotion.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,037 followers
June 3, 2016
Holy balls! Girls in the Moon rocks!

After I read the first chapter I had to stop to think how I was already in love with this book. Everything was perfect. Writing was phenomenal. Characters were relatable and their problems weren't unconventional. Chapters were on the shorter side but they kept me reading until I was finished. Girls in the Moon was simply irresistible.

This might sound wrong but the whole book reminds me of all the filler (tv) episodes I ended up loving- Girl leaves her problems behind in order to visit her musician sister in New York and maybe seeing her estranged, rock-star father along the way. It was brilliant!

I love everything about this book. Subway rides, music sessions with her sister's band; walking around the city with Archer made me feel like I was there. Phoebe and Archer's relationship also impressed me. I kind of wished it remained platonic but I guess you can't have a book without a kiss or two.

Can't wait to see what Janet McNally comes up with next. Whatever it is, I'll read it!
Profile Image for Heidi Heilig.
Author 9 books1,315 followers
May 31, 2016
GIRLS IN THE MOON is a lovely book, lyrically written.

I read this book straight through in less than a day; I couldn't put it down. It's a sophisticated, dreamy novel about fame and regret and secrets and sacrifice. GIRLS IN THE MOON slips back and forth between the past and the present in the way of a summer night spent talking with old friends--nostalgic but very real, very present. As a person with a sister, I adored the relationship between the sisters, Luna and Phoebe. And the themes of coming to terms with parents, the past, choice, and regret are right up my alley. If you are looking for a dreamy, beautiful book about growing up and learning to take your own future in your hands, pick up GIRLS IN THE MOON.
Profile Image for Kathleen Glasgow.
Author 10 books4,922 followers
May 12, 2016
I love, love, loved this story. Janet McNally is also a poet, and her prose shines like nobody's business. This YA debut is part giant, soft nostalgic kiss for the music scene of the 90's, when women ruled microphones and guitars and drums, and part beautiful, contemporary coming-of-age-story. Phoebe Ferris is lovingly drawn, as are all the characters, especially her mother, Meg, whose rise to musical stardom comes at a price. There are finely meshed subplots, complicated teen friendships and romances, and a starring role for Brooklyn as an incubator of angst and art. This book would be great for teen book clubs and discussion groups and should also see success as an adult cross-over.
Profile Image for Dee.
Author 12 books244 followers
April 11, 2016
This is such a beautiful book. I knew from the description that each of the characters has her own version of the story, but I didn't realize we'd get to see it with chapters from the mom's point of view (and the past) woven in. It was clever, worked very well, and added so much depth to the story and the characters.

Phoebe was someone I was rooting for the whole time, and I loved tagging along on her journey as she searched for answers. A story of relationships, family history, and music.

Definitely recommend!

I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sherry.
2 reviews2 followers
March 13, 2016
Poetry. Music. The moon and the stars. New York in summer. A boy in a band. Romance. Secrets. What more could a reader ask for? Janet McNally's debut novel GIRLS IN THE MOON has all of these and so much more. As an avid reader, the stories I'm drawn to the most are stories about families, maybe because that's where everything begins. At its heart, GIRLS IN THE MOON is a story about family: sisters, mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters. Its narrator is seventeen-year-old Phoebe Ferris, daughter of famous musician parents, who is trying to find her own voice as she navigates her family's strained relationships and secrets. Her journey is told in stunning prose. McNally has so vividly captured Phoebe and her world, that the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes leap from each and every page. I feel like I know Phoebe and her sister Luna, and I feel like I get them. This is the sort of novel that readers will become so engrossed in reading that they'll be sad to say goodbye to the characters when it ends.
Profile Image for Amber Smith.
Author 9 books1,075 followers
February 24, 2017
A powerful story of secrets, sisters, mothers and daughters—of a family fractured and pieced back together across time, with love, pain, passion, and music. GIRLS IN THE MOON will stay with you like a song you won’t be able to get out of your mind.
Profile Image for S.M. Parker.
Author 3 books185 followers
May 31, 2016
Okay, I DEVOURED THIS BOOK. This debut is a gorgeous triumph of love, sisters, mothers and daughters. And music!! I loved every sentence in this lyrical, lovely story and basically fell head over heels for Phoebe, the fantastic MC. And the sister love is divine; Phoebe and Luna—and their choices—made me fall hard for this novel. Janet McNally has some serious rock star talent when it comes to crafting a nuanced story about the secrets we keep and how far a person will go to protect them. And how far a young girl will go to expose a secret to the light (of the moon). This is a phenomenal debut that is not to be missed!
Author 2 books65 followers
April 11, 2016
This is a terrific book--beautiful language, and a nuanced exploration of family relationships.

Phoebe Ferris is the daughter of divorced B-list rock star parents. Her older sister is in a rising band and repeating their mother's life arc--including dropping out of school. Their mom sends Phoebe to visit her sister and try to persuade her to go back to college.

The characterization is superb and the language lovely. You'll care about these people and want to get to know them better. A terrific debut from a new novelist who is already an accomplished poet.
Profile Image for Mister Mank.
213 reviews6 followers
April 30, 2016
Never does McNally write down to her young adult audience. With its poetic prose and nuanced storytelling, Girls in the Moon is as literary as contemporary literary fiction comes. An amp hums “softly like an insect” and a cooling breeze is described as “something I forgot I wanted.” As other reviewers noted, it’s a beautiful, deftly-crafted novel about family and identity, but it’s also smart — music smart! — with potential to appeal to your local record store clerk, music-obsessed Gen Xers, and (gasp!) boys in bands. What other YA novel name checks David Byrne, Sonic Youth, The Knitting Factory, Fender Jazzmasters, Austin City Limits and Paul Westerberg? Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Kate Quinn.
Author 53 books553 followers
July 9, 2016
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book.

What a great contemporary this was! A quieter book without any big explosions or fire fights, but with lots of little revelations between all the different and amazingly well-drawn characters, it kept me turning the pages right up until the end. Family, friendship, romance, and music all come together in a rich and rewarding reading experience. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
564 reviews8 followers
April 15, 2016
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I always love reading novels by poets, because I know I can expect them to be filled with beautiful and lyrical and surprising language, and Janet McNally's Girls in the Moon was no exception. Gorgeously written, this was a beautiful, quiet, realistic story about sisters and mothers and daughters and friendship and music. Music is the current that runs through the entire novel and ties everything together, across generations, and as a musician and avid music fan myself I really loved this aspect of the novel. The chapters we are given from Meg's point of view also help to deepen the story and our understanding of the characters and their lives in a really fresh and interesting way.

I highly recommend this lovely book; keep an eye out for it in November!
Profile Image for Lauren.
1 review
May 12, 2016
I loved this book! Reading Girls in the Moon was such a truly enjoyable experience. This novel is so rich with depth and insight on so many fronts. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down until finishing, and even then I wished to pick it back up and begin again. The characters had this gravity that made me want to stay with them, listen to them, learn about them, watch them grow. The story seemed to be floating through reality- realistic and raw and yet so airy and poetic. It walks us through starry nights adorned with sparkling moons and the empowerment that bubbles up at the dawn of self-actualization.

The pages are filled with beautiful metaphors that hit hard and communicate an incredible depth of emotion. It's obvious that McNally's imagery and the importance of setting was central to her telling of this story and the evolution of her characters. The attention to detail, which was written with subtle and simple (yet powerful) language was what connected me to the pages effortlessly. Internal thought carried a genuine authenticity which worked to support an intimate relationship with the characters- and the dialogue was just perfect! The book was propelled forward by an artful mixture of all of these things along side a slow but steady unraveling/building of the past. And I haven't even said anything about her incredible understanding of (and ability to write about) music! From start to finish it plays like a quiet indie guitar tune overlaid with gritty lyrics that build in intensity and pull at the heart strings. This book is meant to make you feel.

Girls in the Moon is a dreamy 'coming of age' story, but even more so a 'coming into Self' story which anyone of any age can relate to. It shows how we influence one another, especially in families and sometimes have a difficult time wrestling with who we really are or wish to be because of this. We share and we hide, we open and close off, we mimic and push away. But by acknowledging all this and taking off the blinders of perception, we see more clearly and carve out a place for ourselves within the circle. Mothers, daughters, sisters, friendship, love, and really great music references...this book has it all!
Author 25 books53 followers
May 30, 2016
I was lucky to read an ARC of Girls in the Moon.

I completely loved this book and read it in one sitting. Gorgeous storytelling, poetic writing, a main character I want to be friends with.

May 2, 2016
The images and language were fabulous. I felt like I was friends with the characters (or I wanted to be friends with them). It's a coming-of-age story that felt different than others I have read in the past, which made it exciting and fun to read to the very last page!
Profile Image for Brooke.
274 reviews137 followers
April 26, 2017
Geez! I'm having the worst luck with books this week. Perhaps it's the premises that have me hooked, but the lack of execution really falls short for me. GIRLS IN THE MOON seemed like such a sure thing- with '90s band references & musician parents, who could resist? McNally is a poet & it shows in this debut. A lot of the prose is beautiful, but it doesn't mean all that much in a novel setting. In fact, pretty much NOTHING happens here.

Basically, Phoebe & Luna's parents used to be in a pretty famous band approximately 20 years ago & now Meg lives the quiet life while Kieran is off in New York. Phoebe hasn't seen her father or sister in several years so she decides to go see them in NY. She develops a crush on Luna's bassist (like mother, like daughter- creating a band), assists Luna with a false pregnancy scare, goes to one of her father's shows & attempts to reconnect with him (but not being fully successfully) & going home. That's it. Sigh.

There was a lot of potential to dive on a deeper, however it isn't found in any of these pages. I did enjoy the little flashbacks of Meg in the '90s & would have liked more of her maternal role in the present. For a book that's supposedly heavy on the music, it's mostly just in pop culture references or flashbacks, which just didn't work for me. Phoebe desires getting to know her father better but their relationship stays stagnant throughout most of the duration of the novel. Luna could have been a better character as well; it would have been great to see some sisterly bonding.

If you're interested in a book that heavily relies on the past instead of focusing on the present & a fan of purple prose, this might be for you. For a book that does the musician father/reconnecting thing right, I'd suggest Trish Cook's SO LYRICAL.
Profile Image for Julie Eshbaugh.
Author 4 books492 followers
August 25, 2016
I loved GIRLS IN THE MOON! It's such a remarkable book. On the surface, it's a book about children of divorced parents who were in a famous band together before the girls were born, and how these two sisters cope with their family's famous past. But GIRLS IN THE MOON is about so many other things, too--it's about figuring out who you really are, finding the art that best expresses the person inside you, and living a life devoted to that art. It's also about secrets, and about the complexity of our secret lives. Phoebe, the central character of the book, feels as if everyone she loves keeps secrets from her, but secrets--along with singing and songwriting--seem to be a family trait. I found myself thinking about family traits a lot as I read this book. Janet McNally effortlessly shows how we pass down to our children so much more than our genes, but our passions and our dreams and our fears, too. The family in this book was so real, and every character was so multifaceted, I loved them even as I became angry and impatient with them. This story has amazing insights into the process of growing up and finding yourself, and I know I will read it again and again!
Profile Image for coffee ghost.
4 reviews
May 15, 2016
I absolutely loved this book! The characters were relatable even with their parents past fame. Reading through Meg's past from the end to the start of the band's fame was really cool to read. With sisterly love, fighting friends, new romance, and adventures, this book has become one of my favorites. I really loved being able to try and get an idea where places were in Buffalo, too, since I know the area. This book is written beautifully with words of poetry and so many bands mentioned that I love. I just want to read this book over and over again (and I've already read it twice!) Definitely recommend this book!
Profile Image for Julie Hammerle.
Author 8 books230 followers
May 23, 2016
How much did I love this book? The '90s, music, the '90s music, the relationship between two sisters, the mother-daughter issues. This book is so rich and so beautifully written. I urge to to check it out.
Profile Image for Margot Harrison.
Author 5 books139 followers
June 28, 2016
There are books you just read, and there are books you sink into, books that transport you to another place and time. Girls in the Moon is one of the latter. Reading McNally's dreamy, lyrical, beautifully crafted prose, I felt as if I were spending the last days of summer in New York, smelling the hot air rising from the wet pavements. But I was just tagging along with protagonist Phoebe as she reclaims pieces of her past and gains the courage she needs to face the future.

This book is a bittersweet elegy for so many things: youthful dreams of fame, artistic passion, first love. I loved the double narrative, alternating between Phoebe and her mom, Meg, at various younger stages in her life. This is a book about grunge rock royalty that doesn't romanticize it. It's really about the tough choices people make as they decide how they want to pursue their art and live their lives — which could mean leaving all the trappings of celebrity in the past. The treatment of Phoebe's parents' diverging paths is powerful and uncompromising.

For anyone who grew up in the grunge era, this novel will evoke so much nostalgia, so many memories. For a younger generation of readers, it's a slice of rock 'n' roll history combined with a beautiful coming-of-age story. Prepare to be transported.
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