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Girls in the Moon

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  2,462 ratings  ·  410 reviews
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, p
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 29th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Helena Phoebe is 17 years old in present time
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,462 ratings  ·  410 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, ya
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
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 witho
Kali Wallace
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 differ
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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!
Laurie Flynn
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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. Phoeb
Jeff Zentner
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 a ...more
Ashley Blake
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
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. ...more
Sarah Elizabeth
(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 p
Janet McNally
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm pretty partial to this one. :) ...more
Karen Hattrup
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
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 proble
Heidi Heilig
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 com
Kathleen Glasgow
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 ro ...more
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
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.

Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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, da ...more
Amber Smith
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
S.M. Parker
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Katie Kennedy
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 de
Mister Mank
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Kate Quinn
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 throu ...more
Lois Sepahban
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.

Melissa Zgliczynski
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-my-cup-of-tea, dl, ya, 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 fa
Julie Eshbaugh
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 o ...more
Zoë Maya
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 lov ...more
Julie Hammerle
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Margot Harrison
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 bittersw
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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 rec ...more

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