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Within and Without

4.74  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Some girls will go to great lengths to fit in. But how far is too far?

A stunning YA debut that touches on a teenage girl's emotionally haunting journey to self acceptance.

When sixteen-year-old Wren Newmann is forced to move from her small California town to her grandmother’s vineyard after her parent’s divorce, she’s convinced she’ll die a shriveled, wine-country virgin.

Paperback, 223 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Lakewater Press
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Average rating 4.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  80 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Deborah Crossland
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: ya, i-wrote-this
I wrote this! I can't wait for you all to meet Wren. She has such heart, even if her sarcastic self hides all her feels. I hope you love her as much as I do! ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This is a book to read if you like:
-Yummy Greek food
-Sweet farm boys
-Seeing non-sweet jerk boys get what's coming to them
-a heart-cracking look at eating disorders
-Also, love.

*I received an early copy of this book and this is my honest, voluntary review.
Rebecca Carpenter
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that touches your very core, the characters so real you feel as if you’ve been transported into another world. I laughed. I cried. I hated. I loved. I was devastated. I was hopeful. I wanted to try Greek food. But most of all, I remembered.
Deborah Maroulis catches the essence of being a teenage girl and isn’t afraid to tackle difficult topics that many teens face. WITHIN AND WITHOUT isn’t your “happily-ever-after” fairytale—it’s a heart-wrenching journey of the life o
Laurie Flynn
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this debut from an author to watch. Within and Without manages to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and Wren is a protagonist readers will be able to relate to. Realistic, authentic, and true-to-life. Add this one to your 2019 TBR!
Kate Foster
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ugh, this book. Just ugh. So. Ridiculously. Good. Smooth writing, authentic characters, emotion overload. A fantastic book that I cannot recommend enough. It covers some tough topics so it's good to be prepared, but I believe a lot of teens will relate hard to Wren's story. Read it. ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get to read this book early. Wren's struggle is every teen girl's struggle. This book deals with issues of self-esteem, sex, love, friendship, family and one girl's battle with an eating disorder. It is such an important book and I highly recommend.
Plus, Granny is hilarious and Panayis is pretty cute too ;)
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Susan's Reviews
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
My thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

This young adult novel deals with several serious issues: young Wren battles with an eating disorder and self-esteem issues, sexual assault, divorce and loss.

Wren has always believed herself to be in love with the popular boy, Jay. When she starts to lose weight and attracts his attention, she thinks things are finally going her way. But after a while, she realizes that she couldn't be
Kristy Fairlamb
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book
What an emotional ride.
Within and Without completely gutted me and ever so carefully put me back together again.

Dear, dear Wren, my heart aches for you.
And as a mother of a teenage daughter, I'm left a little bit fearful.

Through first person POV, we are on the front lines with Wren, witnessing her desperation and the painful consequences that come from wanting to do whatever it takes to fit in. My heart twisted in knots and I occasionally had to close my eyes from the sadness of Wren's actio
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think what I loved most about Within and Without - and Deb - is the fact that she front loads this book with a trigger warning. There’s no doubt that a story of a girl spiraling into an eating disorder could be triggering for some. Thank you, Deb, for keeping people safe.

I am here for authentic and real YA contemporary. I read these stories because I like to stay grounded in reality and have books get me to think about things. Within and Without is a book the will make you think. Deb’s writing
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At first, the book and I got off to a rough start. Wren's struggles with self-image struck a little too close to home, and it took a while for me to warm up to some of the characters. But when I did, I was completely drawn into the story. I think the writing kept getting better and better, and by the time I was halfway through the book, I was hooked. The author did a fantastic job describing ranch life in northern California, as well as the inner workings of a small-town high school. And the cha ...more
Nicole Drake
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Maroulis captures the feelings of struggling with an eating disorder and low self-esteem with frankness and clarity. Within and Without is an honest, raw narrative which superbly balances being a romance novel with tackling the more serious issues Wren faces. It is poignant, witty, devastating, and inspiring.

Within and Without also normalises LGBT relationships by not emphasising “the gay best friend” trope or promoting the character as stereotypical and ostentatiously flaunting her in order fo
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well-written, engaging, and thoughtful, Within and Without is not only an important read but an entertaining one as well. Deborah Maroulis does a great job at writing characters and capturing an authentic teenage voice; Wren felt very relatable to me in my high school years despite her having vastly different struggles than I did. It's quick, easy to read, and tells a story about a character that I don't think we see enough of in young adult literature. ...more
M.A. Guglielmo
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Within and Without is a gripping YA debut focusing on a teenager struggling with body image and an eating disorder as she tries to navigate love, friendship and her parents' recent divorce. The writing is solid, and the main character Wren is appealing and sympathetic. The subject matter does touch on some darker themes, but the depiction of Wren's eating disorder is handled well. I would recommend the book for fans of YA contemporary novels that focus on real-life issues of sexuality and mental ...more
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I was given this ARC in exchange for a fair review.


The feelings.

Those teen years I would never want to return to came rushing back with the incredible storytelling. Lush descriptions and evocative emotions tumbled throughout the book to give the reader perfect insight to the main character's life and turmoil. But she's so freaking funny too. I'll never be that witty.

At one point in the story, I thought, this is all too much. But I couldn't stop reading and finished it in
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOW!!! I cried so many times while reading this book. Such a beautiful, poignant, gripping story. Deborah Maroulis’ depiction of the thought processes of a teenage girl dealing with the upheaval of her life, insecurities, need for control, and skewed self image was accurate and brought up so many emotions. All of this wrapped in a beautiful story of love, support, and examples of genuine admiration. Within and Without is a beautiful story that took me on a journey and left me feeling satisfied a ...more
Danielle Stinson
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful debut that touches upon no small number of important issues. Image. The pressure kids (or anyone for that matter) feel to look or a act a certain way. First love. Loss. It is about family and friendship and growing up. This book is such a good reminder to young people that our perceptions of ourselves are often flawed, and that we need to be as kind to the faces we see staring back at us in the mirror as we are to our friends and loved ones. The message is vital and the story ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down! It brought me right back to high school and the feeling of first love and all the insecurities that come with it. I laughed and cried and felt a lot of love for Wren, as well as my younger self.
The Glass House Online Magazine
Every Body Is Beautiful

Wow just wow. At first, I seriously didn’t think I would like this book, the blurb didn’t hook me as much as some do and I went into it expecting a mediocre read. Well, don’t I feel like an idiot now. This book is life changing.

It deals with such sensitive topics, and yet it is not depressing. It’s raw and eye-opening. There are moments when I laughed and moments when I screamed at the protagonist Wren. Some of what she said and did made me want to shake her. But that’s t
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review*

Deborah Maroulis captures in raw detail the challenges that so many young adults face — often in secret.

Within and Without is, in my opinion, an important book for YA (and even parents) to read to begin the conversations that can be, at times, uncomfortable.

I personally know Deborah, and the way she wrote this novel is 100% true to her character and her voice. In other words, you will find no more honest a representat
Lainie Horwedel
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Within and Without was a fantastic read! Not just YA fiction in my opinion. The characters that Deborah Maroulis creates are rich, lovable and relatable. I laughed, I cried and I got angry! I finished this book in record time because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. The author’s handling of sensitive topics was just the right balance of ugly reality and, yet extremely respectful. Sometimes these topics are presented in such a way that they are either unrealistic or so heavy that I can’ ...more
Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WITHIN AND WITHOUT by Deborah Maroulis is an absolute hidden gem and one of the best contemporary voices I read in 2019. Wren is an authentic character, and her often self-deprecating humor gave what would have already been a strong narrative that much more dimension. What struck me about WITHIN AND WITHOUT was the experience as reader of seeing where Wren’s choices would (and wouldn’t) lead, stemming from insecurities representative of the kind many teens experience (bodily or otherwise), and b ...more
Paula DeBoard
I'm not typically a YA reader, but this is a book with definite crossover appeal. I loved that it made me remember my own awkward teenage self, while being so grateful that I grew up before texting and social media. (FWIW, I humiliated myself in other ways.)

Wren is a great character, both funny and snappy in a self-deprecating way, and realistic in her relationship turmoil and body image issues. Within and Without covers some serious topics, which makes it all the more relevant and read-worthy.
Kat Bee
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A sometimes heart-wrenching but ultimately uplifting story of a junior in high school, Wren, who after struggling for so long to fit in, comes to learn that fitting in and being admired by her peers has extracted too high a cost. Nearly everyone in Wren's life has let her down but no one quite as much as Wren herself. Bulimia and body dysmorphia are dealt with frankly but compassionately. A must-read for both teens and parents of teens. ...more
Rebecca Dickens
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Must Read!

This book gets 5 stars!! What an amazing read! Wrens character is so relatable.. If you want to get lost in love, pain, death, and redemption..this is a must read!
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So today (literally in one day) I read Within and Without by Deborah Maroulis. This is a really amazing book that I think can be super relevant for a teenage audience right now. Many young girls might be able to relate to the story of Wren.

Wren is dealing with her parents divorce when she must go to live at her grandmother's vineyard. While quiet and reserved, she attracts the attention of her long-time crush, Jay who is a popular boy at school. While others around her see that Jay might not be
Amber White
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I was allowed to have an ARC for an honest review of this book through NetGalley.

When I chose Within and Without by Deborah Maroulis, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had review the preview of the book and I liked what I had read. I also liked the cover to the book which was something that drew me into the book when I chose it.
Although when I did start reading it, I felt like I might not like it since I was struggling with the time jumps at the start of the first few chapters. But once I got pas
Jodi Gallegos
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Wren has a lot going on. Her parent’s recently divorced. Her mom has fully embraced the single life—almost forgetting that she has a daughter. She’s now living at her grandmother’s vineyard instead of the house she grew up in. Add to that the usual high school social dynamics and Wren’s near-crippling insecurities. But Wren has started to take a little bit of control in an effort to transform herself into what she thinks will make her better, more confident, and maybe even help her feel like she ...more
Jacqueline Firkins
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a compelling and relatable read. Maroulis presents us with Wren, a girl who struggles to see herself without filtering that self through a perception of inferiority and shame. So many moments resonated as I found myself nodding to her thoughts of wishing she was prettier, thinner, more likable, more in control, more anything but what she already is, which is pretty wonderful. I sped through the book (and I'm normally a very slow reader) thanks to the pace of the action, the wit and ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes I get so caught up in wanting to write the perfect review. This is no different, but my emotions regarding Wren’s story are so strong that it almost seems impossible.

All I can really say is, there is no other kind of love than a grandmother’s love.

Thank you, Deborah Marloulis for so beautifully showing that love and for so delicately and beautifully writing the pain and heartache. With realistic characters and heartbreaking (and warming) declarations of the truth of what makes a fami
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Deborah Crossland (she/her) teaches English and mythology at her local community college and writes myth-based, contemporary novels with a feminist bent for young adults. She is passionate about making education accessible for everyone and makes sure her students pay nothing out of pocket. She lives in Northern California with her husband and her daughter's very spoiled, retired service dog.

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