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Between Mom and Jo

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  3,157 ratings  ·  178 reviews
Nick has a three-legged dog named Lucky, some pet fish, and two moms who think he's the greatest kid ever. And he happens to think he has the greatest Moms ever, but everything changes when his birth mom and her wife, Jo, start to have marital problems. Suddenly, Nick is in the middle, and instead of having two Moms to turn to for advice, he has no one.

Nick's emotional
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published May 10th 2006)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,157 ratings  ·  178 reviews

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Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although my parents are heterosexual, Between Mom and Jo still spoke to me personally. As someone who wishes to have children with a male partner one day, it was saddening to read about how Nick had to put up with the taunting and teasing of his peers.

Looking at it positively, at least he had two loving parents who supported him through it. All his life, he’s known Mom and Jo would be there for him. They’ve gone through tough times together, battling alcoholism, cancer, and death. Which makes it
I really enjoy the premise of this book: Nick has two moms, and they're splitting up. Thus, Nick faces all of the same problems a child of divorce would face- (point: it's the same thing, people!) with the added hardship of being ostracized by others because of his parents. It's especially complicated because his "non-biological" mom didn't officially adopt him, and his other mom tries to keep them apart.

This was all wonderfully written, but the book is very sad. It put me into a weepie funk.
Oct 11, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes YA/Julie Anne Peter's work
The book started off kinda weird for me because the narrator was like 4 or 5 but the voice sounded old. I think by books end he was like 13 but he still sounded much older. Like maybe looking back on his life. Either it wasn't clear or I didn't get it. The main character's name is Nick. He has two moms. His biological mother is Erin. She's studying to be a lawyer. His other mom is Jo, who at the beginning drinks to much but then promises Nick to stop and keeps her word. Jo is always in an out of ...more
Apr 09, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: teen
Written from a 14 yr old boy's perspective, this book tells the story of his childhood with his two lesbian moms. Ultimately his moms split and Nick must deal with the grief of split family and the possibility of never seeing his mom, Jo, again.
The voice in the book is powerful and authentic. Nick is so honest. This story brings to light an issues that is all too often ignored when one parent does not have legal rights to the child she has raised and the struggles that plague gay couples who
Oct 19, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-teen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mature readers
Recommended to Courtney by: Mark Letcher
This book was intense for me. I think it's because Peters does such a great job of making the reader identify with Nick, the main character of the story. The novel begins with Nick's earliest memory of his mother, Jo. As the story progresses through time, the reader realizes that they share a bond. A bond that gets severed when his "real" mother, Nick's biological mother and Jo's life partner, decides she no longer wants to be with Jo, and that Nick belongs to her. As Nick reminisces, the reader ...more
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, ya
Between Mom and Jo is the first of Julie Anne Peters's books I've picked up in a few years. I've been avoiding her books for a while, because I was afraid that now that I'm 24, the magic of her stories would be gone. I was afraid that they wouldn't speak to me like they did when I was 14, and in a way I was right--reading her books now is not the lifeline it was when I was so young. But that doesn't mean her books have lost their magic or their realness.

Between Mom and Jo is a phenomenal story
Isabelle Sanchez
Aug 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Between Mom and Jo, is also my favorite book. It has all that a book needs; conflict, LOTS of DETAILS, and a solution. But somehow this book seems as if it has more than it needs. This book made me think about how some boys cut themselves because they think that their lives suck, or how some boys have 2 moms, or 2 dads. It made me open my eyes to those that don't have what I do or what others have.

This book talks about this boy named Nick. Nick has two moms and he knows that they are lesbian. At
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay, nook
There are moments when you pull back and recognize you are experiencing a magnectic moment of bliss. Often, these moments are benign and seemingly throwaway to most people, but signify a real turning point in your life. Nick experiences this revelation during a summer day spent with his two moms.

Nick is the product of Erin and Jo, a lesbian couple composed of an ambitious lawyer and an untethered handy-woman. Nick loves his two moms, considering his family a happy unit as they navigate
Mar 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yafiction
Nick's life has always revolved around himself, his mother, and her wife Jo. Over the years, he's gotten used to the taunting from his classmates - the boys calling him "fag" and making fun of his mothers. He's even experienced discrimination from his friends' parents and his teacher in elementary school. The one thing that makes him feel better is his mother's promise - that the three of them will always be together, no matter what.

Nick isn't prepared when the floor falls out from beneath him.
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Between Mom and Jo is the story of a boy named Nick and his two moms, Erin and Jo. The book starts when Nick is three, and we get to see Nick grow up thinking that having two moms is completely normal. In fact, his parent’s sexuality isn’t even the main focus of the book. Though their family faces many hardships (including alcoholism and cancer) Erin and Jo promise Nick that the three of them will always be together.

But one day, when Nick is fourteen, Erin starts an affair with another woman.
Jun 19, 2010 rated it liked it
I didn't love the structure (I think I like well-done flashbacks over a giant timeline that lets a writer merely focus ONLY on the important stuff; I think it's a much easier way and therefore inherently not as rewarding), and, godDAMN is this a depressing one. But there are still a lot of interesting and thought-provoking issues explored here. Agree with the reviewer who said there are some huge missed opportunities with regard to class/privilege, etc.

Fair warning: if you love animals this book
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is two things that don’t fit well together: a tween narrative about a kid managing with his divorcing moms and the birth mom’s new gf, and a psychodrama about a lesbian couple breaking up and struggling with raising their son. Both threads had one terrible ending. Not terrible sad, but terrible unrealistic and way over-simplified. It’s all narrated by the tween son who couldn’t possibly have the emotional maturity to narrate the mom’s stories.
Sep 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compelling story of the dissolution of a marriage from the POV of Nick, a 14-year-old boy. His moms' relationship has come apart at the seams, and he wants to live with his non-biological mom. Dwells a little too much and too long on Nick's depression for comfort, and it's hard to believe (she says self-servingly) that a mother could ever be so clueless about her kid. Overall a solid book.
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nick loves Jo but Jo and his mom break up. This book is heart-wrenching as Nick struggles to understand and to express his own need for love without rejecting either one. I liked this book in that it got me engaged in a subject I usually avoid and showed the humanity of a difficult situation.
Worth the read, but didn't quite meet my expectations. While I liked the overall premise of the book and there were some genuinely lovely moments in it, there were a lot of things that were just good without developing enough to pack the punch that we could have gotten.

My overall feeling on the characters is that they all started out great, but did not get fleshed out as much as they deserved. The character development felt a bit stilted and unfulfilled, which made it hard to sympathize with the

Oh, Julie Anne Peters. Must you confound me so?

Look, I want to like Peters, I really do. The author of the first book about a transgendered person in all of YA should deserve praise, and she's truly not a bad writer. She tries to break more ground here by writing about a character with two moms. I've seen it in YA before (in Naomi and Ely's No-Kiss List, but that came out a year later than this book, and the focus of the book wasn't on having two moms.

But y'know, I'm not sure if I could say
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
“I love both you guys.” In different ways, I don’t add. For different reasons. But I love you both the same.

God. I really walked right into that, didn't I.

I was honestly not looking for it. I wanted a light, but nice lecture between exams and I figured out I could find it in this book. It especially reclaimed my attention with the topic: I wanted to read about the point of view of a boy that had two moms. Even if this was an important point, it was not the main one; this book was about
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm torn about this book. It was well written, but both of the parents were so irresponsible and self-centered that it was a frustrating read. I'm not sure whether that is unrealistic or just unpleasant. The one part that really seems unrealistic is Jo not adopting Nick. I can't believe any non-biological parent would refuse to adopt their child out of denial that their parental rights would ever be questioned. I think the book would've been better if I'd been able to feel for either of Nick's ...more
Nichole Hollingsworth
Emotionally complicated story that deals with divorce between lesbian parents. Initially it focuses on Nick's life as he is growing up and dealing with how the world perceives his family. Jo is a mess but she loves Nick and when Erin and Jo split up, Jo has no rights to Nick. Thus ensues a messy battle with Nick fighting to be with Jo. I like that Jo is a messy character--she is crude a brash but that's part of why she and Nick work.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another awesome one! I am in love with Julie Anne Peters writings!
Samantha Marquis
Not many people know what it's like to grow up with two moms. This book lets us take a peek in to that dynamic. julie anne peters writes with such honesty, and integrity.
Elaine Fultz
One of the original titles added to MS and HS libraries with CCS/PFLAG Rainbow Reading project.
Linda Lorentz
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the 7th book I have read by Julie Anne Peters. Peters is an author extraordinaire. She never disappoints and I am always glad to have read her book(s). This book was no exception.
Rants and Bants
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

BETWEEN MOM AND JO is the first book I've read by Julie Anne Peters, but it won't be my last. In fact, as soon as I finished this book, I went and read KEEPING YOU A SECRET and LUNA. And while we're on confessions, this is also the first book I've read dealing with GLBT (gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender) issues, but again, it won't be the last. This book grabbed at my emotions, affecting me with every word so deeply that I finished it in only a matter of
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book deals with the topical issue of divorce. Which for some kids isn’t a big deal, for others it is. It wasn’t a big deal for me. But for Nick, our fourteen-year old protagonist, it pretty much shakes his world. It always confuses me how people who live with single parents act like someone who suddenly experiences a divorce is overreacting—they’re used to having two parents around, and in Nick’s case, he was very close to both of his moms. Yes, both moms. Because for him, that is normal, ...more
Jack Lembeck
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Review
I read Between Mom and Joe by Julie Anne Peters. This book was about a boy named Nick living with two moms. It starts when he is a little kid and each chapter he gets older up until the point where he is in high school.
Throughout his life her deals with being bullied for having lesbian moms and he has to deal with his mom having an alcohol problem. His mom and Joe start to have problems in their relationship and Nicks world starts to fall apart, which I thought was a one of the best
I read a review of this and recommended it be bought for the library. A quarter of the way through the library copy, I was not enjoying it and feeling guilty for having recommended it! The first few chapters are told in flashback, and it took me a while to figure this out. The other criticism is that Jo - one of the moms - was so unsympathetic. She was like a useless husband - poor Mom (Nick, the narrator, has two moms but calls the birth mother mom and the other mom Jo) goes out to work at a ...more
Sep 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good exploration of the impact a broken marriage can have on a teenager. In this case, the protagonist has two moms (one of whom is his bio mom). Peters does address Nick's confusion and occasional bullying as a result of his nontraditional family, but mainly focuses on his depression and anger of the breakup of his parents. Further complications ensue with the introduction of his mom's new girlfriend and the ramifications from his other mom not formally adopting him. Divorce involving ...more
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right decision 1 5 May 13, 2014 02:44PM  

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Julie Anne Peters was born in Jamestown, New York. When she was five, her family moved to the Denver suburbs in Colorado. Her parents divorced when she was in high school. She has three siblings: a brother, John, and two younger sisters, Jeanne and Susan.

Her books for young adults include Define "Normal" (2000), Keeping You a Secret (2003), Luna (2004), Far from Xanadu (2005), Between Mom and Jo
“It doesn't matter who you love - a guy, a girl - love is love. And it's the most important thing in the world. If you have love in your life, you have everything.” 6 likes
“Stop,' I tell her, stepping between her and the bag. 'Look what you're doing.' Jo gazes down at her hands as if they're not even attached to her body. She lowers them. She says, 'I've got a problem.'
'No shit,' I reply.
Her head lolls back and I can see she's hurting. 'I made you coffee.' I tell her, thumbing at the mug on the picnic table. 'Extra strong.'
She asks, 'Did you spike it with arsenic?'
'We're all out,' I answer. 'Unfortunately, all I could find was Excerdrin.”
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