Jul 24, 2013
Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Overall: 5/5 rating
Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.
Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.
Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?
Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?
Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.
It’s no secret that I love Sarah Dessen and her novels. The Moon and More is the perfect embodiment of all that I love about Sarah Dessen and her writing.
Sarah Dessen’s books always have a theme to them, and this one is no different; however, Emaline is a different type of character. She isn’t passive, as so many of Sarah Dessen’s characters are, but she also isn’t aggressive. She seems to have a very well-balanced personality, and it was surprising to find that her relationships with her siblings seemed so normal. I really enjoyed reading Sarah Dessen’s interpretation of normal sibling behavior, because it is so uncommon in her books.
There were many things that surprised me about this novel, and one of them was her relationship with her family. I have come to expect that there were usually be some kind of family drama that leaves the heroine feeling left out. This definitely happened here with Emaline’s father, but then, she also has her Dad, Mom, and two sisters who balance that out. It was a welcome change of pace from what I’ve come to expect.
I also really enjoyed Emaline’s half-brother, Benji; he was absolutely adorable, and he was a huge reason why I truly enjoyed this book. Benji, while cute was absolutely heartbreaking, because you could see that he didn’t have any idea of how to deal with a father, who didn’t want to be one. As I was reading the book, I definitely was happy to see Emaline step up to the plate and be the sister that Benji needed.
Also, there were two love interests in this book, and that is another rare element within Sarah Dessen’s books. I really enjoyed both Logan and Theo at different times in the book, and I really liked how in the end neither of them was a terrible guy. It just didn’t work out for different reasons.
Logan’s laid back attitude was very likeable, but I also felt like he was incredibly immature, and it showed with what happened at Tallyho. I really didn’t like him in the beginning as he seemed very pushy about the physical aspect. I understand he’s a teenager, but it struck me as way too needy. I did like that in the end, it wasn’t going to prevent him from helping Emaline when she most needed it, and that they were always going to be friends.
Theo was harder for me to understand because, in so many ways, he seemed like he was still a little boy and that he never grew up. He was absolutely ruthless when it came to what he wanted, but it seemed like he expected Emaline to just bow to his wishes and desires. I was so glad that Emaline didn’t, and I felt that Theo was very self-centered. I enjoyed that throughout this book there were times that I didn’t like either of the boys. It felt very real, like how you would feel about someone who was a part of your life.
The side characters were amazing; Clyde, Morris, and Daisy just really helped to be a great backing cast to Emaline’s neurotic personality. I also really enjoyed the fact that the end of the book was not a typical young adult ending. This novel surprised me on many levels, because there are certain quirks that I’ve come to expect with this author, and I certainly LOVED that she broke the mold with this book. It definitely was a change of pace and a different kind of novel. It had some very unexpected moments, and I give it a full 5 out 5 stars. I can’t wait too see what the the next Sarah Dessen novel will look like!
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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5/5 – MUST READ, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!