The Moon and MoreFeaturedHot
I've written about Dessen's formula before, but it's successful and keeps me coming back for more. It's interesting to see her novels evolve as Dessen ages: parents play more of a role, there is more frequently a young child character, and the protagonist tends to resemble the author's Type A personality. I like these changes, as it rounds out the world of Colby, North Carolina, where all of her novels are set. It's always fun to get glimpses back into the lives of past characters, and Dessen is generous in building the world for her readers.
As for THE MOON AND MORE, I liked it. I read it in one day and found myself telling loved ones, "I really like my book" when I occasionally came up for air. Emaline, the protagonist, is on the brink of many changes in her life as she ends a relationship, starts a new one, prepares to leave for college, and gets reacquainted with her long-absent father. That's a lot to handle in the course of two months, and a lot to tackle in a novel. Dessen is up to the task, showing how the mounting stress in Emaline's life affects her and those around her. I wanted Emaline to be a bit more joyful, but that isn't who the character is and I respect that. I look forward to checking in on Emaline in future novels, but continue to wish that the secondary characters were the focus, as they are usually more interesting!
Fans of Sarah Dessen have undoubtedly already read this...everyone else should check it out, too!
-The secondary characters and the town of Colby, NC are so important to the story, and are entertaining
-The distinction between what it takes to be a dad and to be a father were really wonderfully articulated
What I liked: This was my first Sarah Dessen novel. It's well written with engaging characters and takes place in a beautiful setting. Emaline is an easy MC to like and her relationships felt authentic albeit slightly predictable. I enjoyed Luke as well even though I wanted to kick him.
What left me wanting: This cover is gorgeous, however, Emaline is described as having long brown hair and clearly the cover model is blonde. That may seem like a minor detail but it threw me off while reading. The first line of the summary, "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." , felt like a dead giveaway that something was going to go down with Luke, and it does.
Final verdict: It makes for a great summer read and die-hard Sarah Dessen fans will no doubt love this.
Sarah Dessen's books feel like home. They take me out of my head for a while, and I don't care how similar they all may be, they have a sense of comfort that I love. However, this just wasn't my favorite. And I hate that, because I was anticipating it so much.
I friggin hated Theo. His over enthusiasm was irritating, and I figured he was up to something. Jerk.
I love coming back to Colby every once in awhile. It's familiar and I feel like I am walking on the boardwalk with whichever narrator Mrs. Dessen throws into this small beach town.
The sense of family in The Moon and More made me cry every time it got real! Oh, so good.
Although this wasn't my favorite, I'm still a lifelong fan of Sarah Dessen's.
My favorite part of any story is of course the love story. I really found it lacking in this book. We have Luke who has been Emaline's boyfriend since the 9th grade but they end up having a falling out. Enter Theo, a New Yorker who is staying at one of the properties that Emaline's family manages. I really didn't like Theo at all. He seemed controlling and snobby to me. Their relationship was awkward and didn't seem real. There was no chemistry there.
While I didn't enjoy some of the characters or the lack of a love story I did love the message that this book tries to get across to us. Be true to our roots and don't change yourself for anyone. The writing as with any Sarah Dessen book was excellent. She has a way with words.
Perhaps my favorite part of any Sarah Dessen book is when we see characters from other books pop up. I definitely enjoy the beach town of Colby and look forward to reading many more Sarah Dessen books. While this might not have been my favorite book by her she is still my favorite author and I can't wait to see what she will come up with next.
So back in the beach town of Colby, Emaline *Ms. Dessen has a thing for interesting names* has just graduated high school and is in the summer before college *not unlike in Along for the Ride*. Still, unlike a lot of Ms. Dessen's books, I think this story was a little different. It wasn't really a boy meets girl kind of story with the focus on the love interest. For me, the story revolves around Emaline's relationships in her life and how they relate to her future. It's not my favorite of her books, but I still liked it very much by the time I got to the end.
Considering I never went off to college, I can just imagine how hard that kind of move that would be. The summer before would be incredibly hard. Coming to terms with the impact college is going to have on her life, her family, and her relationship with her father is a huge part of the book. Her friends are also dealing with what's going to happen. Emaline has two best friends: a guy and a girl. And they just so happen to be dating. And they are complete opposites. I'm sure that would be an awkward situation to be in for anyone, but I found that aspect of the book to be really interesting. I thought Ms. Dessen did it well.
The secondary characters, as always, were a great and huge part of what makes the book work well together. Emaline's friends Daisy and Morris, the new-to-town director Ivy, and Emaline's family were all a huge part of the book. They worked really well and added something special to the story.
My absolute favorite part of the book though was how Ms. Dessen brought out the difference between a father and a dad. In the story, Emaline's mom has in her in high school. Emaline's father ends up not playing a role in her life. When Emaline is two, her mother marries. He has two children and so together they form a family. Emaline never remembered a time before her dad came along. When she is ten, due to a school family project, she ends up trying to reconnect with her father to get some answers for her project. Somewhat of a relationship is formed. Still, Emaline recognizes that there is a difference between the names father and dad. Considering that sounds so much like my own life *minus reconnecting with my father*, I really could relate to that part of the story and the way the relationships that are explored. It felt incredibly true to the way life works.
Now I said that the focus was not really on a love interest. There are still some boys in the story. Let me say that I really liked Luke, and I sincerely wished some of the unfortunate events in the beginning didn't happen. I was rooting for them to figure it all out. So then enters Theo. In complete honesty, I really disliked him from the beginning. Maybe it's cause Emaline's father like him. I'm not completely sure. Anyways, there is some romance.
In the end, I did enjoy the book but it lacked the huge tug on my emotions that is normally there in her books. It was still a good read, and it was a good choice for this oncoming summer *that is already here in Texas.*
Low Points: Theo really is an idiot. The story drags a little. I think it could have been a bit shorter, and I would have enjoyed it more.
High Points: Emaline is a great character. There are some awesome secondary characters that really carry a huge chunk of the story. The setting is perfect for a summer read. I really enjoyed how Morris is pulled out and developed in such a deep way throughout the novel.
Who Should Read It: Sarah Dessen fans, light contemporary YA lovers, and those looking for a good summer read.