Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Published June 4, 2013
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
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.

My Thoughts
"The thing is, you can’t always have the best of everything. Because for life to be real, you need it all - good and bad, beach and concrete, the familiar and the unknown, big talkers and small towns…"

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen marks her newest YA contemporary release, which I was absolutely elated to get my hands on. I’ve been reading Dessen’s books for years, and I truly enjoy her writing, characters and beachside settings. To be able to jump into The Moon and More was sheer bliss, and the story proved once again why Dessen is a sure win in my book! :) Love!

What was exciting about this novel is that the story is a bit different than Dessen’s other books as she takes us back to Colby, but this time we get a glimpse of life in this eastern seaboard town through the lens of a resident. Having visited Colby before, Dessen has previously shared the perspective of a visitor coming into this small beachside town. What I liked about the shift in perspective is that these residents share their story of how summer visitors come and shake up their lives for a few months out of the year, and at times leaving a wake of emotional turmoil behind.

"Again it occurred to me how weird it was to be permanent in a place that everyone else was only temporary."

For Emmaline, it’s a summer of life changing events. She’s spending her last summer in Colby working for her family’s reality office where they manage summer beach house rentals. When August comes around, she’ll be headed off to college to begin the next chapter of her life. During these eventful couple of months before she leaves Colby, she meets Theo, who is a film director’s assistant from New York. He’s working on a documentary for a local Colby artist and when he and Emmaline meet, they strike up an immediate camaraderie. When Emmaline and her boyfriend Luke of three years suddenly break-up, she and Theo decide to see where their relationship will take them. During this time, she also attempts to reestablish her relationship with her estranged father and gets the opportunity to bond with her younger step brother Benji.

There were so many people in Emmaline’s life that I quickly became captivated with. I loved the relationship between her and her mother Emily. Typically in Dessen’s novels, there’s a strained relationship between mother and daughter, but not so much in this book. Emily and Emmaline were extremely close and their bond was both heartfelt and sentimental.

Whatever you need, I will find a way to get to you. I will give you the moon and more. ~Emily

It was endearing to witness how close she was with her step dad and step sisters Amber and Margo. Emmaline shared some honest and worthy insight into the difference between a dad and a father. In her life, she had both. As much as I was hoping she and her ‘father’ would be able to build a solid relationship, it felt realistic how it all came to pass.

As far as Theo and Luke go, I liked them for their differences and didn’t judge them for their faults. I was pleased with Emmaline’s decision about what role they would play in her life. I felt it was both mature and sensible.

With such a large cast playing a part in this book, including the secondary players such as Morris, Daisy, Clyde, Amber, Margo and even Mr. Gertmann and Rachel… what Dessen accomplished in The Moon and More with her character driven novel was delivering a wonderful experience through a solid sense of community, family and friends.

Overall, the main character was a worthy narrator for this story. There were so many revealing moments and opportunities for growth that Emmaline truly capitalized on throughout the novel. When I come to care for a narrator as strongly as I did for Emmaline, it only goes to show how much the story resonated with me, so something was definitely done right. Well done and I can’t wait for the next Dessen gem.
5 Snowflakes


  1. Glad you enjoyed this one! I adore Sarah Dessen’s books and this one’s waiting for me on my shelf :D Great review!!

  2. I love Sarah Dessen's writing - so need to get my hands on this, cheers

    Steph -

  3. I am a big fan of this author. I am not big into reading but, I will recommend theses books to anyone. They are a light read and when you read one then your done with the story so, I like how I don't have to wait for the next one to come out to cont. the story.

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