Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

16101126Luke 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?

This review may be considered semi-spoilery. Just a warning.

I have honestly just been sitting at the computer for what seems like hours, trying to muster up my thoughts on The Moon and More. It isn’t my favorite Dessen novel (The Truth About Forever is, if you were wondering), but I did like it. It took me over six months to read this book because I was afraid that Dessen couldn’t possibly top her previous novels. Though The Moon and More isn’t my new favorite, I did really like it. It had the beautiful, eloquent writing that Dessen is known for. It makes you yearn for summer and beaches and everything that “normal” teenagers are supposed to do.

My one main problem with this book is the actual lack of swoon-worthy love interests. I know that Dessen always gets reamed for having books that follow a general formula. They always have a swoon-worthy boy that knocks you on your feet and gives you butterflies, and they always have that beautiful summer-feeling. And though I do love Dessen for not following that exact model with The Moon and More, I can’t say that I’m not disappointed that there wasn’t a swoon-worthy love interest. Being the creature of habit that I am, I picked up The Moon and More wanting to read a YA romance that knocked me off of my feet. What I got was a semi-romance with a guy (Theo) who I honestly wanted to slap in the face. However, I feel horrible about getting mad at Dessen for this. Don’t get me wrong, I ultimately loved how the story turned out (I’m just being a moody teenager). I admire Dessen for breaking out of the shell that people had put her in, and I loved that there’s more to the story than just some cheeseball romance.

Emaline was such a fantastic narrator. She was snarky and independent and incredibly caring. She was an all-around good person, and even though I disagreed with her on some points, she had a really strong head on her shoulders. Emaline is probably one of my main characters out of all of the Dessen novels. Her brother is the cutest kid on the planet, and I just wanted to hug him. He is infinite amounts of adorable.

Though the teenager part of me is sad how The Moon and More ended, I understand and admire Sarah Dessen for making that decision. The Moon and More keeps the Dessen-charm that we’re all familiar with, while still adding an unexpected spin on what we’re used to. I really do recommend The Moon and More, even to people who don’t usually go for Sarah Dessen novels.

FTC- Received from publisher.

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