Author – Sarah Dessen
Publisher – Viking Juvenile
Release Date – June 4, 2013
Number of Pages – Hardcover, 435
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.
Let me preface my review by saying I’m a huge Sarah Dessen fan and have been for over TEN YEARS. That’s right, ten years. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors and truly love her.
However, I had high expectations for The Moon and More and perhaps that was my own downfall but the novel didn’t quite do it for me. It was enjoyable and I would still recommend it but it wasn’t up there with some of her other novels that I have previously read.
First, I have to say, that the summary for this novel is a little misleading. On the other hand the main character, Emaline, deals with a lot of issues in this novel so even I would find it difficult to fit a proper summary into the inside jacket flap.
Sarah has a signature style not only in her writing but in the overall formula for her books. The Moon and More has that Sarah Dessen feel but strayed from her traditional story-line that I both appreciated and had issues with.
I think my main issue is that I could have done without the romance between Emaline and Theo. I’d have much preferred Emaline focus on the other prominent relationships in her life and come into her own without another guy present. I just felt we didn’t need the Theo story-line. Emaline’s relationship with her biological father, her bonding with her half-brother Benji, her break-up with her long time boyfriend Luke, and her friendships with Morris and Daisy were far more engrossing in my eyes. I wanted more of it all and felt a little let down that there wasn’t.
I know there have been romances in all of Dessen’s other works but this was a novel I would have liked to see the female lead stand by herself with the support of just family and friends. A young woman who doesn’t need a guy. Emaline had been in a four year relationship with Luke and jumping so quickly to Theo just didn’t seem realistic to me.
I do have to say I really enjoyed Emaline’s growth as a young woman exiting high school and entering a new phase in her life where there are big decisions to be made. Her world is changing, it’s confusing, and it is disappointing but it is through these experiences that she learns and grows. I loved seeing Emaline empowered at the end and though she didn’t have everything figured out she was on the right track that she knew was best for her.
In the end she had to make her own decisions that were the best for herself and not based on others expectations.
Again, I did enjoy the novel and would recommend it to anyone who loves Sarah Dessen’s work!
Can’t wait for more and I’ll still be first in line for the next Sarah Dessen novel!
Have you read The Moon and More? What did you think of the book? What other Sarah Dessen novels have you read if you have read any?