Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: June 4, 2013
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. (taken from goodreads.com)
I spent the last week at the beach, and let me tell you, Sarah Dessen's books are perfect poolside reads. This one, set in a small beach town, makes you want to grab your swimsuit and hit the beach as soon as possible. Throw in a dash of self-discovery and romance and viola! You have a wonderful coming-of-age tale about a girl who wants desperately to find peace with the people and the changes in her life.
Although the synopsis portrays the love triangle as a major element in the plot, the story revolves more around Emaline and her own personal issues. From her poor relationship with her birth father to her fear of leaving for college, this is the tale of her road to acceptance. In all honesty, it was kind of nice to read a book that wasn't all lovey dovey. Most flawed characters don't take the time to focus on their own issues before throwing themselves into thoughtless relationships. Emaline, however, isn't most characters.
Like I've said before, Dessen is amazing at developing realistic characters. Not only are they defined and entertaining, but also believable. They have flaws and they make mistakes. I felt like I really got to know the people in Emaline's life, as well as Emaline herself.
The experience of leaving for college is both thrilling and terrifying. Dessen does an excellent job of portraying these conflicting emotions through Emaline's experiences. While I wouldn't necessarily catalog The Moon and More as a New Adult novel, I would recommend it to older teens simply because there are so many relatable concepts.
Overall, I enjoyed The Moon and More more than some of Dessen's other novels. Fresh and entertaining, it was easily an enjoyable summer read. I'd recommend it to any of Dessen's fans, as well as girls who like a tale of self-discovery and acceptance. While the story won't have you on the edge of your seat, you'll be throughly entertained.