Ads 468x60px

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publishing House: Viking Juvenile
ISBN: 9780670785605
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun.

He and Emaline have been together all throughout 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 and 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 best route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father envision.  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?

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Ever since I read This Lullaby and Along for the Ride, I basically threw myself at all the Sarah Dessen books I could find. When I found out that she was releasing a new one, I immediately put it on my to-read shelf and grabbed a copy when the book became available here.

Imagine my surprise when a few pages of the book suddenly came apart in my hands. (Of course I panicked. That was a new copy, and a signed one at that!) That couldn't be a good omen, I thought to myself. And true enough, I found The Moon and More disappointing and slow.

When Emaline's father backed out of his promise to support her Ivy League education, she feels disappointed, but is relatively okay with the turn of events. Colby, her hometown, is safe, boring, and predictable - and she reckoned that maybe it was just the life she was supposed to live. When Theo stumbles into her life, Emaline can't help but join in with his big-city charisma and ambitions of grandeur. Hey, dreaming of a different life is free after all. But when she is already being wired into someone else's plans for the future, Emaline must think for herself about the way she really wants to run her life.

Come on. This is Sarah Dessen, so of course the writing is spectacular, and the descriptions are so vivid I could already feel the sun scorching my back and the wind turning my hair into a sticky, salty mess. The characterizations are real as all get-out and when I close my eyes I could just hear Emaline narrating the turn of events as she goes. I love the fact that Emaline is a strong, independent girl who can rightfully think for herself, and I love that she is handling things well. I love that Dessen is on a different path with The Moon and More, even when I was kind of hoping to moon over a Dessen boy here as they are swoon-worthy most of the time. I love the way she writes about the family component and think that this is something that she can probably patent because she's that good at it.

So what the heck is my problem with The Moon and More?

Well, for one, I thought it was painfully slow. Because of the slow start, I cannot think of Emaline without thinking of the words anal retentive, obsessive-compulsive, and control freak. I have no problems with her being one (I honestly think it's kind of fun messing with people like these.) but Dessen keeps on establishing the fact that this girl does not like her clutter and hates it when her sister Amber and her mom are inside her room. I get that it's supposed to show how resistant to change Emaline is, what with the house going through another renovation despite just getting one, and how she almost always ends up trapped inside her room because of it. 

Another thing that irked me was their treatment of Theo. I don't like the guy (at all, seriously), but it somehow irritates me when Emaline's friends mock him just because he does all the tourist-y and embarrassing stuff. And yes, even if he wears "girl jeans", as Luke calls his designer pants. Theo honestly doesn't know any better about any of the girls' traditions or the things they already do around Colby, so if they would lay off his back about that, that would be really nice.

First time Sarah Dessen readers are better off getting a copy of This Lullaby and Along for the Ride.



  1. I haven't read any Sarah Dessen book yet *ducks pitchforks* but I do have Just Listen and Keeping the Moon in here with me. Gotta read those soon and see for myself why everyone's gaga over Sarah Dessen! Though sorry this wasn't for you, Michelle!

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Dianne! Hope you enjoy the books.