Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young Adult-Contemporary
Published Date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Penguin, Viking Juvenile
Pages: 435 pg
There might be spoilers. You've been warned.
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.
“Welcome to Colby Realty! Name, please?”
The Moon and More is definitely a cupcake! The book is beautifully crafted. Look at that beautiful cover. I looooooove it so much! I'm always excited reading a book with beautiful covers. And it's by Sarah Dessen, anyway. You know what to expect when you read her works. But still, The Moon and More ended up as another pleasant reading experience.
Reading Emaline's story is like listening to a friend-that-you-like's experience of her lovely summer. She's just graduated from high school, working at her family's beach-realty company while waiting for college to start in August. There's a lot of things I like about Emaline: She's a small-town girl with a nice spirit who wants to do 'something big', to achieve 'something great', but also stays true to her roots. I adore the lovely dynamics she has with her family (Emaline has a dad and a father, and through this story I realized that the two titles has such different meanings). This summer she found out Luke, her long-term boyfriend since ninth grade had cheated on her, so they broke up and later Emaline's got a summer fling in the form of Theo: a NYU student who's currently working for Ivy, someone who wants to make a documentary about a painter who comes from the town Emaline lives in. As a boy who comes from a big city, Theo's not like everyone else: He's a dorky nerd who has ambitions, and is driven about the things he wants or his life's goals. He evokes this side of Emaline that exist too, the side who's yearning to get out of Colby and move somewhere new, somewhere she can live a totally different life. This different-ness of Theo is something refreshing for Emaline.
Through The Moon and More too, Emaline learns that with hope sometimes also comes disappointments, and that changes, no matter how much you're dreading it, will always be inevitable, eventhough it's in a form you did not expect before. Emaline got a chance to study at Columbia, which is a big thing for her, but unfortunately she could not accept it because his father who's been encouraging her to achieve it suddenly called off the promise of supplying the tuition fees. Their relationship has been awkward afterward, but now Emaline has to deal with him and her little 10 yo half brother, Benji (Emaline's brother from her father) who's currently spending the summer in Colby after Benji's parents decided to separate.
“Life is long. Just because you don't get your chance right when you want or expect it doesn't mean it won't come. Fate doesn't punch a time clock or consult a schedule.”
Sarah Dessen's book formula will always works for me. Likeable main characters who later develops to be a better version of themselves in the end, easy-to-read & enjoyable plot, lovely relationship of a family, strong side characters (a hot boyfriend and cool bestfriends, in this case), beach-situated, summer time: purrrrfect! After this, The Moon and More might steal the third spot of Sarah Dessen's books that has been on my favorite (just below This Lullaby and The Truth about Forever, that is). The things she brought up or the lines she used in the book might not be big, but there are small moments where it would lead us to reflect on our own life. Either about our own parents-daughter relationship, our own dreams, or things we might do if we're facing a situation like Emaline does.
I actually have a lil girlcrush on Emaline. She's just, basically kind. A pleaser, but not too much. Heartbroken from her break up with Luke, but doesn't let it disturb other parts of her life. But if you think The Moon and More would focus a lot on the romance (implied by its Goodreads' summary, that is), oh no, of course not. Family is also a big part of it. Emaline knows how to deal with types of people: Annoying sisters, protective Mom, difficult-to-approach Clyde Conaway (the painter), even the meanest one like Ivy or the laziest bum like Morris (Emaline's best-guy-friend). I also love how she tries to keep Benji entertained and helps him deal with the divorce of his parents. Either by playing putt-putt game and minigolf together, or working as a team in the sandbox. See, small matters, but meaningful. They're adorable!
I kinda hoped the thing with Luke would be different, though. I mean, what he did was ugh, but Sarah didn't exactly make him a bad guy either. He's kinda growing on me, and totally so much better than Theo who comes out to be more and more blah as the story goes by. ((I had this clear image of Alexander Ludwig as Luke. With a taller figure, tanner skin, but not-so-buffed-up body, that is)). And Morris! Oh, how I love Morris! Besides Emaline, he's the one who also has progressed a lot by the time we got to the last page. I admire the things he does in reference of 'getting out of the couch', aww! ((Adam G Sevani was my Morris, by the way))
So I would definitely recommend this for whoever have read Sarah Dessen's books before and those who wants to. It's a lovely coming of age story (love it cause I could relate a lot!), no fantastic-boom! kind of idea or plot, but definitely a good read. :)
“The mistakes you make now count. Not for everything, and not forever. But they do matter, and they shape you."
About the Author:
Sarah Dessen (born June 6, 1970) is an American writer who graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Highest Honors in Creative Writing. Her first novel, That Summer, was a 1997 ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Sarah lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and a daughter, Sasha Clementine. Other works from her are That Summer, What Happened to Goodbye, Dreamland, Lock and Key, Along for the Ride, The Truth about Forever, Someone Like You, Keeping the Moon, and Just Listen.
Read other reviews of The Moon and More by these awesome people:
Wendy Darling from The Midnight Garden
Ginger from GReads!
Patti from Parajunkee's View