contemporary, young adult

Book Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen


Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Length: 448, Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Folded Pages

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?

I think The Moon and More was the first Sarah Dessen novel I read right after it’s release. And then, just like now, I feel like it doesn’t really compare well to her other novels. Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely loved it! But there just feels like there’s an emotional disconnect. It didn’t really make me laugh out loud or tear up like her other novels have and I expect that from her work, which is why it’s such a disappointment that it doesn’t happen with this one.

Emaline is a very believable well-rounded character, but I don’t get that feeling from Luke, Theo, her family or her friends. It’s like Emaline is a 3D character walking in a 2D world and it doesn’t do Dessen’s writing justice. This is probably part of the reason I couldn’t connect emotionally.

The plot was really good. I love the lesson Dessen wove into the storyline (like she always does) and how it was resolved I just wish I could have connected with the emotions more.

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