“The Moon and More” by Sarah Dessen (2013)
Genre: Fiction, YA, Romance
Book Length: 435 pages (hardcover edition)
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? (description from Goodreads)
So I have read many of Sarah Dessen’s books before and enjoyed them all. “The Moon and More” is no exception. The novel is set in the summer, specifically the summer before Emaline, our main character (with a very cool name, I might add) goes to college. It’s a pivotal summer I which Emaline ties to find herself, figure out her future, and deal with love and familial relationships. A lot for a girl to handle.
I think the reason I enjoyed reading this novel so much was the fact that I could relate with Emaline on some levels. I remember the summer before I went to college. I was excited to graduate from high school, but I was also extremely nervous about the future ahead of me. College is a huge stepping stone in my life, and like Emaline, I only knew a few people from my high school that were attending the same university, but I was the only living on campus. I also had to start piece together the person I wanted to be and figure out what wanted to do with my life.
One reason why I admire Desson so much and why she is one of my favorite authors is that she is very realistic when writing and creating these stories about various female protagonists. She connects with her audience really well by also writing about topics that are relatable to her readers and to what people are experiencing at that age.
Overall any fan of Dessen’s previous works will surely enjoy The Moon and More”. It is a great story about love, finding yourself, dealing friendship, and family. Four out of five stars!