Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Juvenile; June 4, 2013
Hardcover, 435 pages
Borrowed from library

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.

- Description from Goodreads.com

After last month's darker Dessen, I won't lie, I was happy to jump back into a bright setting with vibrant characters and a fun summer romance. Though this book wasn't the best Dessen I've read (I think that title goes to This Lullaby), I did thoroughly enjoy it.

I liked

...Benji and Ivy. They had personalities that struck out for their clarity. By far, the more developed characters in this book.
...the rental business! I didn't even know this kind of thing went on and it was super fun to read about the business.
...Emaline. She was a likeable character with narration that was super easy and comfortable to read.
...Luke. I really did like him even though he didn't appear a whole lot in the book. He was perfect as Emaline made him out to be.
...the setting. This was my first glimpse at Colby and I left wowed
...the ending because it felt realistic. I also liked the whole surprise at the end with Clyde because I totally did  not see that coming!

I did not like

...the other secondary characters. There were simply too underdeveloped (and too many!) for me.
...all the sub-plots. Again, too many! I would have preferred less.
...Theo. He was arrogant and honestly, I don't see what Emaline saw in him. Which leads me to my next point.
...the Theo and Emaline relationship. The whole thing felt forced because I was not provided with a solid enough understanding of Theo's character to grasp why Emaline would be attracted to him.
...the slow start. 

While there were things that I didn't like, I thought overall, The Moon and More was a great read. It was fun and cute, the perfect novel to kick off summer! I especially liked reading about Colby but now, I'm kind of wishing for some more BEACH here where I live!

PS. I totally appreciated the This Lullaby reference. Hate Spinnerbait!

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