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?
For those diehard fans of Dessen that clicked on this post because they were irked at the title of it, it wasn’t a much better book than I thought it would be simply because I’m not a fan of Dessen. I like her work, and I can see why so many people enjoy her, but I’ve never loved her books.
A few weeks ago, I deduced my average ratings to the fact that maybe I was just too inexperienced in the world of romance novels to fully appreciate Dessen’s books–considering the fact that I don’t usually enjoy romance-themed novels. So, I cleared all my ratings on Goodreads and decided to read all of her books over again. So even though I wasn’t interested at all in reading her new book, THE MOON AND MORE, I decided to try it.
Let me just say that for people like me, the synopsis on Goodreads makes Emaline sound really, really bratty. Not to mention the title.
And I don’t like bratty characters. At all.
So, I prepared not to like Emaline.
It’s kind of funny how she turned out to be quite possibly my favorite character that Dessen has ever created.
I know this is mentioned a lot in reviews about Dessen’s novels, but I really felt like there was a lot of issues addressed in this book–both normal and irregular. Tragic and happy. The joys and wonder and deepness of an everyday life. I finally got to see that for myself, the way that Dessen writes it. And I was impressed.
That’s not to say that I didn’t see what I don’t usually like about Dessen’s writing. The feel of it. The pacing. It feels off to me, even though it isn’t. When I look back at it, I know it isn’t. But while I’m reading it, it feels like it’s throwing me off when I read a Dessen book. I don’t like her beginnings typically, but I actually did like this one.
This was a good book, all in all. I really enjoyed it, and I’d love to see what else Dessen has in store for her readers. 4 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 435
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