The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen Review: A perfect summery read

November 6, 2013 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen Review: A perfect summery readThe Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin Australia on June 4, 2013
Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Colby may be just a small holiday beach town for the tourists, but for Emeline it's home.

It looks like its going to be another typical summer there with here gorgeous high-school sweetheart, Luke - until a New Yorker filmmaker and her ambitious assistant Tho check it. They're obviously after a story. But, when getting the locals to talk proves tricky, Theo decides they need a guide and he's got his eye on Emeline...

Can Emeline decide where her loyalties, and her heart, truly lies before the summer ends?

As my first Sarah Dessen, I now know what all the raves are about. She has a knack for creating the perfect summery escapes with realistic characters and just the right amount of romance. There is no unnecessary drama and things just naturallyย run their course with people coming and going, family and their quirks, even a relationship fizzling out. The Moon and More was like a little pocket into Emaline’s life, set in the lazy beach town of Colby, where the biggest thing that happens is an ambitious film maker’s visit.

The Moon and More is about planning the perfect summer, spending time with a long term boyfriend, working at a beach resort and looking forward to the future. However, as most summers go, Emaline doesn’t quite get what she bargained for as she learns more about the relationships, people, and family and how things don’t always go the way you expect them to.

The romance in the Moon and More is anything but typical with no insta-love or love triangle, yay! There are two leading men, Luke, who has been Emaline’s high school sweetheart since 9th grade, and Theo, the New York film assistant who has his eye on Emaline, but one relationship ends while another begins. Emaline and Luke have just grown apart and it seems Theo has come along at the perfect time to snatch her away with his Best Ever Gestures. His exuberance, ambition and different take on life opens up a completely new world to Emaline. Unfortunately, Theo isn’t someone to swoon about with his big city bigotry and everything needed to be the Best Ever, which started to clash with laid back Emaline in the later stages.

Emaline’s family is not a typical one either, as her dad is the one who raised her with her mother and her birth father had disappeared and started a new family. Her father has just recently come back into her life and she takes that relationship with stride, placing hopes in him and having her dreams dashed for no apparent reason. I loved how the family had presence throughout the novel, with Emaline growing closer to her half brother Benji and witnessing her dad’s constant renovation projects. It added a depth of realism and life to these secondary characters.

Sarah Dessen’s writing is flawless and beautiful, sucking you in from the very first page. She’s adept at what she does getting across the subtleties of everyday life in Colby without resulting to stereotypical characters or romance. The plot doesn’t exactly move fast, it’s more about taking the time to observe what you are given and I quite enjoyed that pace here, after some pretty heavy reads. My only complaint would be wondering why Emaline didn’t react a bit more after certain relationships ended, but at the same time I enjoyed the lack of whining and angst.

I loved The Moon and More for the perfect summery read, conjuring up pictures of a beach resort with a peaceful ocean view. I’ll definitely be checking out more Sarah Dessen in the future!

Thank you to Penguin Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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37 responses to “The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen Review: A perfect summery read

  1. Oh Jeann, you're in for such a treat! I'm jealous that you have a pile of unread Dessens to look forward to. My personal fave is The Truth About Forever. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I'm relieved that there isn't any insta-love or a love triangle! It's been far too long since my last Dessen book (I think it might have been Just Listen), but I have a copy of this one and look forward to finally getting around to it. It sounds like something I'd appreciate in the middle of winter. Great review!
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  3. My favourite Sarah Dessen would have to be Lock & Key, it was just so raw and so realistically written I remember crying into my pillow when I finished the book. But it's been a loooong time since I've read that book (beginning of high school I think!), and I haven't read a Sarah Dessen in ages!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this – she really has a way with drawing such wonderful characters. And her portrayal of family life is always different yet realistic in every new book she writes. Wonderful review, Jeann! x
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  4. Oh no, it is official I am the last person on earth who hasn't read a Dessen novel. This sounds wonderful, and I love that it is rich in detail, and the writing sounds lovely. Wonderful sounds like I need to join the ranks of fans!
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  5. I'm glad that you liked this one! It looks really good – I love Sarah Dessen. You should try Just Listen by her. It is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! I'm sorry that you didn't love Theo, but I'm glad that you liked Emaline. (Her name is so pretty!) I also love that there was family in this!! Awesome review, girly! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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  6. Yes! It seems you're becoming a fan of Sarah Dessen, huh? She's one of my all time favorite authors and I've been reading her books for years. Her books are definitely some of the best summery ones. I would highly recommend reading either This Lullaby, The Truth About Forever, Dreamland, or Just Listen next. I personally think they're a lot better than The Moon and More, but that may be because I've reread them a bunch.

    I really liked the family aspect of this book as well. Sarah Dessen does that well in her books.

    Great review!
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  7. No insta-love or love triangles you say? =D That sounds awesome! Emaline seems like a refreshing character compared to others in YA. I think I've only read one other book by Sarah Dessen and I wasn't too fond of that one. I'll have to think on this one though. Thanks for the review =)
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