Published by Penguin Australia on June 4, 2013
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 naturally 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