The Moon and More

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

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Emaline has her summer all planned out. Being the last summer before going off to college, she plans on making the most of it. And making the most of it means spending as much time as possible away from the family real estate business and spending it with best friend Daisy and perfect boyfriend Luke.
And at the start of the summer season, her plan of making the most of it is working out perfectly. Daisy has found their dresses for the end of summer beach bash. And Luke’s kisses still send a jolt of electricity through Emaline’s body.  Everything is going according to plan.
That is until several unexpecteds pop up. Emaline’s biological father shows up with her younger step-brother in tow. She hasn’t talked to him in months, since he snubbed her graduation invite. As if this wasn’t bad enough there’s a new guy in town, Theo, who seems to have taken an immediate liking to Emaline.
Even if she can’t handle her father at the moment, she can handle Theo. She’ll just ignore him. And ignore she does until she finds out that Luke cheated on her with some out of town bimbo.
With her summer suddenly turned upside down, Emaline finds herself making the wrong decisions. She’s now dating Theo, despite the fact that her friends and her family don’t really like or trust him. She’s slacking off both at home and at work. And worst of all, she’s moments away from blowing up at her biological father.
The summer that was supposed to be easy and breezy is turning out to be the most difficult one to date. Will Emaline survive?

Author Dessen has written dozens of books. So it’s no real suprise when I say that I really enjoyed her writing and her overall writing style. The plot was inviting. The desciptions were evocative. And the romance was present, but not overwhelmingly son.

Dessen’s words paint a crystal clear image of Colby, of the well-crafted characters, and the entire storyline. Besides this, I swear author Dessen must have transportive powers. Even though I read this during the month of December, a bitterly cold month, while reading I felt as if I were in Colby, with the warm rays hitting my face and the scratchy sand nestling between my toes.

The characters that filled the pages of The Moon and More were all enjoyable, even if they weren’t all likable. Main character Emaline is a girl who knows what she wants, and one who isn’t afraid to go after it. Even if going after it means making a few mistakes. Smart, funny, and self-assured Emaline what every main character should be – realistically flawed, full of emotions, and most all open and honest. Through good and bad choices, readers will root for her the whole way through.

Dessen gives a well rounded view of Emaline’s friends, family, community,and even love interests. But of all of those characters two stood out to me most: Daisy and Morris. They are both great character who work well in the story, as a couple and as individual characters. Daisy is fresh faced and fashion forward. While Morris, who appears to be going nowhere fast, is wise beyond his years. Personally, I wish these two had a book all of their own!

Unfortunately though I didn’t like all of the characters that graced the pages of this book. From the start I wasn’t keen on Emaline’s long term boyfriend Luke. For no particular reason he seemed to rub me the wrong way. It was as if I knew from the start that he would hurt Emaline.

And Theo, the out of towner turned love interest. I liked him alright when he was first introduced, but as the book progressed, and I got to know him as a character, I realized that he too wasn’t very likable. I found him, often times, to be pompous and self-asbsorbed.

While we’re on the subject of characters, Emaline’s coastal town of Colby felt as if it were a character in it’s own right. That’s how present the setting was in this book. Colby and all it’s eclectic residents has personality. Readers will feel instantly welcomed into this close knit community.

As just over four hundred pages Dessen’s The Moon and More was long. And not just in page length. Pacing seemed to be a bit of issue – sometimes reading far too slow for personal tastes. Because of this The Moon and More seemed slower and longer than what it actually was.

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