Release Date ~ June 4, 2013
Viking Juvenile ~ Penguin
ARC received from Penguin Canada for review
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.
Guys, I have been reading Sarah Dessen for FOREVER. I grew up on her books, and because of that I feel like I've been stalking her newest release ever since I heard about it... over a year ago. Believe me, that has been a difficult wait.
The Moon and More was a different experience for me as a fan of Sarah, because it's the first book of hers that I've read after I've grown up (a bit.. I'm not sure I'll ever really feel grown up). And it was really cool that Sarah's newest book is actually perfect for someone who feels like that... like they're a little bit in between.
- A novel for both old and new fans alike:
I would easily recommend The Moon and More to readers who may be unfamiliar with Sarah's other books (after The Truth About Forever and This Lullaby, of course) but I was equally pleased that it turned out to be so enjoyable for longtime fans as well. The Moon and More stands out among her other books, and it has a distinct feel to it. All of Sarah's books deal with change and coming of age in one way or another, but The Moon and More is a bit more traditional in handling this. Featuring a girl who has just graduated high school and is looking ahead to the next chapter in her life- that's something just about everyone can relate to. It's Emaline's authentic voice as she navigates this transition that endears her to readers.
- An ending that focuses on contentedness:
I love a happy ending, I do. But sometimes? Those happily ever afters just don't fit. The Moon and More isn't a sad ending by any means, but there's something a little bittersweet about it. Change means something fresh and exciting is coming, but it also means letting go. And just because something is new, doesn't make it good for you. But this ending was satisfying. It's more about being content, then being happy. I like that.
- Emaline has a unique voice, and an honest one:
Emaline isn't so sugary sweet. But she isn't utterly whiney either. She falls somewhere in the middle... and probably sounds about the same as I did at 18, or any of my friends, or even you. (Possibly even my little sister next year... eeek.) She's a bit sassy, but not unbelievably witty. She makes stupid little mistakes but most importantly, she doesn't dwell on them. Her family feels so real, too. They aren't flawless, but they're easy to love and quirky in their own ways. Honestly? Her family was probably my favourite aspect of this book! And the romance was VERY unexpected, so pick this one up if you appreciate a different look at teen romance.
I loved Emaline because I felt like I could really relate to her, with where I am now. I'm a wee bit older than she is during The Moon and More, but I'm still a little bit in that "in between" stage of growing up. It's weird and kind of makes me feel like this (enjoy that little video - you're welcome).
I was disappointed with how much attention some secondary characters received though, in lieu of others. Truthfully, Emaline's close friends are far more intriguing than her love interests. I appreciated the love story... but not until the end of the book. Mostly because it wasn't what I expected, and that had its advantages and disadvantages. (Theo is just dull. Sorry, Theo-fans.) And I wouldn't say this is Sarah Dessen's BEST book, but it's definitely one of my top picks.
The Moon and More is proof that I'll never be too old for a Sarah Dessen book. And I'm so pleased that I can feel like these books are growing up right along with me.
Also- this book trailer? So cool.