Sarah Dessen is back to give us a new entertaining and satisfying summer read with The Moon and More. Dessen is one of the most popular YA writers, known for her familiar and relatable stories and characters. They’re just normal people, like many of us, dealing with love, family, friends and oftentimes the future. The Moon and More is exactly what you expect from Dessen, but it’s more of an epic to read. Spanning across an entire summer, we follow as Emaline tries to come to terms with a major crossroads in her life.
Emaline has a great boyfriend, a full scholarship to East U, and a loving family. But change is coming. She both dreads and anticipates it like any other girl moving on from high school to college. What she doesn’t anticipate is to find herself changing things so soon. As she gets to know Theo, a new boy in town from New York City, and her biological father, also from NYC, she begins to see how different life is for big city and small town folks.
Dessen knows how to hook you in from the start. I sat down with The Moon and More with the intent to only read a chapter and ended up finding myself an hour and 86 pages later. Even though there isn’t anything especially extraordinary about the story or characters she introduces, her writing is absorbing. I found myself liking Emaline right away and relating to certain aspects of her life. She isn’t perfect, none of these characters are, and maybe that’s what makes them so interesting to read about. They make mistakes, and some learn from them, others don’t. That’s life; that’s what I appreciate the most from Dessen’s novels.
The Moon and More is well-paced and one of the longer reads of all her novels. It spans Emaline’s entire summer; we see how she journeys through that expanse of time, anxiously awaiting the start of a new chapter in her life. Because of that, it felt more like an epic than any of Dessen’s other novels. We see her go through the joys and disappointments that come along from love, family and friends. We see her transform into someone who is ready for that next chapter. Still, even with some of the heaviness, it makes for the perfect summer read with its timing and setting. We’re taken back to the small town of Colby, where Keeping the Moon and Along for the Ride, also took place. Emaline works for her family’s realty group that manages and rents out beach houses to tourists. The author paints her fictional small towns so lovingly; they’ve become characters of their own. (We also get a snippet of Emaline in a real, big city. This was revealed at our Moon and More Blog Tour stop back in February.)
The Moon and More is 2013’s quintessential summer read, especially if you find yourself at a similar crossroads as Emaline. The insight that she imparts is invaluable, and I wish I had this book to put some things in perspective that summer after high school graduation. Further proof that Sarah Dessen does it again, delivering an enjoyable, thoughtful and satisfying book.
The Moon and More will be available wherever books are sold on June 4, 2013. Support The Young Folks and order the book at our TYF Store, powered by Amazon.
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (June 4, 2013)
Length: 384 pages, Hardcover
Source: Advance Reader Copy (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Coming of Age, Family
Completed: April 2013