Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

About the book
The Moon and More is a young adult book by Sarah Dessen and part of her Colby series of books. It was published by Penguin on 4th June and the book is 448 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.

Plot Synopsis
After the summer Emaline is heading off to college and leaving her beach home town of Colby. Right now, everything is the same. Working for her bossy sister drives Emaline crazy but then she has her gorgeous (and usually topless) boyfriend Luke to help save her. This summer is going to be like no other though. When New York filmmaker Theo and his boss come to Colby for the summer, they change everything for Emaline.

What I thought
Having never read a Sarah Dessen book before I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had heard such good things about her novels but have just never gotten round to any of them.

From what I understand, many of her books are set in Colby, where this one is also set. I really liked the beach town setting as it was quite laid back and relaxed. There is a certain way of life here where everyone knows everybody else and they look after their own. The tourists who come every summer to rent the beach houses are the outsiders who come and invade the town every year but also those who keep it going. I could get a really good feel for what life was like in this place and it also gave the book a nice, summery feel to it.

Emaline was a character who I really liked. It became clear early on what a hard worker she was even with having a very unconventional life. She is made to work for the family business and runs around like crazy, even though it is her last summer before college. Emaline seems to do whatever anyone asks of her and save for a few grumbles, she doesn’t seem to mind doing it either. Even with being so busy, she has a great group of friends around her and her family and it was great to see her interacting with everyone.

A large chunk of the plot revolves around Emaline’s family life. At home she has a loving mum and dad as well as sisters but she also has a father. Emaline separates her dad and father as the one who brought her up and the one who didn’t. She and her father have a broken relationship and it is one she doesn’t understand. For Emaline, she wants a relationship with her father as he is part of her family but even with her mum’s explanations, she is so confused about his actions and why he isn’t as close to her as he could be. I really liked this aspect of the story and found it much more interesting than the filmmaker character’s parts.

I was expecting The Moon and More to be more of a romance story. While I didn’t mind too much that there wasn’t more romance, it would have been a nice addition. Yes, there were moments but just not enough for me. Emaline has boyfriend Luke around but he isn’t in the book even nearly enough. At the beginning, it seemed as though they had a great relationship but we never really got to see enough of it. Then there is second love interest Theo, who I absolutely hated. He was pretentious and annoying and I couldn’t really see the attraction to him at all.

While this was an okay book, I didn’t love it. The plot was pretty standard but nothing spectacular and I think a hotter summer romance could have made it much more entertaining. 

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