The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

About (Goodreads)
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.

My Thoughts

This was an interesting read. I liked the family set up. The blended family that accepted each other. But my favorite was the way Emaline explained what a father versus a dad was to the reader. A father is biological, while a Dad is someone who there through the good and bad.

Emaline has a father who’s a piece of shit. I mean there’s no other way to say it. There’s some people who are meant to be parents and this guy, ain’t one. He’s hopeless. He has Emaline and her little half brother and he still doesn’t really understand what it is to be a dad. Which, is why he’s her father. And when she finally tells him the difference the urge to fist pump is overwhelming. (I’m not even from New Jersey lol)

It’s set before her start of college and with it comes doubts about her and her hottie bf Luke. You can feel there’s something off with them coming from the book. I mean she even says she’s never been one into physical things in the relationship but what teenager is all, oh I’m good? Yes, they have sex but she’s like no into it and you can feel it. It’s almost as if she’s doing it just to keep him (which you should never do). They take a break and then she’s whisked off into this summer romance by Theo who’s in town working on a documentary for the summer. At first you think he’s cool, cute even, but then you see the neurotic come out in him. It’s a little scary. So I’m super happy when that relationship comes to an end on its own. He crazy. She doesn’t get together again with Luke but they end up friends which is good. He’s a good guy. Did he make a mistake going to a club with another girl? Sure. But they’re in high school. And young. Mistakes happen. What I’m really bent out of shape about is that I thought that Emaline and Morris would end up together. Even though he’s with Emaline’s best friend, I don’t know, I just thought they fit together. They were so good together, chemistry and all.

But what I love in all this is that her Mom is always there. She always knows when Emaline needs her or is having a tough time. And for whatever reason, maybe because I’m a mommy to 2 beautiful girls but when the explanation for the title, The Moon and More, is revealed I was a little puddle of emotion agreeing with the mom on every level of mom-ing there ever was or could be. The Mom has always wanted to give Emaline, the moon and more in life. She’s always wanted more than she had and worked hard to give her a life where that was possible. It just gives you all the feels.

I think this book delves into a topic some people miss. That there’s a difference between bio parents and actual parents. I’m very blessed to have incredible parents my mom and dad. But I know people who aren’t as blessed am I am. Who haven’t had the blessings I’ve had in life. They refer to their parents either by their first names or by the title, “my bio dad/mom”. So I knew about this topic, about these feelings associated with this relationship. It’s heartbreaking both in real life and in a book.

I gave this book a 4 of 5 stars because I felt like my want/need for Morris and Emaline was left hanging and it would have worked out. Especially with how the ending is set up with her being nervous to see him at the art opening. So it would have been a plot twist able to succeed.

4 out of 5 stars!

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