Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Buy the book on Amazon
Buy the book on Amazon
I was so excited when I first read that Sarah Dessen was writing another novel, and The Moon and More definitely lived up to her wonderfully high standards. I fell immediately in love with the characters for all their faults, the plot for all its normalcy, and the writing for all its wonderful prose and imagery always poignant in Dessen's novels.
One of the best parts of this book was the characters, and how real they all truly were. In many books that I have read recently, characters are either perfect with one great fault or evil with one sole redeeming quality; there are small amounts of gray in each person, but it is really quite easy to place them in a particular box based on what type of person they are. However, it is nearly impossible to do that with the characters in The Moon and More. Luke is described as "the perfect boyfriend," but he is far from perfect: he made mistakes, one key one, and there were several times when I distinctly disliked. Similarly, the exciting and sophisticated Theo was difficult to like at certain points (I, actually, did not really like him much at all throughout the novel, except for during the Big Club Big Moment), particularly due to his often pretentious attitude.
The romance in this novel really intrigued me, especially because of the way it took the backseat role in a book that was mainly about the growth of the main character, Emaline, as most of Dessen's books are about. Despite what the book's summary says, there was really not a love triangle in the story: Emaline dated one boy, and then she dated another. Sure, there were parallels between the two, as Luke and Theo were opposites in many regards, but Emaline was not constantly comparing the two, nor was she fretting over who she should spend the rest of her life with. Instead, she was just having fun with each boy separately (without dating them at the same time) and focusing on more pressing matters, such as her summer job, dealing with her absentee father and her loving half-brother, and many of the other usual issues that an eighteen-year-old faces before heading off to college.
As weird as this sound, I truly enjoyed how the characters didn't always understand each other. Emaline had trouble understanding Luke, Theo really did not know what Emaline wanted, and there was a great deal of misunderstanding between Emaline and her father. It was these misunderstandings that made this novel and the characters in it seem even more real and relatable, and that was one of the main reasons why I enjoyed it so much. If you're looking for a great, quick book about growing up, you should definitely check out The Moon and More, or really any of Sarah Dessen's other novels.