I love Sarah Dessen. I really do.
That’s why when I spotted a SIGNED, HARDBOUND copy of her latest, The Moon and More, at a local bookstore, I actually whimpered out loud and asked God, “Why am I not rich enough to buy this? WAAIIII~” So I proceeded and went to find a paperback version of the book that must be around the bookstore. While the cashier was ringing my book down, I was silently crying because I’m one broke girl with no budget to fund her book addiction.
But, as I walk out of the bookstore, I thought to myself that this was a good buy. Sarah Dessen’s books are always a win for me. High school romances, happily ever afters, gorgeous character (and character developments!), all beautifully written. You can never go wrong with Sarah Dessen.
Until this book.
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?
First off: The book started rather lame for me. It was slow and I actually painstakingly poured effort just to continue reading the book. It never happened to me before in any Dessen books. So I thought maybe it would pick up along the way.
Emaline was a typical Dessen character. Her anal-retentiveness reminds me of Remy Starr, a watered-down version of Remy. Luke was fine. And Emaline and Luke’s romance was very potent. Even when they broke up, I could still feel their lingering feelings for each other.
Theo, on the other hand, is a disaster. I was expecting him to be a key player! But no. In the end, he lived up to everyone’s expectations that he will always be a outsider. He never understood why the locals are so fiercely protective of their own. I was looking for this to change, and I thought it was going to happen when Emaline and Theo started dating. (Even their dating is grating to my nerves. I cannot feel any chemistry between them! Aside from their first kiss. Lost potential, I’d say.)
What made me love Sarah’s books were these characters have so much potential to be someone great, but then their circumstances hinder them from actually pursuing them. Aside from that, they are flawed characters. At the end of the book, they find it in themselves to change for the better. To look at the world and attack it with a maturity they learned the hard way. They never get to be perfect, but they had overcome their problems despite how messy everything got before they got better. And that’s what matters.
That’s the beauty of her works. Overcoming themselves, and emerging as a better, more mature version of themselves.
But this book. Emaline did change. A little.
I am just probably used to a more riveting work from Sarah. Don’t get me wrong, showing Emaline how to view the world in different perspectives is a great story line. But, the book fell through in everything else. It just didn’t capture me until the very end.
I will still look forward to her next books, though. 🙂
The Moon and More: 6/10
- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (Review by Pervy) (drunkenpervycreepers.com)
- Let the Summer Reading Commence with The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com)
- The Moon and More (bookwitch.wordpress.com)