Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Puffin Group
Release Date: 4th June 2013
Rating: 3 out of 5
Description: Colby may be just a small holiday beach town for the tourists, but for Emeline it's home. It looks like its going to be another typical summer there with here gorgeous high-school sweetheart, Luke - until a New Yorker filmmaker and her ambitious assistant Tho check it. They're obviously after a story. But, when getting the locals to talk proves tricky, Theo decides they need a guide and he's got his eye on Emeline...Can Emeline decide where her loyalties, and her heart, truly lies before the summer ends?
The Moon and More was a good contemporary novel that focused on change and the uncertainty in growing up. This was my first book by Sarah Dessen and I can see why people like her novels. The Moon and More had the perfect combination of drama and light breezy moments, making for a warm and charming story filled with relatable characters. Dessen takes us into the town of Colby and gives us a window into Emaline’s life as we get to meet her family, friends and experience all that small town living has to offer.
Emeline lives in the small holiday beach town of Colby where everyone knows everyone. Emeline is enjoying the summer before she heads of to university. She has her loving family, long time boyfriend and friends but change is just around the corner for her when her biological father comes back to town. If that wasn’t enough to shake her, a New York filmmaker and her assistant Theo arrive to make a documentary and need her help.
Where the Moon and More really worked for me was in its realistic depiction of relationships right from familial relationships to those between friends, partners and locals. It felt as though Emeline’s friends and family were your friends and family as I’m sure we have all had relationships similar to theirs. There was no difficult high drama but straightforward issues that cropped up from the changing climate of Emeline’s life. The Moon and More deals with growing up and finding out what you want for yourself and whom you want to keep in your life. Emeline goes on a journey where she discovers a lot about herself and finds the unexpected in new people she meets. The story is realistic and there are many aspects that people will connect with as they may have had similar experiences. The only problem I had with this book was that the middle of the book was a little lacklustre. The book started of strong and finished strong but the middle could have used a little more excitement.
Emeline was a wonderful protagonist. She was a perfectionist and always strived for the best. It was very easy to like this warm girl who is learning to grow up. She was always trying to help people even if she didn’t like them, especially in her job. Her job at the realty agency provided some great insights into the rental business and provided ample comedy, especially between the siblings. The realty business was interesting to learn about. Ivy came off as a bit of a stuck up big city chick but by the end of it you couldn’t but help like her dedication. Clyde was an enigma. I loved Emeline’s family with her dad’s constant construction, mum’s stress eating and the siblings bickering. They really loved and supported each other. Morris was such a fun best friend.
Colby was a wonderful backdrop. It had its own charm and uniqueness that encompassed the whole story. The locals were all quirky and I loved getting to know them. Emeline has always lived in this town and the small town nature and local customs influenced this story. Life in Colby is very different from life in big cities. As Emeline gets to know Ivy and Theo from New York, Dessan wonderfully contrasts people who come from very different upbringings and communities. It makes Emeline question what she wants for herself. Does she want to leave Colby or does she want to stay?
The romance in The Moon and More explored the break-up of a long time romance and the start of a new one. Luke and Theo were polar opposites and their relationships with Emeline were different. The romance was not sugary sweet and over the top romantic. Again it was realistic, showcasing the distance that develops between two people and the incompatibility between those who have different ideals.
Overall, The Moon and More is a relatable contemporary novel about growing up.