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The Moon and More Kindle Edition
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|Length: 445 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 12 and up||Grade Level: 7 - 9|
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Top customer reviews
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In "To the Moon and More," Emaline is enjoying her last summer before her first year of college. It's a recycled theme: that last summer before she goes away, a mysterious boy appears, they start a relationship, etc. I wanted to like her. She's motivated, she's smart, she's nice. I thought that parts of her were great, such as when she ended up babysitting her half-brother Benji. She just felt flat on the page to me, as did her relationship with Luke, who she had been involved with since the 9th grade. I thought that Emaline and Luke's break-up happened too conveniently in the novel. I know I was supposed to like Theo (or Luke, even) as the love interest but I couldn't. Given the duration between her "break-up" and the reason for it, I thought she was more concerned with being in a relationship than being single, figuring out how to be alone.
I struggled to like the characters, especially having loved so many of her previous characters, like Remy in "This Lullaby." There were also so many characters to become invested in: Clyde, Theo, Margo, Daisy, Morris, etc. Morris and Daisy are supposed to be Emaline's best friends yet I didn't feel a particular closeness between them.
Given that the title referenced a saying between Emaline and her mother, I expected them to be closer, or at the very least, to have more interaction together. It seemed that most of their time together was her mom objecting to Emaline enjoying her summer at Colby. Their relationship wasn't as fully fleshed out on the page. It was a solid read but I found myself skimming it toward the last quarter of the book. Ultimately, it just felt too long for me.
Warning: This is a book that will leave you with that "only one more chapter and then I'll go to bed, wait how is it already 3 A.M.?" feeling!
Now, since this is a Sarah Dessen book, I wasn't too concerned about whether I would like it. I'm a big fan of Dessen's and have pretty much loved everything she's ever put out (right now, my favorite is Dreamland, if you haven't read it, do that now!). The Moon and More definitely did not disappoint! I'd like to start this review by commending Dessen on such an accurate depiction of small town life. I can't say anything for small town beach life since I haven't lived that yet, but the entire "everyone knowing everyone and all of their business" was well executed. The setting brought the story to life and every character had a distinct personality that I found charming in this novel. In one sentence: this book will make you want to pack up and head to the beach for the summer.
Okay, now for the critique on the story. Emaline is a very likable character and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to her story. Maybe not the exact family situation (dad vs father is just the beginning of explaining that), but definitely the personal struggles she faces. She just graduated high school and is dealing with the last summer before she goes off to college, the disappointment of broken promises, and relationships that are trickier than she thought they would be, all while undertaking all these crazy responsibilities at work. Actually, I think I have had a summer like that! But Emaline handles it with grace and maturity, and I really enjoy seeing that in a character. Add in the fact that she can be quite funny and you've got a great, well-rounded character.The secondary characters are just as unique. There's the secretive and private Clyde, the lazy but loyal Morris, and Big Dreamer Theo. They all have their own voice and you can't help but get attached to them.
Story wise, the plot didn't go as I expected (in a very good way) but did justice in showing us Emaline's life and the people she interacted with. The love triangle was definitely a triangle of sorts, but it was done well without being too predictable in the end. In the end, everything works out in the best possible way and you'll be completely satisfied (unless you just don't like people to have a happy ending). It's a classic Sarah Dessen ending.
In the end, I loved this book, as I do with most of Dessen's books, and recommend it to anyone who is a fan of hers, and if you're not already, it's time to become one. It's a nice, light read and it came out just in time for the beginning of summer and thank goodness for that: it's the perfect summer read.