Emaline’s family has always been complicated with volatile arguments between her and her two older sisters and her mother who has always wanted to give Emaline the moon and more. That isn’t even considering her dad and her biological father. Or the younger brother she barely knows.
Emaline has enough to worry about the summer before college without thinking about her relatives. Her job at the family real estate business means that she is busy checking in renters and catering to the whims of high-maintenance clients like the filmmaker who plans on filming a documentary about a local artist during the summer. Never mind that the artist in question wants nothing to do with the project.
With college just around the corner, Emaline knew this summer would be different. She didn’t expect troubles with her boyfriend. She couldn’t have guessed that her father would make a sudden appearance in Colby. And at the start of the summer, she certainly had no idea how everything would come together–not to give her the moon but some things that are just as valuable in The Moon and More (2013) by Sarah Dessen.
Set in the beach town of Colby, The Moon and More perfectly captures the breezy, aimless feel of a quiet summer. With evocative settings and an equally strong cast of characters, Dessen aptly portrays the mixed feelings that come with a summer that starts full of promise and turns into something entirely unexpected.
At over four hundred pages (hardcover), The Moon and More has a plot that meanders across an entire summer to show readers an entire family as well as a picturesque town. Although the book felt a bit long at times, all of the pieces come together in the end to create a full picture. Emaline is a great narrator; she knows exactly who she is and exactly what she wants. Although she occasionally loses her way, Dessen navigates Emaline’s complicated choices with skill and grace.
The family dynamics in The Moon and More are fascinating as Emaline tries to figure out what a relationship with the father she barely knows would even look like. With half-siblings and step-parents it was also nice to see Emaline’s family was just that–a family without any complicated labels.
At its start, The Moon and More is a story of summer love. By the end, this book becomes a lot more as Emaline begins to understand who she is and, more importantly, who she wants to be.
Possible Pairings: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando, How to Love by Katie Cotugno, A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, Just One Day by Gayle Forman, Moonglass by Jessi Kirby, Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen, Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker, Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee
*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2013*