The Moon and More – Sarah Dessen

“Here they come.
‘-or I promise you, we’ll turn tight around and go back to Paterson!’ the woman behind the wheel of the burgundy minivan was shouting as it pulled up beside me. She had her head turned towards the backseat, where I could see three kids, two boys and a girl, staring back at her. A vein in her neck was bulging, looking not unlike the interstate, thick and unmissable, on the map held by the man in the passenger seat beside her. ‘I am serious. I have had it.’”

Emmaline is the first port of call for the renters of Colby Realty houses in Colby, the seaside town she knows as home. For most people Colby is the start of the summer, the place where things will happen, just for a couple of months. Those things might include holiday romances, first kisses or just a tan after chilling on the beach with friends. For Emmaline though its her home and this is the last summer before her life changes and she starts college. She plans on spending it with Luke – her high school sweetheart – but plans don’t always work out and when Ivy, a challenging award winning filmmaker, turns up with her ambitious assistant, Theo, things completely go to pot… soon Emmaline finds that maybe, just maybe this is the summer things will actually happen for her too. 

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I have a bit of a hit and miss track record with Sarah Dessen books, I have both loved and hated the ones I have read in the past and to be perfect honest I was expecting to hate The Moon and More, but I didn’t, I really didn’t 
The story seemed like it would be just another summer romance story, but there was so much more to it, its a coming of age story and Emmaline does a lot of growing up in it… something which I didn’t think she could do much more of when I first met her to be honest. That summer, before you go off to University or College is a magical one… it was for me anyway, its a summer that really sticks with you forever because so much changes, and you figure out a lot from life… and that is exactly what The Moon and More captured perfectly. There were break ups and divorces, there was upset, heartbreak, stress and love, there was everything I hoped for in my summer romance novel, and yet so much more. 
The characters are what made this book, I loved every single one of them – or at least every one from Colby… I even grew to love ivy and her pretty full on ways. The only characters I didn’t like were Emmaline’s Father and Theo… Emmaline’s Father seemed to be too harsh on everyone around him and really needed telling off for his outlook on life. What he said to Emmaline was horrible and I hated him for it but I kinda felt sorry for him because that was all he knew and when he was called up on it, well… he didn’t exactly stop or redeem himself, but he did the better thing by stepping back from the situation and letting things cool down. Theo on the other hand was a pretentious prick right form the start and I really couldn’t be doing with him the whole was through the book, which for anyone reading this having read the book will understand I’m sure. His presence did a lot for the story though and I completely understand his purpose in the book so I have to forgive him for that… I probably would have hated the book if it wasn’t for him. I have to give a massive shout out to Benji and Morris as I absolutely adored them both, and Daisy.
The writing is easy and flows so well. I read tens of pages without even realising and I finished it pretty quick even though its over 400 pages. I loved the way that Dessen has differentiated between Emmaline’s Father and her Dad and I could get on board with that a lot, having known people who kinda so similar things. I liked that Emmaline was a smart character but not too bookish and introvert and that Dessen gave us a character that really stood up for herself, its good to have a confident main character in a teen contemporary book. 
The Moon and More did hit a few sore spots for me but they were small niggles more than anything else… I was really impressed that things didn’t go as I expected them too and I would definitely recommend this book to any contemporary lover.

The Moon and More was published on June 4th by Penguin. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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  • So glad you enjoyed this! I was a little worried when I heard that SD didn’t follow her normal pattern in this, btu I really loved it.