The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Number of pages: 416
My copy: paperback, ordered from Book Depository
Emaline is spending her last summer before college in her home beach town of Colby. Everything is familiar – from working for her bossy sister Margo at the family rental company to Emaline’s gorgeous (and regularly shirtless) childhood sweetheart, Luke.
But when an out-of-town brash New York filmmaker, and her young assistant Theo, come to stay at one of the beach houses, everything Emaline thought she knew about herself changes.
But can her heart let go of a life she’s loved for so long?
* * *
Finally a new Sarah Dessen. It’s been a while since I last read one because I’ve already gone through all of them, and I was really glad when I heard that her latest book, The Moon and More is out this year. Even if I didn’t exactly love What Happened to Goodbye, I am always looking forward to Dessen’s books because her books are automatic comfort reads.
It’s summer in Colby and Emaline is spending her last summer before college working in their family business. She’s used to everything in Colby — her stepsisters, her mom, her (usually shirtless) boyfriend Luke — and she’s really just waiting for summer to be over before she heads over to the university. Then Emaline’s father comes to town and stays there for the summer, reminding her of everything that did not happen between them in the past year. As if that’s not enough, a filmmaker and her assistant, Theo, from New York comes and stays for the summer and Emaline somehow gets roped into their project. She thought she knew everything and she wasn’t expecting her summer to suddenly change, but now everything is changing…is she ready for them all? Does she even want to change?
The Moon and More latest has all the usual elements of a Dessen novel — summer, an ordinary girl on the verge of a big change, best friends, family and a cute guy. Or, make it two cute guys. This is the first time I’ve read a real love triangle in Dessen’s books, one where I don’t really know who to root for because they are both good and charming and full of faults all at the same time. I liked that it wasn’t an annoying love triangle, and I felt Emaline’s confusion and pain and happiness and her attempt at adjusting with the changes coming her way. But I think what I liked about this set up is how I ended up rooting for Emaline in the end, hoping that she’d make the right decision for herself and nobody else. I think that’s one of the things that made this novel really good for me.
As always, I loved the secondary characters that surrounded Emaline here. I love her family and I saw how their home was always wacky (with people who won’t get out of her room) but supportive, and her half-brother is one of the most adorable siblings I’ve ever read in Dessen’s books. I also love Emaline’s best friends, Daisy and Morris, and their quirky relationship is really begging for a spin-off. There were the usual easter eggs from Dessen’s previous novels (specifically Along for the Ride and Keeping the Moon), although I needed to refresh my memory about them because it’s been a while since I read those books.
I’m glad that that I really liked The Moon and More. After the previous Dessen book, I was kind of afraid that her magic is getting lost on me, but this book proved that it was just a fluke. It was a pleasure getting lost in Colby for hours, and I can almost feel the sand between my toes and hear the waves crashing on the shore as I read this. The Moon and More is a good summer book — it’s just too bad I didn’t really read it during summertime in the Philippines. :)