Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.
Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.
Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?
Sarah Dessen is the QUEEN of writing fantastic summer contemporary read. There are a lot of summer princesses out there but Sarah Dessen is the queen that rules them all, I love how she manages to write cynical and realistic characters going through real things... honestly I haven't read some of her latest books because I have never had the chance or time to, but Just Listen and Thsi Lullaby are two of my all time favorite books ever, so my expectations for The Moon and More were pretty high, and they were actually met!
I just loved Emaline in this book, she was such an honest and believable heroine, she's lived in one small beach town doing the same things for her whole life, she's dated the same guy since she was like fifteen and she feels so restless, unlike everyone else in Colby she feels like she's destined for more. Then Theo comes in and shakes up everything she knows, even though at times I didn't agree with everything that she did I completely understood why she acted the way she did, and that is key to Sarah Dessen's characters - they're flawed which makes them so much more real. Like Sarah I was torn between Luke and Theo, there is no 'good' or 'bad' guy despite them both having questionable personality traits - Luke is too normal and made a mistake, but Theo is overly idealistic and never seemed to be too good of a fit for the practical Emaline. My favorite character by far is Benji who, like all ten year old kids varies between surprisingly observant and intelligent and also comedic and childish.
Dessen hasn't really strayed from her normal formula, except with the questionable not-so-happy-happy-ending, but I honestly can't fault her. Her writing is fantastic (as always) and the plot and character building was very well done. I wouldn't say that The Moon and More is her best book ever, but it's still an awesome book and she's still my go-to author for Summer contemporary reads.
If you're looking for a fun and believable contemporary Summer read, I honestly can't recommend The Moon and More enough. That's it really! Have it on hand for a sunny day, you won't regret it.
Overall Rating: A
Book released 4th June 2013 by Puffin (UK)
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.