Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Book Reviews

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

5 Stars

Let me preface this review by apologizing to you, my readers, if this review sounds…all over the place. I tried to make sense, I swear I did! lol

I make no secret of my love for Sarah Dessen’s books. She’s one of my favorite authors whose books are instant auto-buys for me. Thanks to the generosity of a fellow blogger (THANK YOU, RACHEL!), I was able to read her newest book, The Moon and More, a little early. The Moon and More did not disappoint. I actually read this book twice already. I finished it on a Sunday, and reread it on Tuesday. Crazy, I know!

I love that the family in this book is a stepfamily. Emaline has lived with her stepdad and two stepsisters since she was two, so she doesn’t really see them as anything other than her actual family. I loved how close they were, but even in their closeness, they drove each other crazy sometimes. Emaline’s father, not her dad, because as Sarah Dessen says in this book “There’s a difference between the words father and dad. And it’s more than three letters. (ARC, page 25)”, is the cause of Emaline’s grief most of this book. She doesn’t really even know she’s going through and grief until he shows back up in her life after hurting her the last time. When things between her and her longtime boyfriend, Luke, start to suffer she wonders where it’s all coming from, and I felt her father had a lot to do with it. He left her with so many questions, about him, about herself, and about her future. Sometimes the resolutions we think we need aren’t actually what is needed.

So this boyfriend, Luke. I reeeeeally liked him, right from the start. But you could soon tell that something was going to happen, especially when this other guy starts showing up in the story, Theo. (Sidenote: I love the name of both these guys, btw. Luke and Theo. Love it!) Some really sad events transpire between Luke and Emaline that left me brokenhearted. :( And while I found Theo completely adorkable at first, he soon started to show a different side of himself that I did not care for. But then, Luke wasn’t Mr. Perfect either. I think Emaline could’ve handled this whole situation differently, but I think if it had been different, she wouldn’t have realized many things about herself in the end. Sometimes, change and distance gives us so much perspective. And you can make mistakes, but what matters is how you handle them.

One character that really stood out for me was Morris. He’s cast as this slacker kid, going nowhere, but Sarah Dessen spins his story in such a positive way. I loved that she showed us that anyone can have great potential when they find something they’re good at and when given the right opportunity.

The setting was, of course, AMAZING. The beach town of Colby is one of my most coveted fictional towns. I must one day make my way to Emerald Isle, NC, which is the town Colby is based on.

The Moon and More was such a great read overall. Lots of ups and downs, but they’re well worth it. This book is the perfect beach read, as it takes place in the Summer. Just be aware it’s not a quick, beach read, as it’s over 400 pages long. AND I STILL WANTED MORE! Ha! The only thing that I wish for, and this is totally a selfish thing, is for a more concrete answer on Emaline and Luke, but I guess I’ll just have to come up with it myself. :)

Book Info

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Juvenile
Pub Date: June 4th 2013
Pages: 435
Format: ARC | Source: Gifted
Genres: ContemporaryNew AdultRomanceYoung Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

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?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

16 Responses to “Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen”

  1. Avatar

    Ginger @ GReads!

    I just finished this one! I liked it, but didn’t love it. The relationship Emaline has with her family and friends was my favorite. And since I’m a reader after the romance in a story, I think that’s why I wasn’t a huge fan of it overall. I get that this wasn’t what the story was meant to be about though. However… I like romance!!! haha I say we plan a trip to Emerald Isle because I want to visit this place, too!!!

    • Avatar

      Jess @ Gone with the Words

      Haha, I totally get where you’re coming from. I like my books with Romance in them. I liked the relationship aspects this one had though, even if it wasn’t happy, lol. And OMG, YES! We NEED to go to Emerald Isle!

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    I still need to read a Sarah Dessen book! I love books that deal with un-convential families so this sounds like it would be a good one to start with.

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    What? A Dessen loose thread? It will drive me CRAZY. I want the HEAs all tied up in a neat bow from her. The world will spin out of balance. Can’t wait to spin off my axis :D

  4. Avatar


    I’ve only read one Sarah Dessen book – Dreamland. I read that while I was in library school, and while I loved it, it was so depressing that I didn’t rush out to read anything else by Dessen. I do have Just Listen, though, and I’ve heard that is great too. So maybe I will give that one a try.

    Thanks for the review!

    • Avatar

      Jess @ Gone with the Words

      Dreamland is actually the only Dessen book I haven’t read and it’s because I’ve heard it’s heavy or depressing. Just Listen is great! My favorites are definitely This Lullaby and The Truth About Forever. :)

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    I’ve only read one Sarah Dessen book (Just Listen) but I LOVED it so much I made my then-boyfriend a music playlist titled Just Listen. :D True story! So anyway I’m glad you liked this one, Jess. BTW, I LOVE the names Theo and Luke, as well. There’s something so open and warm about the names. I’m excited for a blended family story like you said this one was!

  6. Avatar

    Alexa Loves Books (@alexalovesbooks)

    Obviously, I am sold. I want this book even more than I already wanted it. I mean, first of all, it’s SARAH DESSEN. Second of all, see point one! I just really want to read this newest offering from her, and I’m curious to see what’s up with her MC this time :)

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    Lena @ Addicted 2 Novels

    I love that quote comparing the difference between a father and a dad. I can completely relate to it. I’m sad this book doesn’t have a lot of romance to it, but it sounds like it has loads of soul. Great review, Jessi-poo.

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