Title: The Moon and More


Author: Sarah Dessen

Publish date: June 4th 2013 by Viking Juvenile

Source: ARC borrowed from A Storm of Words

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Goodreads summary:

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?


Roughly every two years, I can barely contain my excitement over a new Sarah Dessen book. She’s been a favorite author for a while now, ever since I read This Lullaby in my early high school years. So it’s always a little EXTRA disappointing when a book by a favorite author like Sarah Dessen doesn’t quiiiiiite match my expectations.

Here’s the thing: The Moon and More is an exploration. It doesn’t follow our typical Dessen “formula” of Girl meets Boy in smallish town, they resolve their personal and relationship Dramz, and get their HEA.

Certainly, part of the formula sticks: Girl meets Boy in smallish town. But their Dramz? I didn’t feel like it was resolved. I would have been fine with a lack of resolution in the L-O-V-E department if I’d felt like I had it elsewhere. The biggie, to me, was Emaline’s relationship with her biological father and at the end of the book… I didn’t feel like much progress had been made. This novel is sort of… not about anything. It’s almost just a snapshot in time of the character’s life.

The bright side is that I definitely did see character growth from Emaline and I liked her as a character. I also continued to love Dessen’s prose and found myself completely absorbed in the world of Colby once again. The Moon and More was a quick read despite its slight heft, and I spent my time with a largely loveable cast of characters. I especially loved Emaline’s relationship with her mom and seeing someone else recognize the potential in her.

So,¬†The Moon and More¬†is not a read that I regret spending time on, but I just wish I’d found… more in it.

Goodreads rating: 3/5 stars.

Need a second opinion?

“While a lot of fantasy authors indulge us by writing about the kind of girl we wish we’d been at the age of seventeen, Sarah Dessen writes about the kind of uncertain, quietly determined girl we actually were.” -The Midnight Garden

“I fell in love with this book and really appreciate that it was about SO MUCH MORE than cute boys and swooning, but about actual things that matter, like the future and life and the paths we take.” -Good Books and Good Wine

“Sparkling with warmth and carefree summer days, The Moon and More is the book you bring with you on vacation!” -Xpresso Reads