28 June 2013

Book Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

The Moon and MoreBook :The Moon and More
Author:Sarah Dessen
File Type: Hardcover
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
My rating: 1 star

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.

Wow. This was a disaster.

I've read two other books by Sarah Dessen. Them being, Just Listen and Along for the Ride. While I didn't hate them, I didn't exactly love them. I'm more of an intense love-drama girl. I usually go for passionate fire than cute-fluff. But there have been times when I've fallen head over heels in love with the latter. Anna and the French Kiss is an excellent example on that context.

I'm not sure what Ms. Dessen was going for. This obviously wasn't Dessen's usual style. There were so many elements in this book that could have led this one to success, but in the end, that was not to be. Rather, I felt that this was all a mess. So many ideas brought together in about 400 pages with the absence of that 'oomph!' factor. The result? A definite fail. Also, was this Summer-y? NO.

The Moon and More introduces us to Emaline, an eighteen year old with a dream to touch the starry heights of self-satisfaction ,self-actualisation and success without losing her morals and principles and sense of familial value on her way. She has a gorgeous boyfriend. She has an eligible, NYU student, who has his own set of frustating ideas, as a suitor. An absentee dad. A ghost mom. (She's alive and I shall discuss why I call her a 'ghost', later.) Two sisters. A half brother, who was the only bearable character in the whole book. A nice stepdad. And some one dimensional friends.

The book's writing was pathetically slow and I was on my way to dump my copy and burn it. I spent two days struggling to get to a point where I could actually read this book without thinking about how 'boring' and 'dull' the protagonist sounded. And that point, my friends, was the very end. I'm reading and I'm listening to Emaline state out all the problems in her life. I'm listening to her describe how 'nice' her boyfriend was. I'm also listening to her thoughts about an awkward yet absoluetly alluring character that is, Theo(The NYU jackass). And while I have absolutely no problem with the content, I just can't bear the way she's explaining the aforementioned content. WHY IS SHE SO DULL?

And now onto the story. I think other than the bond that she and her brother shared and the very end, there was nothing in this book that actually excited me. I understand Emaline's troubled thoughts about not being able to go to an Ivy league college and not being able to depend upon an absentee dad. But the story had no life, so I was least bothered. The romance, which is Dessen's strength, was downplayed to the extent of me vowing to never read her books again. And the characters? While I've already complained about Emaline's lifelessness, it seems like she her qualities are genetically inherited because throughout the book, Emaline's mother's character was as lifeless as Emaline was. I shouldn't judge a character and I shouldn't even judge an author's thought-process while she or he, creates a character, but for someone who was in a position as Emaline's mother and has been through whatever she's been, I'd think of a more stronger character. Ofcourse, people are different and so, like I said, I shouldn't judge, but as a reader, I needed to like her as a character, which I obviously didn't. And thus my point that she was the ghost of the book.

Now let's look at the romance angle, shall we?
Like I said, it was all very downplayed. But here's the thing. Even if you're maintaining subtlety in the area of love, there has to be something to make up for it! Usually that hole is filled up by the 'swoony' boys of YA town. Or usually by impacting and thought provoking concepts like self-dicovery or crimes like rape, assault etc. Since there was nothing 'impacting', I obviously hoped for swoony boys and there were TWO boys mentioned in the damn synopsis, so I see no reason why even a single guy wouldn't make the cut. Emaline's boyfriend was a jackass and so was Theo. So yes, there was nothing but the cover of the book and Emaline's brother to keep the sinking ship called The Moon and More, afloat.

In the end, this book was disappointing.



  1. Good review. too bad the book was disappointing. I really liked Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. <3

  2. This book is the book that i want to read, your review makes me consider more about it

  3. Aww, thanks for the review. I have enjoyed other books by Sarah Dessen. This one sounds like a disappointment. Thanks for your review.

  4. Cali, you're so sweet. :)
    Thank you, really.

    Najwa, I totally understand, I wanted to read this one terribly! But, in the end, all I got was disappointment. But many of my trusted friends have had nice things to say about the book, so while this wasn't my cup of tea, it most certainly could be yours. :)

    Ashleigh, you're welcome. :)
    I keep hearing so much about The Truth about Forever! I keep wondering whether I'll buy it and read it or not. And you like Dessen's other books so maybe there's still hope? :)
    But yes, this one is definitely disappointing, atleast for me. :/