Sunday, May 26, 2013

Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

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.

Thank you so much Razorbill Canada for allowing me on this blog tour! I am soooo excited! Thank you!!

NOTE: quotes are from the ARC and can be subject to change.

I still remember being in grade 10 and one of my friends practically breathed Sarah Dessen, and who swore by Along for the Ride. Back then I was NOT a contemporary fan so I brushed it off. But now being a contemporary noob, I was sooooo excited to read The Moon and More. For a first timer with Sarah Dessen, I think I am disappointed.

When I started the book I loved it! It was light, fun, and simple. Everything seems so bright and colourful, and I called it "a perfect beach read". It was a novel that anyone could read without wrecking his/her brain (and that stayed true until the very end). I was so very excited and it just seemed like the perfect book for me (because it reminded me of Of Poseidon and the beach-y fun-ness). Wow beach-y fun-ness...what the heck is that Ash??? And you know what, I was super excited to dive into the father issue Emaline had with her father. It got be so pumped. I was raging. I never had father issues before or any parental issues (my parents are awesssuuummmm), but it was a topic that I think anyone could relate. It doesn't have to be a parent, it could be anyone. That feeling of disappointment and being let down is easily sympathizable (once again, not a word). Below you will find a rant by me, right after I read a little part of the book that enraged me. Note it is not edited. It was exactly what I typed when I read about Emaline's father.

Can I rant about Emaline's father. God where do I begin?
Have you ever been let down? Yes? Ever been let down soooo many times by the same person? Yes? Maybe? Well that's Emaline's father for you. He is a smart guy, with a great education background, but what a douchbag he is! He is a sweet talker, acting like he cares and at the moment that you needs him the most? He vanishes. Gosh I hate people who acts like that. One moment you think they've actually changed and cared for you but in reality he/she have been putting up a fake face and was lying to you the whole damn time. All those broken promises. I hate it. I mean if it is only once or twice, I get it. It is life and life sucks. But all the time? No. I don't buy that, not even one tiny bit. It is like giveaways. I know from personal and friends' experiences, that blogging world's giveaways have become somewhat unreliable. I mean of course there are still actual and true giveaways out there but there are so many other fake giveaways as well Nothing hurts more than waiting on something you love and then an email reply of "oops, blah blah blah, sorry, won't be sending this" excuses, excuses. Or no reply at all. OR the worst, promise you something else for compensation and don't deliver either. Two promises, broken.
I just can't deal with him. Joel Pendleton, you suck!

See how emotional I got when reading about Emaline's father? It got my blood pumping, fingers typing, mind ranting. It was the part of the book that I was passionate about, and curious about. When Emaline was with her father, it was awkward but things were interesting and I wanted to see where it goes. Plus when ever Benji was in the picture, I loved every single moment of it. Sadly, this book lacked many of the exciting parts.

Anyway, around half way through the book, I felt frustrated. Why?? Because I felt like one part of the book (not the father part) was unnecessary long and frankly boring! And you ask: what is this part? Well the romance, and the complication.

From reading the synopsis, you know Theo enters Emaline's life. Can I say BORING!! I mean I know a book like this needs romance. But the thing was that I didn't felt the romance. I wasn't Team Luke nor Team Theo, I felt Emaline should just be single. Theo was kind of your geeky, artsy student. He also was enthusiastic about a lot of things. He acted like a boy at Christmas morning for most of his time with Emma (kind of like Spencer Reid when he is on his knowledge rant...cute). And yes, back in high school he got bullied a lot so I can imagine this adorable boy/man(?) that gets giddy by a girl he likes. Because of that, he plans everything out perfectly (or to the best that he can). He will take note of your likes and dislikes and remember it. He would care for you. But I really thought he wasn't a dating material. He was like a boy who got excited about a new toy and soon he would slowly drift away and have a new found interest. He was not a keeper. As for Luke, he was the gorgeous, strong boyfriend that you had a backstory with. Because of the time they spend with each other (a total of 3 years), I felt that Luke was a bit more suited for Emaline. Emaline will forever be a small town girl at heart and I felt like Luke could be her match. But really, I didn't strongly sway one side, if I had to choose it would be Luke, though he could be a tiny jerk.
So in summary of the romance? I just really didn't care for it! I skimmed through it and just yawned. I just wanted the book to conclude to something. I didn't care about in between. I really just didn't see a point in it.

Shall we discuss our main character? Emaline was perfect. She was organized, carrying, and popular. In the family she took care of a lot of stuff. At times she felt very "mom-ish". She had to order her friends: " 'Come on,' I said. He just looked at me. 'Now' " (page 44). It just come off wrong with me. You know the type of girls who think they are much more mature and responsible than you are and just acts like your mom? I've seen a few in my life time. *shivers* Anyway, Emaline's mom' side of the family was "uneducated", meaning no college degree. Emaline's father's side was completely the opposite. All they cared for was education, learning etc. Even Benji, a young child (who was just adorable), was "forced" to do word puzzles instead of playing with crayons. I really didn't liked that. I was reading about choosing a college, preparing for SAT etc. made me nauseous from pressure. It was the feeling of stress and uncertainty that got me. I mean I don't really have to worry about it since it was not me but I definitely felt it. It was uncomfortable and unbearable. Call me crazy but life of a student, right?

Now to one of my favourite characters, Morris. Warning, I didn't like him in the beginning. He was........a bit "slow". He didn't take initiative. He was the follower. He won't do anything unless instructed, even if that thing is sooooo obvious. I would not be able to deal with him. He had a back story with no father and his mother was not the best, but he was.........frustrating to deal with. I wasn't patient enough. But there were times where his personality really helped. You could tell he was an honest guy who was not fake. He would not be the one faking a smile or a hug. He would be true to you and would be there when you need real comfort. He said stuff that no one would said and would always be the right thing that needed to be said. That's that make sense? He was just the perfect friend, surprising but true.

As for other characters?
I loved Daisy!!! She was your Asian fashionista with sass! Okay she hated being called "fashionista" so maybe I shouldn't called her that....eeeks!
"It's a vintage A-line, Emaline. It's classsic. Knows no season." (62)
When Emaline is with her, it brings back memory of "Of Poseidon" and Emma and her friend in the first few chapters. It was funny, sassy, and pure fun! She had the gut to tell Emaline the hard truth and wouldn't hold back. She was a true friend. "The any-other girl thing" she said to Emaline on page 80 of the ARC, PREACH Daisy!!

Emaline' sisters all had personalities. To me they were necessary and all got enough attention from the readers to like them or at least have a particular feeling towards them. Margo was strict and stubborn. Amber was whiny and the type of girl who would chew her bubble gum loud (she didn't do that but I felt like she would...aha). And gosh, how I loved Emaline's mom. She was sweeeeeettt!!! Not the fake "oh honey" sweet but the one whose actions made her loved. And it kind of brings me to the title, which I ABSOLUTELY LOVED! The title's background was linked to the mom instead of Emaline's love interest. It just made it super sweet, and teary eyed worthy instead of extra cheese. If you don't want to know the story from my review because you think it is a SPOILER, skip the little section below.
"But she'd told me often of a book she read aloud every night when I was a baby, about a mother bear and her little cub who won't go to sleep.
What if I get hungry? he asks.
I'll bring you a snack, she tells him.
What if I'm thirsty?
I'll fetch you water.
what if I get scared?
I'll order all the monsters away.
Finally he asks, What if that's not enough? What if I need something else?
And she replies, Whatever you need, I will find a way to get it to you. I will give you the moon, and more.
She had nothing, but wanted everything for me. Still did." (21-22)

Seriously, that got me a little teary eyed. May I direct you to "Mother" by 96猫?
Aha, it probably won't stop the tears but at least we will get all the feels out that the same time?
The line "the moon and more" will be my "for you, a thousand times over". I will shiver EVERY single time when I read over those blacked inked words. BRB CRYING.

As for the setting of the novel? I loved. The true local setting reminded me of Grand Mannan. I was on a school trip there and it was a small, wet, city by the sea. No beaches...well, no sunny, sun bathing beaches, just cold, windy, "wild life" beaches. The locals acted the same way as in this book. A lot of people were "cold" and almost unresponsive. Maybe it was just me but I pictured Colby to be a sunny, happy, beachy place in the beginning of the book but I just couldn't picture anything sunny as I read on. Perhaps Sarah describe it somewhere it was still nice and warm but I sure didn't felt nice and warm. All I got was rainy, cold, and dark. It was just the mood the book brought to me. Weird eh?

As for the plot of the book, it just seemed to flatline most of the time. The small high points were when Emaline confronted her father. Everything else just seemed like words on a piece of paper, there but not felt. And dare I compare Sarah Dessen to Nicholas Spark but it just felt like some cheesy Nicholas Spark movie. I don't know. The plot was tasteless and bland.

So after all that, I would give this book a 3/5, definitely a disappointment but would read more from Sarah.

Now I leave you with more quotes ;3

"As it turned out, that lunch wasn't the end for us. But it wasn't the beginning of some beautiful relationship, either. More like a door being opened a tiny crack to let a sliver of light in. It wasn't enough to see clearly by, but from then on, we would never be fully in the dark again." (34)

"She'd wanted so much for me: the moon and more. But maybe, right now, the moon was enough." (39)

"...neither knowing nor caring where I was taking him. Like destinations, in general, were vastly overrated. And maybe they were. As long as you were moving, you were always going somewhere." (175)


  1. Great review Ashley! I rated this one the same too! I pretty much didn't like Emmaline and I also thought this was a bore. Quite sad since it was my first Sarah Dessen book! I can agree about skipping some pages or chapters for that matter. I wanted to, but I didn't.

  2. Thank you so much for stopping by Giselle!!! :D Glad that I wasn't the only one who thought so! Have you tried other Sarah Dessen books? How are they? :)

  3. Haha I just saw you replied now. WOW..I'm super late, but I'm replying anyway.

    Nope, I haven't read any more Sarah Dessen books..

  4. Ahahah, you are adorable! Now I'm kind of turned off because of this one read. That's kind of the same with Rainbow Rowell and John Green.

  5. I know..I DNF'd Eleanor and Park, but I'm giving it another try. I also didn't enjoy Fault in Our Stars as much as everyone else


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