Standing in a sandbox as grumpy holidaymakers throw abuse at you and middle aged women eye up your boyfriend; there has to be more to life, right? Emaline is fed up with her monotone existence working with her family at their holiday beach resort in the small town of Colby. Her world is too predictable and she wants to have a summer well spent before University begins.
While some would admire the simplicity of her life – she lives by the beach, has lifelong friends and a gorgeous popular boyfriend – Emaline is still after the moon and more.
Luckily that’s when ambitious aspiring New York filmmaker Theo strolls into town, bringing his rowdy documentary boss with him, and acting as Emaline’s saviour to a boring summer ahead. Well, not exactly…
Despite having the perfect ingredients in allowing Emaline the chance to break free from her boring life and make an impact on the world, the book fails to really transport Emaline out of her comfort zone. Yes, the Emaline/Theo relationship does give her the chance to see the world through new eyes, but her idea of adventure ends stale as most of the ‘world’ is still confined within Colby.
Is this Sarah Dessen’s attempt at sending early messages to us that the reality is we will never leave the nest and see the world? The synopsis of The Moon and More works for us young adults because it holds this connective emotion that the world is filled with opportunities and we can grab onto them and God, run. Sadly the novel doesn’t fulfil this expectation.
Alas, what was most capturing about this novel (when you strip away Emaline’s sparking relationship with Luke) was the exploration between a father and daughter relationship. Emaline’s estranged father waltzes back into her life and it’s adamantly made clear that her wanting to escape Colby is influenced by her father. She adores him because he is a mystery to her. A part of her that should have been around and yet was nowhere in site when she was growing up. Just like how her father filled Emaline with disappointment when it came to choosing a College, he disappoints her right until the end. Emaline’s big dreams resembles her father big promises, both have little impact when it comes to putting these thoughts into actions.
Emaline was a character I wanted to see more fight and empowerment from. After basically aiding the whole neighbourhood in some shape or form she even ends up helping Thao’s boss, who she absolutely despised, as she was the Queen of all pushovers. With this in mind I thought maybe the climax would be her finally exploding at her father. But, no, even then the fizz she felt dissolved and she let him a way with everything he had done. Any other angry confused teenager would have shouted at him until their throat was raw.
The Moon and More might be trying to portray a reality of the expectations teenagers should have, but this is not really what you want to hear when you are like Emaline and want to escape. I would rather have read a book about a girl who at least attempted to have an adventure and failed, rather than a girl who didn’t try at all.
- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (thequietvoice18.wordpress.com)
- Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (anextremelyavidreadersreviews.wordpress.com)
- Book Review- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (readingisfundamentaletc.wordpress.com)
- Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (lethologics.wordpress.com)
- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (letmejudge.wordpress.com)
- Sarah Dessen’s ‘The Moon and More’ and YA Fiction in Summertime (meganwhalen6.wordpress.com)
- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (theoatpie.wordpress.com)