Yesterday, I finished reading "The Moon and More" by Sarah Dessen, and I must say this is probably one of the best books she has written to date. I love Sarah Dessen a lot, but this book really does do justice if you want a true to heart, realistic coming-of-age story.
What's it about? In a nutshell, The Moon and More is about a girl named Emaline and her journey of self-discovery when it comes to her life the summer before she heads off to college. Emaline is a small-town girl who has been raised in the small town of Colby her whole life. However, some people, such as her absentee biological father Joel and a visiting tourist, Theo, think she's meant to break away from-what they see at least-this possibly podunk life and is destined for greater things- things that she cannot get in Colby. After all, Emaline's mother was a teenager when she was born, her grandparents run a realty business that's really only successful come summer time, and her stepsister Margo is said to be the first person in their family to graduate from college. However
My favorite part of this book was its message, stated by Emaline in the very last paragraph:
"The thing is, you can't always have the best of everything. Because for a life to be real, you need it all: good and bad, beach and concrete, the familiar and the unknown, big talkers and small towns. Otherwise, how could I have all these things and still be so close to my own Best After Ever?"
In short, Emaline comes to acknowledge that success is not always about completely breaking the mold, and that you don't (and sometimes can't) make everything above and beyond to reach success in life, that not everything in life has to be a grand entrance. After all, if that were the case, then it's always about grand gesture and anything else is just dull.
To end this, I must emphasize that this book's summary on the jacket is very misleading. This is not another cliche teenage love triangle. This is about a girl finding out exactly how she wants her life to go now that she's passing an important milestone.
A real enjoyment. 8 out of 10.