July 24, 2013

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Narrated by Allie Gallerani
Published by Penguin Audio (2013)
Length: 11 hours, 25 minutes (Unabridged)

I received a review copy from the publisher via Audiobook Jukebox.

Description: 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.

My Review:

It's been a rainy spring/summer here, so I was definitely excited to pick up a beach read and live vicariously through the characters. When I started reading, I was immediately transported back to Colby (a familiar setting that I loved in Along for the Ride), a small beach town in tourist season.

What I love most about Dessen's novels are her strong characters and her realistic depictions of family relationships and friendships. I identified with Emaline and her confusion about where to go  and what to do after high school. The summer before college is such an interesting time in a person's life, and I love reading stories about it. This one was no exception! 

I normally swoon over the love interests in Dessen's novels, but for some reason I just wasn't feeling either Luke or Theo. I'm glad the book wasn't entirely focused on the romance angle. It was interesting to see Emaline work through family issues and ultimately choose to take her own path for the future.

I tend to gravitate toward the audio versions of Dessen's stories. The narrator's always do a fabulous job, and Gallerani is no exception. She sounded believable as an older teen and made Emaline's character come alive. The sound and production quality were excellent, and it was a pleasant listening experience. I will continue to listen to Sarah Dessen books (and also put the hardcovers on my shelf because they are just so pretty!).


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