Reviewed: The Moon and More

The Moon and More A week before this book was released I didn’t even know about it but as soon as I heard I had to have it straight away! I usually get books from the library or buy them (if I think the’re something special) but very rarely do I read ebooks because I prefer having the physical book in front of me.

Not this time though, I had to read The Moon and More the week it was released! It was Dessen after all, I love all her books! Even if I forget them between reads and then pick up one thinking I haven’t read it and realise I have but it was just like all her other books so I forgot about it.

I was thinking the other week how Dessen is a bit like the Dan Brown of YA. They both have very popular, very formulaic books. Unlike Brown though, Dessen actually has some talent.

So, did The Moon and More keep in line with the formula? Girl with parent issues? Yup! Girl who just finished school or on summer holidays? Yup! Girl just met new/interesting/quirky/weird boy just at the exact time that she needed too? Yup! Set in the fictional town of Colby? Yup! Yup! Yup!

Even with all that, something wasn’t quite right about this book. When I first heard about the book I remember seeing Dessen write how she got inspired by a pool boy (oh yeah!) and how maybe her next book should be from the perspective of a local of Colby rather than from one of the tourists there for the summer.

I was in Emerald Isle, which is the beach town in NC that is basically my Colby, sitting by the pool at our rental house, reading a book. I heard the gate open and looked over to see a guy coming in, shirtless, with a bunch of pool cleaning equipment. He smiled, waved. “Hey, how’s it going?” he said. “Good,” I replied. “You?” And then he started talking. About the busy season, and being from Emerald Isle and what it was like to be a local in a vacation spot. He told me about his job cleaning pools, and his side job working on a charter fishing boat, all while cleaning the pool. When he left about fifteen minutes later, I thought: Well, there’s my next book. It was like he’d just walked in and handed it to me.

Maybe this is what doesn’t work. Emaline is a bit of a Colby snob to her tourist friends, often complaining that they go places she’s been going her entire life because, you know, there’s so much option in a small beachside town. This attitude and her inability to learn just isn’t interesting. No one really is. They’re not likeable either, they’re just… boring and I find myself not caring about their story.

To say I was disappointed in The Moon and More is an understatement. If I were writing a Dessen style book to describe how I feel about this book it would be called “Not Quite Right” and it would be how Colby feels old and used now. I’d be the returning summer tourist who usually greets her with a smile, now sitting her down to tell her it’s time for us to part ways. Sorry Sarah but it’s not me, it’s you.

Reviewed: Along for the Ride

Along for the RideAlong for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How very trademark Dessen. Everytime I crack open one of her books I know it is going to be the same as all the rest and yet I still buy and borrow them and love them all the same. Along for the Ride was no different although I kind of wished someone would punch Auden’s Dad in the face. Or stab him in the eye with a fork at the very least.

Along For the Ride is the story of Auden’s summer with her Dad, Stepmum and new half-sister. Auden thinks she will regret going but ends up learning about herself and the life she has missed up until that point.

The strangest thought I get from this book is the cover. I don’t picture Eli or Auden looking like either of those headless people… Eli just doesn’t seem like the jeans wearing type.

That aside, I was kind of hoping for something a bit less formulaic with this book but I suppose, once you’re onto a good thing why not stick with it, right? Worked for Dan Brown.

Fortunately, Dessen’s Formula is a guilty pleasure for me so I continue to follow her works but don’t expect anything new. It is the standard girl has shake-up in her life, goes somewhere new and meets a new but ‘not her type’ boy and friends. Girl then learns that maybe they’re exactly her type.

And if that is a spoiler, than you’re not paying enough attention.

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