I have almost completed my quest of reading all of Sarah Dessen’s books! One more!
“The truth was, there was no way everything could be the Best. Sometimes, when it came to events and people, it had to be okay to justbe.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: The perfect life? At first glance, Emaline seems to have it all. A great boyfriend, a close-knot family, an idyllic beach town to call home. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough. Then she meets Theo, an ambitious young New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. He’s sophisticated and exciting, and thinks Emaline is destined for bigger things. Emaline wants the moon and more, but can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?
Feelings: I ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I would. It wasn’t long before I was highly invested in these characters and had chosen sides in this Luke vs. Theo debacle. (This is like when everyone was Team Peeta and I was over here like NO NO NO PICK GALE.) I had my theories about where things were going and why certain things were happening, then everything would change. This book kept me engaged and interested!
Issues: I couldn’t figure out why Clyde was insistent on Emaline being in the middle of everything…why does he care about her? What connection do they have?
Characters: I liked Emaline. I don’t always super connect with Dessen’s female leads, but I could really understand Emaline. I think she’s one of those people that some people wouldn’t connect with, but she and I clicked. (Not sure what that says about me..) I thought it was really interesting how she got to watch her absent father parent Benji. Not everyone gets the chance to come to terms with the type of person their absent parent really is, accept it, and get past it. I enjoyed reading about her family dynamic and how she approached the issues that surfaced as the story went along.
Luke is that great male character that Dessen is so great at writing. He’s the quintessential guy: charming, attractive, swoon-worthy, confident, thoughtful…I mean he’s not perfect…and he made a mistake…but he’s still great. I was rooting for him the whole time.
I liked that Emaline’s BFFs in this book weren’t a group of girls. Girl friends are great and all, but the dynamic of having 1 girl BFF and 1 guy BFF was great to see. It brought a different little something to this story. Plus…Morris is…well, Morris.
At first I kept thinking, Why is Theo even here? But I really think Emaline needed to experience a different kind of relationship (consider she and Luke had been together for so long). She needed to find out who she was. I’m not saying she found her identity in Theo or anything like that, but in being with him, she realized what she really wanted and even better, what she deserved. Part of me wishes that she and Luke had run back to each other in the end, but I’m glad she went off to college with some Emaline focus, rather than a boy. Also, Theo is kind of a creep. Bye, Theo.
Final thoughts: I really liked this book! This felt like a Dessen beach read more than some, since there is so much actual beach happening. I’d put it in my Top 5 favorite Dessen books! I’d recommend it if you haven’t read Dessen before and you’re not sure where to start.
Pick this up if you liked:
Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Goodreads rating: 3.63/5
Amazon.com rating: 3.9/5
My rating: 4.5/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn