Why I love Sarah Dessen: The Moon and More Review

the_moon_and_more__span When I was in my senior year of high school, I picked up a book titled This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. I loved the cover of it, and I loved music. I was actively playing bass and writing emo-sap lyrics in one of my since shredded journals and figured it would make for great summer reading. Soon after completing it, I needed more. I purchased all of her books that were available to me at the time, and continued purchasing them as I would anxiously await the next release. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors. She helped me get reluctant students to read (just ask my former juniors at HHS–Dreamland was a hit!), and I developed numerous unit plans on her novels during my undergrad studies when I was still working with high school and middle school students. Now, years later, in a completely different work and teaching environment, I still come back to her books for the sense of nostalgia and fond memories that her writing provides to me. Her newest release The Moon and More is no exception!

I loved how the protagonist, Emaline grapples with so many changes and new developments in her life. Going to college, changing relationships, and forming new ones, left me with a feeling of comfort as I read. Keith and I are currently moving and making new decisions, and I could relate to Emaline’s conflicts, and, I’m sure, so could many younger readers. Clyde, a local artist, Luke, Emaline’s boyfriend, and the others she interacts with are real and raw. But what affects me the most in Dessen’s novels are her settings.

Many of her texts take place in beach towns which bring me back to a time of innocence and fun. My family used to rent a beach house in Westerly, R.I. each summer and I have so many fond memories that tug at my heartstrings and remind me to be thankful and to always reflect back on the gifts we are given. Each summer, we would pack the car and I would spend time with my cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and run into the ocean fearless. The sand would tickle my feet and kick up my shorts as I ran directly to the waves with my parents watching from the deck. As I got older, I would bring a friend, or boyfriend, and eventually the guest of honor was always Keith. When we talk about some of the best times we’ve shared together, we always go back to that house and those great, carefree, sand and salt-filled vacations where we were barefoot all week and drank wine coolers with breakfast.

Why mention all of that? Because Dessen brings me back to that place in The Moon and More. She brings me back to sitting on the beach the summer before my undergrad career. She takes me to a place where I can remember feeling truly free, and she does this with her ability to weave words that pull you in and don’t let go until that last page. This amazing summer read is great for getting back to what matters and what’s important. As I turned that last page of The Moon and More, I felt bittersweet emotions. Saying goodbye to Emaline (or to any character for a true reader) is hard, but knowing that I am blessed to have a relationship with an author who can bring me back to such a wonderful time in my life keeps me waiting for the next journey Dessen will take me on.

7 thoughts on “Why I love Sarah Dessen: The Moon and More Review

  1. I’m going to be writing up something on Dessen too! Although, my review of The Moon and More isn’t so positive 😛

    I’ve loved Dessen since I first saw Someone Like You in my school library, my favourite though is Dreamlands (I finally own it! It was out of print when I first read it and never thought I’d get to own it) mostly because it’s different to her other books. Better somehow.

    I was pretty disappointed with The Moon and More, maybe because I was so excited that there was a new Dessen out for me to devour 🙂 I didn’t find many of the characters interesting, Emaline especially, or even likeable. I don’t know why, maybe the story from the perspective of a local from Colby rather than a tourist just doesn’t work.. for me anyway 🙂

  2. I’ve read a couple of her books and really like them, but the library never seems to have any in when I’m there. I love the power a book has to transport you to another time and place – whether its the one IN the book, or a real place with the memories for reading. It’s brilliant 😀

  3. I was wondering what were some noteworthy books that I could read. I haven’t done pleasure reading in years, and am now stuck in the habit of reading non-fiction because it deals with philosophy and history. It’s as if I forgot how to enjoy reading fiction. Seems like it’s worth the read. I’ll look into it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. I haven’t read anything by Sarah Dessen yet!! I’ll have to find one of her books to read soon 🙂

    Looks like there are a lot of Sarah Dessen fans!

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