Sarah Dessen, what happened? Your books used to be so wonderful but now they all seem to be lacking something. I'm not sure if it's because I've read...moreSarah Dessen, what happened? Your books used to be so wonderful but now they all seem to be lacking something. I'm not sure if it's because I've read the majority of your books and I know your formula or if it's time for me to take a break from you.
Let's start with how absolutely unlikable Emaline was. I've never been so put off by a character before. A character, in my opinion, can whine all they want as long as they're taking the initiative to better themselves and those around them. Emaline is a pushover and has no voice of her own. She can't even (view spoiler)[talk to her father about the college fiasco (hide spoiler)]. She complains about how her small town is smothering her but doesn't do anything to change her situation. She judges her friends quite harshly, especially that of (insert her BFF name that I can't remember here) and Theo. When someone can't see their own faults, I fail to connect with them.
Dessen plots are usually slow but they always feels like they're progressing. The Moon and More's plot felt like a car riding its brakes with the driver, Dessen, never letting anything take off. Each time progress was made, something would come along and stall the plot. For example, we have a great story developing between Emaline and her estranged father but then Theo comes into the picture and stalls the plot to a crawl. Also, what was up with all the "deep, philosophical" sentences that ended each chapter? When it becomes blatantly obvious, tone it down a bit.
The main notion that killed this book for me was Emaline and Lucas' relationship that was just a convenient plot device. In the beginning, Lucas was a great boyfriend that Emaline would gush about but as the story progressed she started hating him and would bitch constantly about his flaws (and refusing to see her own). There was a lot of talk about how he was deteriorating as a boyfriend but we didn't see any of this regression happening. Furthermore, (view spoiler)[Lucas cheating was completely out of character. It was a convenient action created by Dessen so Emaline can go be free with Theo and it had no merit to it (hide spoiler)].
Despite my complaints, there were definitely redeeming aspects to the novel. I enjoyed Emaline's family, especially that of her and her sisters and Benji. Their interaction was fun to read and completely believable. Dessen has always been great with interweaving great familial subplots amongst her romances. I also enjoyed Theo despite him being a complete pushover. His ambition reminds me of many people of my age who will do anything to score their dream job. Having worked at a fashion magazine, I've definitely witnessed such ambition.
Like any Dessen story, this is one of self-discovery and finding what's true to yourself. I abandoned this book 2/3 of the way in because it didn't have the same spark as her previous novels. I think it might have been because her characters were a bit more privileged than I'm used to and they had no "real" struggle like overcoming rape culture, escaping an abusive relationship, etc. Emaline's struggle was escaping her small town and finding her potential and it was a little too bland for me. Fingers crossed Dessen gets her spark back.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm probably not the best person to review this book since I only read up to page 62 and then gave up. There was too much drama, too many issues, too...moreI'm probably not the best person to review this book since I only read up to page 62 and then gave up. There was too much drama, too many issues, too many unbelievable events, too many superficial characters and not enough common sense or brain power to any of the characters. Zoey is a weak character and puts herself last when it comes to her life and happiness (this may be ironic since her last name is Commander, derp derp). All these attributes (or lack off) made this book extremely weak, uninteresting and unfufilling.(less)