The Moon and More
Savvy coming-of-age tale is great for mature teens.
What parents need to know
Positive role models
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Moon and More is a smart depiction of the emotional push-and-pull that often marks the summer before a teen heads off to college. Lead character Emaline is sexually active with her longtime boyfriend, seems to completely disregard her parents' curfew with no consequences, and underage drinking is treated casually and matter-of-factly. But otherwise, this a sweet story about summertime romances, coming to terms with change, and finding your own way.
What's the story?
Emaline is bracing for the changes in store at summer's end, when she'll leave her close-knit community for college. But life quickly gets more complicated than she could have imagined. Her distant father, who reneged on his offer to pay for Columbia, arrives for the summer with her 10-year-old stepbrother. Her longtime, reliable boyfriend is unpredictable. As that relationship unravels, Theo -- a filmmaker from New York City -- tries to sweep her off her feet. Theo and his prickly boss are making a movie about Clyde, a reclusive artist, and Emaline is drawn into their work. Emaline struggles to reconcile reality with her dreams, and make her own choices about her future before they're decided for her.
Is it any good?
Sarah Dessen succeeds again in THE MOON AND MORE with authentic teen characters finding their way through messy circumstances. Emaline's relationships with her closest friends, her parents, and even her familiar hometown are changing faster than she can keep up. The summer before college is an strange time, a mix of anticipation and wistfulness, and Dessen nicely captures this unique period.
The characters feel a little mature for their age. The sexual aspect of Emaline's relationships gets scant attention, particularly for a sexually active teen who was born to a teenage mom. But she has her head squarely on her shoulders, making this a sweet story about summertime romances, letting go of fading dreams, and finding your own path forward.
Families can talk about...
- Families can talk about the popularity of Sarah Dessen's novels. Why does her material work so well for teens?
If you've read Dessen's other books, how does this one compare? What ideas recur in her work?
- Sex and underage drinking are just part of the scenery in this novel. Do you find this portrayal realistic? Do you think there should have been more discussion of consequences, or do you like Dessen's approach?
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