The Moon and More [NOOK Book]

Overview

A New York Times bestseller

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun.

He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline ...
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The Moon and More

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Overview

A New York Times bestseller

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun.

He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

“Completely engaging, infused with moments of sweetness, humor and major epiphanies.” —Kirkus Reviews

Also by Sarah Dessen:
Along for the Ride
Dreamland
Just Listen
Keeping the Moon
Lock and Key
Someone Like You
That Summer
This Lullaby
The Truth About Forever
What Happened to Goodbye

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  • Sarah Dessen: What I'm Reading Now
    Sarah Dessen: What I'm Reading Now  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Emaline has the perfect little life, but that is exactly the problem. Yes, Colby is the ideal secluded beach town community and her boyfriend Luke could not be more attentive; but after the arrival of a New York filmmaker, she's beginning to wonder if she should be outgrowing it. The Moon and More is a novel by Sarah Dessen (What Happened to Goodbye?; Just Listen) that reconfirms her ability to realistically capture the times of transition that every teen experiences. Ideal school vacation reading.

Publishers Weekly
Emaline has grown up happily in the quiet beach town of Colby, N.C. (a setting that will be familiar to Dessen’s many fans), where she lives with her mother, stepfather, and stepsisters. She’s been dating a handsome local boy, Luke, for four years; they both work for her grandmother’s property rental company and plan to attend East U in the fall. Then Emaline’s quasi-estranged birth father and her 10-year-old half-brother, Benji, show up, as does another out-of-towner—an ambitious and romantic filmmaker’s intern named Theo—upending Emaline’s life and aspirations. Family, self-discovery, and change have always been key themes in Dessen’s (What Happened to Goodbye) work, and they take center stage. Even though Emaline has two boys falling in and out of love with her, what’s most at stake for her is figuring out what she wants for her future and deciding who to prioritize within her highly populated and very busy life. Dessen is as skilled as ever at turning out steady, satisfying stories about teens that are easy to fall for. Ages 12–up. Agent: Leigh Feldman, Writers House. (June)
VOYA - Jennifer McIntosh
Dessen's books all have the same general framework—a troubled girl meets up with a troubled boy (usually over the summer) and their friendship blossoms into romance and helps both of them overcome their troubles. The Moon And More is a bit different. Eighteen-year-old Emaline has a good family, good friends, a happy relationship with long-time boyfriend Luke, and is generally satisfied with her life in the beach town of Colby. Things are not perfect, she has a rocky relationship with her estranged birth father and she is not able to attend the ivy-league college she has been accepted to because of money, but they are good enough. Enter Theo, a young man in town assisting a filmmaker shooting a documentary about a local artist. Theo's presence adds trouble and murkiness to Emaline's satisfied life and leads her to question everything she once believed. Dessen continues to create characters and stories that readers love. She is a gifted writer. The Moon And More is a welcome change to her standard formula, while remaining true to her overall theme of young adults finding themselves. Close readers will appreciate the cameos from previous novels. Dessen fans will not be disappointed with this latest offering. Reviewer: Jennifer McIntosh
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Dessen aims for the Moon with her latest novel and manages the landing quite wonderfully. Readers looking for a story as warm and real as The Truth About Forever (Viking, 2004) need look no further. Emaline works hard, both in school and at her family's realty office with three generations of women handling beach-vacation rentals in the small southern town of Colby. Her efforts get her accepted to Columbia, but when her birth father, back in her life after being absent for 10 years, suddenly and inexplicably withdraws his offer of substantial help, she has to settle for a less-prestigious school just two hours away. One advantage: her boyfriend, Luke, will also be there. Summer starts off normally: her dad, the one who married her teenaged mother and adopted Emaline years ago, is still fixing up their house; her older stepsister is bossing her around at work; and Em is passing out keys and towels and hanging around with her best friends, Daisy and Morris. Characters are crafted with care to be whole and realistic, so readers will be immersed when Emaline meets the New Yorkers who rent a mansion for the summer to make a documentary about local character Clyde, once quite a big deal on the art scene. Theo, the filmmaker's cute assistant, seems smitten with Emaline; and when Luke indulges in clubbing with a pretty tourist, the dream couple breaks up, enabling Emaline to spend some time with someone new. Complications romantic and familial help crystallize the strength in Emaline as her understanding transitions from youth to adulthood.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
Kirkus Reviews
A high school graduate realizes that having a near-perfect life means not always having the best of everything. It's Emaline's last summer in her hometown of Colby, a seaside tourist mecca where nothing ever changes. But there're big changes in store for Emaline, and what starts out as a happily predictable summer turns into one of emotional twists and turns. Accepted at Columbia, her dream school, Emaline must instead settle for the lesser, local college when her chronically absent father reneges on his offer to pay. Then her perfect, steady boyfriend suddenly begins behaving imperfectly. Another curveball comes in the form of Emaline's burgeoning relationship with Theo, a sophisticated, go-getting film student from NYU who comes to Colby to shoot a documentary and who urges Emaline to aim for greatness. But she is torn, weighing the comfort of her family and the familiarity of small-town life against her belief that her potential rests only in bigger, better things. In the end, Emaline's plans seem almost as surprising to her as they might be to readers. Dessen's characters behave as deliciously unpredictably as people do in real life, and just as in real life, they sometimes have to make difficult choices with not-so-predictable outcomes. Luckily for her readers, it also makes for good fiction. Completely engaging, infused with moments of sweetness, humor and major epiphanies. (Fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101598726
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 26,591
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL710L (what's this?)
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Sarah Dessen is one of the most popular writers for young adults. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold more than seven million copies. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine. Visit her online at www.sarahdessen.com.

Biography

Although she was born in Illinois, YA novelist Sarah Dessen has spent most of her life in Chapel Hill, NC. Both of her parents were professors at the University of North Carolina, where Sarah studied creative writing and graduated with a degree in English.

As far back as she can remember, Dessen has always wanted to write. She remembers churning out wildly imaginative stories on an old manual typewriter her parents gave her when she was eight or nine years old. So it was only natural that after college she would forego a "real job," choosing instead to support herself by waiting tables at a local eatery while trying to publish a novel. In 1996, just three years after graduation, she sold her first book, the witty, wry coming-of-age story That Summer. A second novel, Someone Like You, followed two years later. (In 2003, these two books were loosely adapted into the movie How to Deal, starring teen sensation Mandy Moore.)

Dessen claims she never set out to be a YA writer, but somehow her memories always bring her back to high school, a time and place that resonates strongly for her. Living in her hometown where she is still in contact with many childhood friends, she finds it pretty easy to get in touch with her "inner teenager." In addition, the books she read from that time have a special, magical staying power. She explains it this way on her website:

"[W]hile I couldn't tell you complete plots of novels I read even six months ago, I do remember even the smallest descriptive details from Lois Lowry's A Summer to Die or Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I think it was because back then books were still somewhat new to me, and when I found an author who seemed to say just what I was feeling, it really struck me and resonated. I hope that my books do that for the people who read them."
If one can judge from her growing fan base and continued presence on the bestseller lists, Dessen can safely say "mission accomplished."

Good To Know

Here are some fun facts about Sarah Dessen:

  • Most of Dessen's books are set in the fictional town of Lakeview and feature recurring locales and characters.

  • Dessen also teaches creative writing at her alma mater, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Among her confessed addictions, Dessen counts the Gap clearance rack, Starbucks mochas, multiple magazine subscriptions, and a penchant for black pants.

  • Dessen sometimes waxes nostalgic about her days as a waitress. "It was a great job for a writer, " she says. "Endless conversations to eavesdrop, tons of material, and fast money without ever taking work home."

  • In Just Listen, the character of Owen Armstrong was named for the young protagonist in John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, as well as for Lance Armstrong, one of Dessen's proclaimed crushes.

  • Concerning her "tendency to embellish," Dessen says: "I think it's just a weakness of fiction writers. Once you learn how to make a story better, it's hard not to do it all the time."

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      1. Hometown:
        Chapel Hill, NC
      1. Date of Birth:
        June 6, 1970
      2. Place of Birth:
        Evanston, Illinois
      1. Education:
        University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, degree in English.

    Read an Excerpt

    HERE THEY COME.

    “—or I promise you, we’ll turn right around and go back to Paterson!” the woman behind the wheel of the burgundy minivan was shouting as it pulled up beside me. She had her head turned towards the backseat, where I could see three kids, two boys and a girl, staring back at her. A vein in her neck was bulging, looking not unlike the interstate, thick and unmissable, on the map held by the man in the passenger seat beside her. “I am serious. I have had it.”

    The kids didn’t say anything. After a moment of glaring at them, she turned to look at me. She had on big sunglasses with bedazzled frames. A large fountain drink, the straw tinged with lipstick, was parked between her legs.

    “Welcome to the beach,” I said to her, in my best Colby Realty employee voice. “May I—”

    “The directions on your Web site are garbage,” she informed me. Behind her, I saw one of the kids frog-punch another, who emitted a stifled shriek. “We’ve gotten lost three times since getting off the interstate.”

    “I’m so sorry to hear that,” I replied. “If you’d like to give me your name, I’ll grab you your keys and get you on the way to your rental.”

    “Webster,” she told me.

    I turned, reaching into the small rattan bin that held all the envelopes for that day’s check-ins. Miller, Tubman, Simone, Wallace . . . Webster.

    “Heron’s Call,” I read off the envelope, before opening it to make sure the keys were both in it. “That’s a great property.”

    In reply, she stuck out her hand. I gave the envelope to her, along with her complimentary beach bag full of all the free stuff—Colby Realty pen, giveaway postcard, area guide, and cheap drink cooler—that I knew the cleaning crew would most likely find untouched when they checked out. “Have a great week,” I told her. “Enjoy the beach!”

    Now she gave me a wry smile, although it was hard to tell if she was truly thankful or just felt sorry for me. After all, I was standing in a glorified sandbox in the middle of a parking lot, with three cars lined up behind her, most likely full of people in the exact same kind of mood. When the final stop on a trip is paradise, being the second to last is no picnic.

    Not that I had time to really think about this as they pulled away, signal already blinking for their turn onto the main road. It was three ten, and the next car, a blue sedan with one of those carriers on top, was waiting. I kicked what sand I could out of my shoes and took a deep breath.

    “Welcome to the beach,” I said, as they pulled up beside me. “Name, please?”

    “Well,” my sister Margo said when I came into the office, sweat-soaked and depleted, two hours later. “How did it go?”

    “I have sand in my shoes,” I told her, going straight to the water cooler, where I filled up a cup, downed it, and then did the same with two more.

    “You’re at the beach, Emaline,” she pointed out.

    “No, I’m at the office,” I replied, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. “The beach is two miles away. People will get to the sand soon enough. I don’t see why we have to have it here, too.”

    “Because,” she replied, in the cool voice of someone who had spent the day in air-conditioning, “we are one of the first impressions our visitors get of Colby. We want them to feel that the moment they turn into our parking lot, they are officially on vacation.”

    “What does that have to do with me standing in a sandbox?”

    “It’s not a sandbox,” she said, and I rolled my eyes, because that’s exactly what it was, and we both knew it. “It’s a sandbar, and it’s meant to evoke the majesty of the coast.”

    I didn’t even know what to say to this. Ever since Margo had graduated from East U the year before with a double degree in hospitality and business, she’d been insufferable. Or more insufferable, actually. My family had owned Colby Realty for over fifty years; our grandparents started it right after they got married. We’d been doing just fine, thank you, before Margo and her sandbox or sandbar, or whatever. But she was the first one in our family so far to get a college degree, so she got to do whatever she wanted.

    Which was why, a few weeks earlier, she had this sandbox/Tiki Hut/whatever it was made and put it in our office parking lot. About four feet by four feet, with waist-high walls, it was like a wooden tollbooth, with a truckload of playground sand dumped in and around it for good measure. Nobody questioned the need for this except me. Then again, no one else had to work in it.

    I heard a snicker, muffled, and looked over. Sure enough, it was my grandmother, behind her own desk, making a phone call. She winked at me and I couldn’t help but smile.

    “Don’t forget about the VIP rounds,” Margo called out, as I headed in that direction, chucking my cup in the trash on the way. “You need to start promptly at five thirty. And double-check the fruit and cheese platters before you deliver them. Amber did them and you know how she is.”

    Amber was my other sister. She was in hair school, worked for the realty company only under duress, and expressed her annoyance by doing everything in as slipshod a way as possible.

    “Ten-four,” I replied, and Margo exhaled, annoyed. She’d told me ten times that it sounded so unprofessional, like trucker talk. Which was exactly why I kept saying it.

    My grandmother’s office was right at the front of the building, with a big window looking out onto the main road, now packed with beach traffic. She was still on the phone but waved me in when she saw me in her doorway.

    “Well, yes, Roger, I sympathize, believe me,” she was saying as I pushed some brochures aside to sit down in the chair opposite her desk. It was messy as always, piled with papers, file folders, and several open packs of Rolos. She always misplaced one after opening it, only to do the same with the next, and the one after that. “But the bottom line is, in rental houses, door handles get a lot of use. Especially back door handles that lead to the beach. We can fix them as much as possible, but sometimes you just have to replace the hardware.”

    Roger said something, his voice booming from the receiver. My grandmother helped herself to a Rolo, then extended the pack to me. I shook my head.

    “The report I received was that the handle fell off, inside, after the door was locked. The guests couldn’t get back in. That’s when they called us.” A pause. Then she said, “Well, I’m sure they could have climbed in through a window. But when you’re paying five grand for a week, you can claim certain privileges.”

    As Roger responded, she chewed her Rolo. The candy wasn’t the best habit, but it was better than cigarettes, which she had smoked up until about six years earlier. My mother claimed that when she was a kid, a constant cloud had hung in this office, like its own personal weather system. Weirdly enough, even after multiple cleanings, new curtains and carpet, you could still smell the smoke. It’s faint, but it was there.

    “Of course. It’s always something when you’re a landlord,” she said now, leaning back in her chair and rubbing her neck. “We’ll take care of it and send the bill. All right?” Roger started to say something else. “Great! Thanks for the call.”

    She hung up, shaking her head. Behind her, another minivan was pulling into our parking lot. “Some people,” she said, popping out another Rolo, “should just not own beach houses.”

    This is one of her favorite mantras, running a close second to “Some people should just not rent beach houses.” I’ve often told her we should have it needlepointed and framed, not that we could hang it up anywhere in this office.

    “Another busted handle?” I asked.

    “Third one this week. You know how it goes. It’s the beginning of the season. That means wear and tear.” She started digging around on her desk, knocking papers to the floor. “How did check-in go?”

    “Fine,” I said. “Only two early birds, and both their places were already cleaned.”

    “And you’re doing the vips today?”

    I smiled. The VIP package was another one of Margo’s recent brainstorms. For an added charge, people who were renting what we called our Beach Palaces—the fanciest properties, with elevators and pools and all the amenities—got a welcome spread of cheese and fruit, along with a bottle of wine. Margo first pitched the idea at the Friday Morning Meeting, another thing she’d instituted, which basically forced us all to sit around the conference table once a week to say everything we’d normally discuss while actually working. That day, she’d handed out a printed agenda, with bullet points, one of which said “VIP Treatment.” My grandmother, squinting at it without her glasses, said, “What’s a vip?” To Margo’s annoyance, it stuck, and now the rest of us refused to call it anything else.

    “Just leaving now,” I told her. “Any special instructions?”

    She finally found the sheet she’d been looking for and scanned it quickly. “Dune’s Dream is a good regular client,” she said. “Bon Voyage is new, as is Casa Blu. And whoever’s in Sand Dollars is there for two months.”

    Months?” I said. “Seriously?”

    Sand Dollars was one of our priciest properties, a big house way out on the Tip, the very edge of town. Just a week would break most budgets. “Yep. So make sure they get a good platter. All right?”

    I nodded, then got to my feet. I was just about to the door when she said, “And Emaline?”

    “Yes?”

    “You looked pretty cute in that sandbox this afternoon. Brought back memories.”

    I smiled, just as Margo yelled from outside, “It’s a sandbar, Grandmother!”

    Down the hallway in the back storage room, I collected the four platters Amber had assembled earlier. Sure enough, the cheese and fruit were all jumbled up, as if thrown from a distance. After spending a good fifteen minutes making them presentable, I took them out to my car, which was about a million degrees even though I parked in the shade. All I could do was pile them on the passenger seat, point every A/C vent in their direction, and hope for the best.

    At the first house, Dune’s Dream, no one answered even after I rang the bell and paged them from the outside intercom. I walked around the extensive deck, peering down. There was a group of people around the pool below, as well as a couple walking down the long boardwalk to the beach. I tried the door—unlocked—and stepped inside.

    “Hello?” I called out in a friendly voice. “Colby Realty, VIP delivery?” When you had to come into people’s houses—even if they’d only just moved in, and then just for the week—you learned not only to announce yourself but to do so loudly and repeatedly. All it took was catching one person unaware and partially clothed to bang this lesson home. Yes, people were supposed to let it all hang out on vacation. But that didn’t mean I wanted to see it. “Colby Realty? VIP delivery?”

    Silence. Quickly, I moved up to the third-floor kitchen, where the views were spectacular. On the speckled granite island, I arranged the platter, chilled bottle of wine, and a handwritten card welcoming them to Colby and reminding them to contact us if they needed anything at all. Then it was on to the next house.

    At Bon Voyage, the door was locked, the guests most likely out for an early dinner. I set up the platter and wine in the kitchen, where the blender was still plugged in, the carafe in the sink smelling of something sweet and tropical. It was always so weird to come into these houses once people were actually staying there, especially if I’d just been in the same morning to check after the cleaners. The entire energy was different, like the difference between something being off and on.

    At Casa Blu, the door was answered by a short woman with a deep tan, wearing a bikini that was, honestly, not really age appropriate. This was not to say I knew how old she was as much as that, even at eighteen, I wouldn’t have attempted the same skimpy pink number. There was a white sheen of sunscreen on her face, a beer in a bright yellow cozy in her free hand.

    “Colby Realty, VIP delivery,” I said. “I have a welcome gift for you?”

    She took a sip of her beer. “Great,” she said, in a flat, nasal tone. “Come on in.”

    I followed her up to the next level, trying not to look at her bikini bottom, which was riding up, up, up as we climbed the stairs. “Is it the stripper?” someone called out as I stepped onto the landing. It was another woman around the same age, midforties, maybe, wearing a bikini top, a flowy skirt, and a thick, gold braided necklace. When she saw me, she laughed. “Guess not!”

    “It’s something from the rental place,” Pink Bikini explained to her and a third woman in a shorty bathrobe holding a wine glass, her hair in a messy topknot, who were looking down from the deck at something below. “A welcome gift.”

    “Oh,” the bathrobe woman said. “I thought this was our present.”

    There was a burst of laughter as the woman who let me in walked over to join them, looking as well. I arranged my platter and bottle, put up the card, and was about to leave discreetly when I heard one of them say, “Wouldn’t you just love to take a big bite of that, Elinor?”

    “Mmmm,” she replied. “I say we dump dirt in the pool, so he has to come back tomorrow.”

    “And the next day!” Flowy Skirt said. Then they all laughed again, clinking their glasses.

    “Enjoy your stay,” I called out as I left, but of course they didn’t hear me. Halfway down the stairs to the front door, I glanced out one of the big windows, spotting the object of their ogling: a tall, very tan guy with curly blond hair, shirtless, wielding a long, awfully phallic looking pool brush. I could hear them still whooping as I went out the door, easing it shut behind me.

    Back in the car, I pulled my hair up in a ponytail, secured it with one of the elastics hanging around my gearshift, and sat for a moment in the driveway, watching the waves. I had one more stop and plenty of time, so I was still there when the pool guy let himself out of the fence and headed back to his truck, parked beside me.

    “Hey,” I called out, as he climbed up into the open bed, coiling a couple of hoses. “You could make some big money this week, if your morals are loose enough and you like older women.”

    He grinned, flashing white teeth. “Think so?”

    “They’d devour you, given the chance.”

    Another smile as he hopped down, shutting the tailgate, and came over to my open window. He leaned down on it, so his head was level with mine. “Not my type,” he told me. “Plus, I’m already taken.”

    “Lucky girl,” I said.

    “You should tell her that. I think she takes me for granted.”

    I made a face. “I think it’s mutual.”

    He leaned in and kissed me. I could taste the tiny bit of sweat above his lip. As he pulled back, I said, “You’re not kidding anyone, you know. You are fully capable of wearing a shirt when you work.”

    “It’s hot out here!” he told me, but I just rolled my eyes, cranking my engine. Ever since he’d taken up running and got all cut, you couldn’t keep a top on the boy. This was not the first house that had noticed. “So we still on for tonight?”

    “What’s tonight?”

    “Emaline.” He shook his head. “Don’t even try to act like you’ve forgotten.”

    I thought hard. Nothing. Then he hummed the first few bars of “Here Comes the Bride,” and I groaned. “Oh, right. The cookout thing.”

    “The shower-slash-barbecue,” he corrected me. “Otherwise known as my mother’s full-time obsession for the last two months?”

    Oops. In my defense, however, this was the third of four showers that were being held in preparation for the wedding of Luke’s sister Brooke. Ever since she’d gotten engaged the previous fall, it had been all wedding all the time at his house. Since I spent much of my time there, it was like being forced into an immersion program for a language I had no interest in learning. Plus, since Luke and I had been together since ninth grade, there was also the issue of everyone making jokes about how we’d be next, and his parents should go ahead and get a two-for-one deal. Ha, ha.

    “Seven o’clock,” Luke said now, kissing my forehead. “See you then. I’ll be the one with the shirt on.”

    I smiled, shifting into reverse. Then it was back down the long driveway, onto the main road, and up to the end of the Tip, to Sand Dollars.

    This was one of the newer houses we managed, and probably the nicest. Eight bedrooms, ten and a half baths, pool and hot tub, private boardwalk to the beach, screening room downstairs with real theater seats and surround sound. It was so new, in fact, that only a couple of weeks ago there had still been a Porta-John outside, the contractor rushing to finish the last inspections before the season began. While they did punch-list and turnkey stuff, Margo and I had been putting away all the utensils and dishes the decorator had bought at Park Mart, bags and bags of which had been left in the garage. It was the oddest thing, furnishing a whole house all at once. There was no history to anything. All rental houses feel anonymous, but this one was where I’d felt it the most. So much so that even with the pretty view, it always kind of gave me the creeps. I liked a little past to things.

    As I came up the drive, there was a lot of activity. A white van with tinted windows and an SUV were parked out front, the van’s back doors open. Inside, I could see stacks of Rubbermaid bins and cardboard boxes, clearly in the process of being unloaded.

    I got out of my car, collecting the VIP stuff. As I started up the stairs to the front door, it opened, and two guys about my age came out. Within seconds, we recognized each other.

    “Emaline,” Rick Mason, our former class president, called out to me. Behind him was Trent Dobash, who played football. The three of us were not friends, but our school was so small you knew everyone, whether you liked it or not. “Fancy meeting you here.”

    “You’re renting this place?” I was shocked.

    “I wish,” he scoffed. “We were just down surfing and got offered a hundred each to unload this stuff.”

    “Oh,” I said, as they passed me, moving down to the open van. “Right. What’s in the boxes?”

    “No idea,” he replied, lifting one of the bins out and handing it to Trent. “Could be drugs or firearms. I don’t care as long as I get my money.”

    This was exactly the kind of sentiment that had made Rick such a lousy class president. Then again, his only competition had been a girl who recently moved from California whom everyone hated, so it wasn’t like we had a lot of options.

    Inside the open front door, another guy was moving around in the huge living room, organizing the stuff that had already been brought in. He, however, was not from here, something I discerned with one glance. First, he had on Oyster jeans—dark wash, with the signature O on the back pockets—which I hadn’t even known they made for guys. Second, he had a knit cap pulled down over his ears, even though it was early June. It was like pulling teeth to get Luke or any of his friends to wear anything but shorts, regardless of the temperature: beach guys don’t do winter wear, even in winter.

    I knocked, but he didn’t hear me, too busy opening up one of the bins. I tried again, this time adding, “Colby Realty? VIP delivery?”

    He turned, taking in the wine and the cheese. “Great,” he replied, all business. “Just put it anywhere.”

    I walked over to the kitchen, where a couple of weeks ago I had been pulling price tags off spatulas and colanders, and arranged the tray, wine, and my card. I was just turning to leave when I caught a flutter of movement out of the corner of my eye. Then the yelling began.

    “I don’t care what time it is, I needed that delivery today! It’s what I arranged and therefore what I expected and I won’t accept anything else!” At first, the source of this was just a blur. A beat later, though, it slowed enough for me to make out a woman wearing black jeans, a short-sleeved black sweater, and ballet flats. She had hair so blonde it was almost white, and a cell phone was clamped to her ear. “I ordered four tables, I want four tables. They should be here in the next hour and my account is to be adjusted accordingly for their lateness. I am spending too much money to put up with this bullshit!”

    I looked at the guy in the Oyster jeans, still busy with the bins across the room, who appeared to not even be fazed by this. I, however, was transfixed, the way you are whenever you see crazy people up close. You just can’t look away, even when you know you should.

    “No, that’s not going to work for me. No. No. Today, or forget the entire thing.” Now that she was standing still, I noted the set of her jaw, as well as the angular way her cheek and collar bones protruded. She was downright prickly, like one of those predator plants you see in deserts. “Fine. I’ll expect my deposit to be refunded on my card by tomorrow morning or you’ll be hearing from my attorney. Goodbye.”

    She jabbed at the phone, turning it off. Then, as I watched, she threw it across the room, where it crashed against the wall that just had just been painted on Memorial Day weekend, leaving a black mark. Holy shit.

    “Idiots,” she announced, her voice loud even in this big room. “Prestige Party Rental my ass. I knew the minute we crossed the Mason-Dixon Line it would be like working in the third world.”

    Now, the guy looked at her, then at me, which of course made her finally notice me as well. “Who is this?” she snapped.

    “From the realty place,” he told her. “VIP something or other.”

    She looked mystified, so I pointed at the wine and cheese. “A welcome gift,” I said. “From Colby Realty.”

    “It would have been better if you’d brought tables,” she grumbled, walking over to the platter and lifting the wrap. After peering down at it, she ate a grape, then shook her head. “Honestly, Theo, I’m already wondering if this was a mistake. What was I thinking?”

    “We’ll find another place to rent tables,” he told her, in a voice that made it clear he was used to these kinds of tirades. He’d already picked up her phone, which he was now checking for damage. The wall, like me, was ignored.

    “Where? This place is backwoods. There’s probably not another one for a hundred miles. God, I need a drink.” She picked up the wine I had brought, squinting at the bottle. “Cheap and Australian. Of course.”

    I watched her as she started pulling open drawers, obviously looking for a corkscrew. I let her look in all the wrong places, just out of spite, before I finally moved over to the wet bar by the pantry to get it.

    “Here.” I handed it to her, then grabbed the pen and paper we always left with the housekeeping card. “Prestige has a habit of screwing up orders. You should call Everything Island. They’re open until eight.”

    I wrote down the number, then pushed it towards her. She just looked at it, then at me. She didn’t pick it up.

    As I started towards the stairs, where Rick and Trent were banging up with another load, neither of the renters said anything. I was used to that. As far as they were concerned, this was their place now, with me as much scenery as the water. But when I spotted a price tag still on a little wicker basket by the door, I stopped and pulled it off anyway.

    Read More Show Less

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 104 )
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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 104 Customer Reviews
    • Posted June 4, 2013

      more from this reviewer

      Diving into another summer read, I found myself taken away by th

      Diving into another summer read, I found myself taken away by this story.
      1. Realism. This best thing this author does is great such realistic stories with great family dimensions.  The stories are always more than what they seem with the characters learning so much more about themselves and others around them.
      2. I don’t need to be fixed. I love this storyline. Not everyone wants to be fixed. They are happy right where they are. They don’t need more cause what they have is enough. They are content with that and I love that Emaline is a content teenager. She has seen the mistakes her mother made and saw them for what they were.
      3. Love. The love interest in quite difficult in this book. First you have Luke is great. And then he makes some mistakes that make me question everything. And Theo. A great fast-paced guy who is always on the go looking for the next big thing. Personally, I think Emaline, needs to find some other guy. That’s all I’m saying.
      4. Parents. I really love that this book show some great family dimensions. Growing up with stepbrothers/sisters and half-brothers, I totally understood the family. They aren’t perfect but I adored the way Emaline’s family was always there for her.
      5. Realization. The best part of the book is the realization of life and situations. You see, you can have the moon and more without having it all. Emaline saw that. She was happy and knew exactly what she wanted.  Watching her grow up, learning hard lessons made Emaline stronger and more aware of who she is.
      The Moon and More is a story of life and love.  A coming of age tale, that touches elements that any reader can get into, The Moon and More is great.

      11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 22, 2013

      Severly dissapointed

      I have read everyone of sarah dessens books, multiple times. And i loved every single one of them. Thats why i have to give this book one star- because i know she is capable of so much more. I hated theo's character, and felt like there was absolutely no connection between him and emaline. In fact i didnt feel a very close connection with emaline and anyone. all in all if this book was written by someone else it would have been a ok book but given my love for sarah dessen books its sad that this book didnt deliver the amazingness i waited so long for.

      5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted June 4, 2013

      I Also Recommend:

      This is an excellent book. The romance is very well written. I w

      This is an excellent book. The romance is very well written. I was particularly impressed with the rich character development. The story doesn't slow down.

      5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 15, 2013

      Perfect.

      As always with Sarah Dessen's books, this one will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling. There was only one character in the entire book that I didn't like (Emaline's father). Even he was fleshed out and not at all flat. I felt like I came to personally know every character in this book - such amazing characterization! I love Sarah Dessen's fictional town of Colby, as well. Having grown up in a small town (albeit not one on a beach) I can really relate to the atmosphere, and the beach adds an extra fun element to it. This book also hit home for me because I recently found myself in a similar situation as Emaline, receiving a full ride to a state school. I've been having second thoughts about it - maybe I should have applied to a more prestigious university? But reading this book and seeing how Emaline ended up exactly where she needed to be and where she fit in has made me feel so much more confident that I, too, am making the right choice and will be exactly where I need to next year. I highly recommend this book, especially to those who are going through big decision processes (college perhaps), recently experienced a big disappointment (Emaline experiences many), or just looking for a great summery beach read!

      4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 14, 2013

      In love

      Im so in love with all of her books. I have read every single one of them and it always feels like decades until i csn read her next one because waiting a day would feel like too long. Im only a quarter of the way through this book and i love it already. Sarah Dessen never dissapoints.

      4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted October 2, 2013

      Not impressed

      I have read several of ssrah dessans books and loved every single one until now. I didn't grow attached to the characters and found the book as a whole boring. I would not suggestit at all

      3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 26, 2013

      Flat out dissapointed. I was so excited to get this book after r

      Flat out dissapointed. I was so excited to get this book after reading lullaby, what happened to goodbye, lock and key, and someone like you. They were all fantastic...... except for this one. 
      First of all, throughout the whole book, I had no idea how Emaline or any of the other characters looked like. And that plays a big role in trying to imagine the scenerio which the book describes.
      Second of all, I found that this book talked alot about change, but in my opinion te only thing that changed was the fact that Luke and Emaline had broken up and Morris became less lazy.
      Thirdly, the reason why Emaline and Theo fought was completely pointless in my opinion. Emaline took it in such a literal way, like if she wasnt enough for her, but obviosly he just wanted the best for her. because he loved her.
      And lastly, I could not find myself to relate or sympathy the character of Emaline. She took the littlest thing that someone told her into this huge problem and processed it in a whole different way that made no sense. So all in all, Emaline did alot of things through the book but she didnt change. She still had a bad relationship with her father, she obviously still has feelings for LUke and she was still going to the same university that she talked about in the beginning of the book. I love Sarah Dessen, but this was just a huge let down.

      3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted June 10, 2013

      more from this reviewer

      Emaline is very happy with her life. She works at her grandmothe

      Emaline is very happy with her life. She works at her grandmother’s beach resort and has a steady boyfriend, Luke, who is described as “hot” without a shirt.  Her job involves making sure everyone has a comfortable stay and she has made no plans for the future, not because she fears anything but just seems to take life as it rolls by day after day.  But that’s about to change quite a bit – life is change at certain stages whether one wants it or not, and the essence of this story is how one embraces, fights, or flies from it.
      When Emaline is taking a VIP package of wine and fruit to one of the more luxurious resort areas, she meets a summer intern named Theo, who is working with a snooty director on a documentary film about a famous painter who lives like a regular guy and really doesn’t want the hype.  Add to the mixture that Emaline’s absent father all of a sudden shows up exhibiting interest in his daughter’s education and college application process.  At first she is cautious, then enthused, and later shocked by his on again, off again presence.  She and Luke start to fight, have some misunderstandings, a betrayal and then a break-up.  But as upset as she is initially, she begins to realize the future may not have as many predictable scenarios as she had hoped.  
      Forced to turn down a Columbia University acceptance, she decides to go to a local college but she’s not so sure that Luke will be part of that future picture.  Maybe she should change her plans totally.  But things get complicated when a relationship with Theo starts to grow and her father moves into the area, bringing her half-brother Benji along, who comes to worship the ground Emaline walks on. Mom and Grandma are not so sure about all these changes!
      This is a tough, tender novel full of shifts in points of view about certain people.  The characters are presented with all their best assets and toughest, weakest flaws.  Unlike other books where characters paint black and white caricatures, Emaline learns to deal with whatever comes moment to moment.  Love is a changing phenomena as well and passion is something to follow with all of one’s being!  Readers will love this very real, smart and sassy character and the story threading and weaving its way around her town of Colby, a place built on sand that is far more solid than one could dream!  Very nicely done, Sarah Dessen! More please!

      3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 1, 2013

      Disappointed

      This is coming from a girl who loved and read all her books. It took half the book to start talking about theo. Also she keeps going off topic and explain more detail about pointless boring topics instead of ones we would like to know. I dint want to sonud me but this is just a boring book. Im disappointed after waiting so long fir her to write a book. If ur a new fan of sarah dessen read along for the ride, lullaby, just listen

      2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 24, 2014

      Books

      Sarah Dessen is by far one of my favorite authors. As a teen girl, I feel that I can relate to her books, especially growing up in a small beach town like Colby. I love that all of her books can connect- even if its for a few seconds via characters and I love that her romances are for the most part realistic.
      This book however, I found to be a disapointment. Theo was an obnxious, pompous jerk who, I feel had no connection to Emaline. Emaline, I found to be somewhat relatable, yet not quite, especially when she was feeling not so great about Theo, yet continued to date him. I guess my favorite characters in the book were Morris and Luke, becasue there was a constant between the two of them to always be there for Emaline. I thought that Emalines FATHER was an older version of Theo, obnoxious, a workaholic and self centered.
      I guess my favorite part of the book was the ending, and not because it was the end, but becasue it ended with Emaline not ending up with Theo (sorry for the spoiler) . I actually hope that if Sarah Dessen writes another book, she connects it back to Emaline so we can see if she and Luke ever get back together.
      All in all this book was not Sarah Dessens finest. I recomend Along for the Ride- which I believe is my all time favorite book- or Lock and Key, or any other Sarah Dessen book for that matter, because I guarentee it would change your perspective of her writing, becase I know that she is capable of so much more and as proven in this book- everyone deserves a second chance.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted November 30, 2013

      I think that the first 108 pages (at least) of this book could h

      I think that the first 108 pages (at least) of this book could have been entirely removed and the book probably
      still would have been essentially the same. Truth be told, large portions could have been taken from an
      otherwise boring book and I would have felt less like I wasted my time reading it.
      I can’t say that the book was all bad, as Sarah Dessen has a knack for developing the characters in her novels
      and this book was no exception. By the end of the book, I had definitive feelings about the various characters.
      ALAS, HOLY CRAP WAS I BORED.

      The main issue I have is that there seems to be no structure. Sure, there’s a progression of time throughout
      the summer as the story develops, but the climax is essentially non-existent (the father-daughter confrontation?
      The kid taking off? Oh, please.) It feels like there’s a shallow build-up that leads to nowhere. I kept waiting for something
       riveting and intense to happen, or for at least some emotional moment where I could connect with the characters and cry with them.

      This never happened.

      It got to a point where the character could lead you to believe something devastating would happen and I would
      read more quickly, waiting for something to tell me that the book was going somewhere….
      -Luke goes to the store to get ice and leaves her behind. :SIGH: no tragic accidental death.
      -The group is hanging out, driving down the road in the middle of the night. The author continuously hints that it
      could be dangerous out there – BUT these observations lead nowhere and she is fine and well the next day.

      I understand that not all books have some kind of dramatic interaction and that perhaps I’m a touch psychotic to
      pray for death and destruction in a light romance? Drama? I don’t know. This doesn’t even feel like a romance novel,
      as somewhere along the way you realize that you are reading nothing but rated-G mush, enveloped by cocktail foods
      like those nasty green olives that I wouldn’t be caught dead eating.

      AGH. I’m just getting more angry because this book wasn’t one of those ‘no harm done’ 200-page novels.
      This thing was over 400 pages long and I wasted SO MUCH TIME reading it.

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted September 14, 2013

      more from this reviewer

      My actual rating of this book is probably around a 2.8. I didn¿t

      My actual rating of this book is probably around a 2.8. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t particularly like it. I tried desperately to love this book as much as I’ve loved all of Dessen’s previous works, but it just wasn’t in the cards.  A lack of plot, one-dimensional characters, and no resolution made me glad I waited to get it from the library rather than buying it.

      Dessen’s writing is always solidly good, but this time around it felt a little lazy in places. For example, the title is mentioned at least three times in the first couple of chapters. I stopped counting after that, but I’m sure it popped up more times. I also felt like the book was completely lacking a plot. Emaline is a HS graduate, working at the family business, totally unsure of what she wants to do with her life. Her world is basically turned inside out by the arrival of her bio-dad and half-brother, when her father comes to town to put his recently deceased aunt’s house on the market, as well as her relationship problems with long-term boyfriend Luke that conveniently start with the arrival of the more sophisticated Theo.  It had all the necessary ingredients, but the execution was shoddy. The book mostly centered on Emaline hanging out with Theo and waxing poetic about how she wants more out of life, with no real resolution to any of these things. If Dessen had focused the plot on Emaline’s relationship with her family and resolving her issues with her father, the story would have worked a lot better.

      The character development also left much to be developed, with most of the characters being one-dimensional clichés.  I simply couldn’t connect with any of them. If I’m being honest, Benji and Emaline’s best friends Daisy and Morris were the only characters in the book that I actually enjoyed. Those were the scenes that really shined for me and kept me reading the book.

      Emaline was too passive, frustratingly naive and at times annoyingly self-absorbed. The only moments when I enjoyed her character was during her interactions with her half-brother, Benji. It also didn’t help that I pretty much instantly disliked her family. Her mom and sisters were invasive and pushy, and nobody seemed to give much consideration to her or her feelings which drove me crazy throughout the book. Now, it is entirely possible that this is one of those “It’s not you, it’s me” situations. I always struggle to connect with characters who have big, invasive families like Emaline’s because my family was not like that at all. For the most part, especially in my teen years, I did what I want with little to no parental input or supervision. So I tend to get easily frustrated when I come across families where the parents are actually involved in the MCs lives, and irritated with the MC for letting their families push them around.

      One thing I really did enjoy was that the plot did not involve a love triangle like I feared. Both romances fell flat for me, and I didn’t particularly like either Luke or Theo, so if the book had been centered on Emaline trying to decide between the two I would have definitely DNFed it. While Luke was definitely much more likable than Theo, I wasn’t sold on Emaline being a good fit with either of them and found myself bored and frustrated during scenes that featured Emaline with either of her love interests. I did enjoy the first day or so of Emaline and Theo’s romance but that was it. After the second kissing scene it was just a mess that I usually skimmed through.

      I will give the book points for being realistic. As much as I disliked them, Emaline’s dysfunctional family was 100% believable as were her romantic interests. And while I disliked the fact that there was nothing resembling a resolution regarding her relationship with her bio dad, that is probably more realistic then them suddenly understanding each other and developing a close, loving relationship.

      The Moon and More was solidly written, but it just didn’t work for me. However I’m sure other Dessen fans will love it and so I would recommend it if you enjoy her previous works and other contemporary YA novels.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 17, 2013

      Okay But Not That Great

      I was really excited to buy this book. The summary sounded really good, and I've read Sarah Dessen books before. 'Just Listen' was one of my favorites.. But this book was kind of boring. It was boring in the beginning then got more exciting towards the middle and then just started to get boring again.. In the book, Dessen never really explained well on what the characters looked like. & that's important to me when I read books and secondly, there were times where I got confused on what was happening, & thirdly, Emaline would go on about boring topics.. There wasn't much excitement going on. I literally want to stop reading but I'm almost done and I don't like starting books and not finishing them. That's the only reason why I'm continuing.. The book could have been better.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 8, 2013

      Spoiler

      She dies at thw end

      1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 29, 2013

      Anon

      Loved it so good highly recomend it

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 26, 2013

      Ya

      Ya

      1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 13, 2013

      Really

      Sad

      1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted December 22, 2014

      Azure

      Sorry, I have to go. Be back tomorrow.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted December 22, 2014

      Arrow

      "Good night."

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted November 10, 2014

      Boring

      It was a lot of random different things happening to emaline, I was so bored until page 300. I did not like Theo. No major plot to the story. I love Sarah Dessen but idk where this book was going.

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