Life is long. Just because you don’t get your chance right when you want or expect it doesn’t mean it won’t come – Sarah Dessen.
I started The Moon And More by Sarah Dessen on the 2nd January. I only finished it at the weekend. Compared to reading Once And For All in a matter of hours, I was more than a little disappointed. However, once I’d read the final page of The Moon And More, I knew why Sarah Dessen had written this way, or had an inkling anyhow.
The Moon And More is about eighteen year old Emaline, working at her family’s realtors during the summer, specifically the pre under-graduate summer of change, new possibilities and new adventures. Her life at Colby is nothing new; she is stuck in her sandbox welcoming guests on their summer holidays, making sure every specific need is met by the guests during the hot, sticky daylight hours. When the evening comes, she spends time with her long term boyfriend of three years, Luke, or her two best friends, Daisy or Morris. Every day is the same in this small beach town, whilst Emaline dreams of escaping it, seeing more than just her You are here point on the summer map of Colby. Until the arrival of Ivy and Theo.
Theo is the opposite of Luke. Luke is confident whilst Theo is shy; Luke, muscular whilst Theo skinny; Luke a small town boy, Theo a big city one. Yes, he is hard working and determined, both of which are extremely positive qualities to have in yourself and in a possible partner. Nevertheless, when the career tone takes over every aspect of Theo’s life, and then Emaline’s as well, it is a little hard to read. Each time he was in a scene, I’d want to either read quickly, or leave the book for a little while – that is until I got to the latter end of the story where Emaline thinks more for herself, looking out for number one. As we all should do. When she takes a stand, it turns the story on its head and makes it about a strong young woman, who has hit a bump in the road, but overcomes it like the rest of us.
I can’t pinpoint the reason why but I didn’t take to Theo from the word go. Perhaps it was partly to do with the way Emaline’s and his relationship began, mere minutes after hers with Luke ended. He is illustrated as sweet and easily-embarrassed at the beginning, which are generally two qualities that can be endearing in a person. However, I found him annoying and immature for his twenty-one years. Emaline likes him, and grows to enjoy his company which is eccentric and over-the-top at times as he makes a Big Fuss out of everything: Best Summer Ever, First Big Date, Two Week Anniversary, Big Last Summer Bash and so on. However, he becomes a little suffocating as he starts to make concrete plans which include Emaline despite her never agreeing to do so. He has Big Plans, whilst Emaline’s is to simply go to college and branch out further than Colby, only thinking about her own dreams and future ahead. The turning point is when he openly belittles Emaline and criticizes her home; complaining of the small town and the people in it. It is safe to say true colours are shown and their relationship abruptly ends there.
Not all love stories last forever. It is a fact of life. That is what Sarah Dessen is portraying in Emaline’s story. We must grow and learn from each situation, and each person, in order to fully live and love the life we lead. In order to value our own self worth, sometimes it does have to take a tiny bit of a beating. That is when we know where the line is drawn, when we must say Stop and where our own story of self love begins. The end of the story portrays Emaline in college, with Luke there as a friend, but nothing more. It shows the beginning of her next adventure, and one that we all have multiple times in our life. The story of going solo, growing into an independent, confident person who the next man or woman can cherish. Nevertheless, we don’t do it for them. As we learn with Theo, not everybody appreciates the person we are deep down, and therefore, we grow for ourselves.
Have you ever read the story where you don’t like the romantic partner? Which book was it, and what happened?
Love, Faye xo