Tag: Sarah Dessen

Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Posted November 27, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Moon and More by Sarah DessenReviewer: Rowena
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 4th 2013
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 435
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

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.

I always look forward to reading a Sarah Dessen book because let’s be real, she’s pretty awesome.  I’ve always found something to love in every single one of her books and this book wasn’t any different.  I really enjoyed getting to know Emaline.  She wasn’t the easiest person to connect with but her issues were real and I connected with that.

When we first meet Emaline, she’s dating Luke and they seem pretty happy but when a new guy comes onto the scene, I thought that he’d be the love interest and while he was….I found myself curious over the fact that I wasn’t a huge fan of his.  I never warmed up to him, the way that I usually do to Dessen boys.  I liked him okay, but I didn’t fall in love with him.  And there were even times when I didn’t even like him.  I kept wondering what the heck Em’s problem was that she would dump Luke for…Theo.

Em’s story unfolds pretty slowly but not in a boring way.  This book takes place in the summer and it’s very character driven so of course, I was a happy camper.  I really liked getting to know Em and her family (even when they were freaking crazy) and I thought the whole thing with her father was interesting.  And then of course, there was the drama with Luke.

There were times when Em frustrated me but Dessen did a good job of keeping my frustration at a minimum and making me understand why Em was thinking or doing the things that she was thinking.  As enjoyable as this book was, it’s not a favorite of mine.  That book still belongs to The Truth about Forever.  But this was a solid read.  One that I’m sure fans of the author will enjoy.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

This book is available from Viking Juvenile.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.


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Book Watch: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen.

Posted December 21, 2012 by Rowena in Promotions | 3 Comments

Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors of contemporary YA novels.  She always hits my happy spots in her books and I’m very much looking forward to reading this book.  I look forward to meeting Em and I look forward to getting to know Theo better as well.

Emaline works at her family’s vacation rental company the summer before she leaves for college. She must confront her values, goals and choices as her relationship with city-boy Theo evolves and she’s forced to say goodbye to the beach town where she grew up.

Em’s leaving for college soon but over the summer she’s going to work at her parent’s vacation rentals…summer romances are my favorite kind of stories.  I love summer romances!

This book comes out on June 4, 2013 so there’s a bit of a wait but I’m sure that Sarah Dessen will make it worth the wait.

Who’s reading this book when it comes out?

Pre-order the book: B&N|Amazon
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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Review: Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Posted October 18, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Keeping the Moon by Sarah DessenReviewer: Rowena
Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin, Speak
Publication Date: September 1st 1999
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 228
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

There is an alternate cover edition for this ISBN13 here.

Colie expects the worst when she's sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast -- first for being fat and then for being "easy" -- Colie has no friends at home and doesn't expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina.

But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.

This is one of the very few Dessen books that I haven’t read yet and I finally picked it up last week. While it wasn’t my favorite Dessen book, it was still a very charming read.

This book follows Colie, who used to be fat as she spends the summer with her crazy Aunt Mira in the town we’ve all come to love through Sarah Dessen books, Colby. Colie is used to being bullied as she’s been bullied all of her life at school and because of this, she doesn’t let very many people close to keep from getting hurt when they inevitably do. The summer in Colby changes Colie for the better and as much as she drove me crazy through the book, I was so glad when I finally finished the book because there was growth and there were lessons learned and a boy that I came to adore throughout the entire book.

Colie’s Mom is a fitness guru who used to be big and transformed her and Colie’s life with a diet and exercise plan that changed their lives and made her an instant success story. Colie and her Mom used to live out of their car at times, move around all the time and that kind of lifestyle didn’t really help one stay healthy and so Colie and her mother were overweight for a good portion of Colie’s life and now that they’ve taken control of their health, they’re no longer big girls and yet Colie still doesn’t have the confidence in herself and in her looks the way that one would think after shedding so much weight.

Colie is distant and she’s reserved and for good reason. She’s been through things that I wouldn’t wish anyone to go through and my heart hurt for Colie as I got to know her because there were reasons for the way that she was and when she started to step out of her comfort zone and let others into her life, I cheered because she deserved the very best that life had to offer her and she shied away from everything because of the way that her peers treated her at school. She learned some very hard lessons early on in life and those lessons stayed with her and I loved when Isabelle and Morgan came into her life. I loved that they were older and wiser and were there when Colie most needed her. They were there to help her blossom into the young woman at the end of the book and boy did I really enjoy the way that they stepped into her life and made her accept them and then in turn, accepted her.

Then there was Norman. Oh, what a cutie patootie that guy turned out to be. I really liked getting to know him through Colie’s POV. He was mysterious and studly in a nerdy way and I adored him. I adored the way that he lived his life. I adored the way that he was always there and accepting of Colie, through all of her different looks. I loved the way that he was with Aunt Mira and how good he was to everyone around him. He was such a good guy and when Colie finally figures this out, I was a happy camper.

There were times when the story dragged a bit but it didn’t last very long. Leave to Sarah Dessen to write a complex story about one character with not much happening…and yet so much happening. I adore Dessen’s books and this was another winner for me. Great story.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Speak. This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://goodreads.com


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Guest Review: Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Posted January 10, 2012 by TG in Reviews | 4 Comments

TG’s review of Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Fifteen-year-old Colie has never fit in. First, it was because she was fat. Then, after she lost the weight, it was because of a reputation that she didn’t deserve. So when she’s sent to stay with her eccentric aunt Mira for the summer, Colie doesn’t expect too much. After all, why would anyone in Colby, North Carolina, want to bother with her when no one back home does?
But Colby turned out to be a nice surprise for Colie. Almost without trying, she lands herself a job at the Last Chance Bar and Grill. There she meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel-two best friends who teach her what friendship is all about and help her learn to appreciate who she really is.

This is a book filled with hope, new beginnings and lots and lots of french fries. You can imagine yourself, sitting behind the eyes of Colie, taking hamburger orders and falling in love. You feel all of her emotions, you know her thoughts like they were your own. That is what Sarah Dessen does in this book. Only, once you feel as if you could predict everything that was going to happen, she throws in a wrench. Meet Morgan and Isabel. They are whirlwinds of two completely different kinds, and Colie seems to fit in perfectly with them. . . well, after a little while that is. With them by her side, she learns to overcome her insecurities and find the strength to be herself.

In this book, Dessen seems to be out to change the world, with the story of just one girl and all her hard earned friends. I really enjoyed it. I’d recommend this to anyone who feels lost, or anyone who has just found a new beginning. . . or really anyone who enjoys reading about other people’s drama. I hope you’ll read it, and agree. Happy reading!

Rating: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Speak. You can buy it here.

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Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen.

Posted June 1, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Main Character: Mclean
Love Interest: Dave
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads


Since her parents’ bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move – four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, Mclean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, Mclean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself – whoever that is. Perhaps her neighbor Dave, an academic superstar trying to be just a regular guy, can help her find out. Combining Sarah Dessen’s trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbyeis irresistible reading.

You would think that I’d learn my lesson about not starting a Sarah Dessen book at night time because I always, always read well into the early morning but for some reason, this is a lesson that I just cannot listen to. I started this book at a little before 10pm and finished it at 2:52am.

I couldn’t put it down.

Sarah Dessen wrote a fantastic story about a young girl who is stuck in the middle of her parents divorce. She’s mad at her Mom for cheating on her Dad and she thinks she should be the person to stick with her Dad and help take care of him because he needs her. This story follows Mclean into a new city and possibly a new identity.

Mclean’s father is a restaurant consultant who is hired to come into struggling restaurants and pull them out of the gutter. Sometimes the job is a few months, sometimes the job is shorter than that but always, they move to a new city every few months or so. To get away from herself, McLean has started reinventing herself every time she moves to a new city. It’s weird but it’s what she does. It’s how she copes with the divorce, her life and everything, really.

Right now, they’re in a new town and the first thing Mclean sees when she gets to her new house? A boy hanging out in her backyard, like he has no worries in the world. He’s just hanging out by himself in her backyard and she’s too surprised to say anything at first and then, he sees her and jumps right over the fence and into the next door and goes inside the house. Right from the jump, you can just tell that this new town was going to be a lot different from the other towns.

Because Mclean and her Dad are always on the move, Mclean doesn’t feel the need to get close to anyone because she won’t be in that town for long so what’s the point? That’s part of the reason she has a new identity every time they move but when she meets Dave, Riley, Deb and Heather…she can’t help but fall right in with them.

What an enjoyable read this book turned out to be. I know that I’m always going to get a good story when Sarah Dessen writes it but I’m still surprised by how much I like the books when I’m finished with them. This book was another good one. It’s not my favorite of the Dessen books that I’ve read but it’s still pretty hot darn good.

I enjoyed getting to know Mclean and Dave. I adored that the parents in this story play a big part of their kids lives. There’s no absentee parenting going on in this story. Everyone in this story felt real and I came to care about the whole lot of them. Mclean, Dave, Deb, Riley, Heather and Ellis all became my friends by the end of the book and Mclean’s Dad and Opal were great additions to the story. I loved how Mclean’s mother didn’t give up on a relationship with Mclean and I loved how when Mclean needed them, both of her parents were there for her.

If you enjoy Sarah Dessen’s writing then you’re going to enjoy this book. If you like contemporary YA novels with charming characters and an engaging storyline then you’re going to enjoy this one and well, really if you enjoy reading than I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book. Read this book when you get a chance because it’s good dangit!

..and that’s your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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