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Lizreader's Blog

Also known as Liz on GR. I am here, but really just planting the seed. I am a student who likes all kinds of books, and I'll be honest about what I think about them.

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The Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Moon and More - Sarah Dessen Going into this book initially I was pretty excited. I had liked Sarah Dessen's previous work "Along for the Ride" and "Just Listen." However, "The Moon and More" is not what I expected at all. In fact, I am severely disappointed. Sarah Dessen I have noticed likes to keep with a formula, and as long as she keeps to it she is successful. I don't know why this bothers me a lot, but the woman can write but yet does not do ANYTHING NEW. In fact, what I did like her for previously is so OVERDONE in this book. I'll explain.ThemesShe is entirely WAY TOO FORCEFUL with her themes and what you are supposed to get out of this book. There is no trying to figure this out for yourself, she TELLS YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THIS BOOK. On every page it's some platitude people hear all the time. Platitude after platitude. In fact, this entire book is way too preachy. Her other books were not this extensive. They had symbols and metaphors, but "The Moon and More" takes it to the extreme that one cannot stop eyerolling at every single sentence.This is not to say I don't enjoy learning things from what I read. I do VERY MUCH ENJOY learning from reading, but I like to THINK FOR MYSELF and NOT HAVE EVERY SINGLE LESSON POUNDED INTO MY HEAD WITH A HAMMER. This gets excruciatingly annoying and difficult to deal with as I progressed through the novel because it just gets worst.Characters: The Love InterestsI normally liked the guys Mrs. Dessen writes about, at least when it came to "Along for the Ride" and "Just Listen." The only guys I like in this novel is Emaline's ten year old brother Benji and her friend Morris. The two love interest in this book nauseated me. Theo:At first I liked him. He was the ambitious outsider and film student at NYU who was working on a documentary about an elusive Colby beach artist. He was pretty interesting to hear about, and I was rooting for Emaline and Theo. Then came the 70% mark and everything fell to pieces. The guy is a pretentious jerk who only gives a care about himself and has no sense at all when it comes to thinking about his future. He would rather throw away his education to chase after an artist who doesn't even like him? That's not smart. It's suicidal. Every bit of sympathy I had for him went down the drain. One of the WORST characters she has ever written. EVER.Luke:He's got no backbone. He is the initial love interest where he had been with Emaline since her ninth grade year (who's with their boyfriend for all four years? That doesn't make any sense to me at all and it's not even that realistic). He gets mad at Emaline for hanging out with Theo, and he makes assumptions and then cheats on her at a dingy bar. Honestly, I can't root for the guy when I never really liked him. He's just a stereotypical unfleshed out boyfriend who cares for his girlfriend then gets jealous, but then still wants to be a friend to her later on when everything goes down the drain. There isn't much development there at all. The supporting charactersI actually quite enjoyed Daisy, Clyde, Morris, and especially Benji. In fact, the relationship between Benji and Emaline was the best part of this book how she helped her half-brother get through a difficult time in his life when his parents are going through a divorce. Probably the best part of the book. Daisy was a fun character and had a lot of quirks that I enjoyed a lot. Morris was also a very interesting character and Daisy's love interest too, which was interesting seeing they are a study of opposites. They were the funnest characters.The adults (besides Clyde): Sarah always writes about divorces or about family problems, which makes sense since everyone to some extent deals with these issues. I just wished she would give her adult characters more room to grow as characters since they are seen as the "bad guys" who leave families who don't take care of their kids. They have personality faults, but I just wish it wasn't so black and white with Sarah Dessen. Life is full of shades of gray. I wish she could start writing more ambiguity, especially at the age between adolescent and adulthood. In some of her other novels she handled this better, but not in this one. I guess I do like Emaline's mother and dad, but her father I do not. Emaline herself...I have conflicted feelings. Her as a sister to Benji I do enjoy quite a lot, but she kind of sits back for most of the book and doesn't really do anything but what she is told. Then a BOY enters the picture and then everyone pounces on her, even though she had a boyfriend previously because he's not from Colby. Really? That's a pretty annoying reason for things to start to change, too coincidental for me. Her character change really isn't as developed as I hope it would be by the end. She doesn't start to change until a lot later in the book. I hate that! I really do. Ivy...at first we are supposed to not like her. She's demanding, belittling, and pushy, but later on she starts to grow on you. I ended up liking her character A LOT MORE than Theo who I had liked for most of the book and not Ivy, but in the end I do. Other ThingsI know that Sarah Dessen likes to create her own universe with Colby and everything. It was nice to see that Auden and Esther were mentioned, as well as Clementines (and Tallyho). However, I do not like her replacements for things that we all know like Costco, Facebook, and anything else (also her facebook UMe.com allows ten year old users? In the real world it is at least thirteen!). The plot felt extremely long and dragged out. Normally her novels are a fast paced read for me, but this one dragged on and on (and on). I wanted to put it down way too many times, and I ended up getting frustrated for most of the novel. ConclusionThis novel by Ms. Dessen was so very dissapointing. Although, I can't say a lot about her prose I don't really like being preached at. This is by far the worst integration of themes and messages I have ever gotten from Ms. Dessen. This book didn't have a summery feel to it like all her other books do. In fact, I was so annoyed by most of the characters that I couldn't invest myself into them (if I did I found out they were not the people we should be rooting for). I dislike that this book is so black and white about messages, about getting out but knowing your limits. It's so passe and cliche, and I thought she would be able to string it together a lot better than she did. She didn't. MTV calls her the "Grand Empress of YA contemporary" but that should really go to my favorite author GAYLE (FREAKING) FOREMAN! Who writes beautiful, beautiful books about good characters and it is not always so black and white. I'm not sure if I will ever read another Dessen book again, maybe one of her older ones but unless she changes her course and WRITES SOMETHING OUTSIDE HER COMFORT ZONE...then I will pass.