Title: Purple Moon
Author: Tessa Emily Hall
Published By: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (2013)
Synopsis: Selena’s life isn’t turning out to be the fairy tale she imagined as a kid.
That hope seemed to vanish long ago when her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house. This summer might finally hold the chance of a new beginning for Selena … but having to live with her snobby cousin in Lake Lure, NC while waiting for her mom to get out of rehab wasn’t how Selena was planning on spending her summer. She soon begins to wonder why she committed to give up her “bad habits” for this.
Things don’t seem too bad, though. Especially when Selena gains the attention of the cute neighbor next door. But when her best friend back home in Brooklyn desperately needs her, a secret that’s been hidden from Selena for years is revealed, and when she becomes a target for one of her cousin’s nasty pranks, she finds herself having to face the scars from her past and the memories that come along with them. Will she follow her mom’s example in running away, or trust that God still has a fairy tale life written just for her? (Taken from Goodreads)
I truly wanted to like this book. No, I take that back—I hoped to love this book. It seemed like such a beautiful and touching premise, seemed to be deep read with significant themes, and all the reviews were just glowing…it seemed like the type of book which I love.
While this definitely doesn’t qualify for anything near “falling flat”, it didn’t live up to my expectations, either. The depth was fantastic in some areas, but didn’t come through at all in others. It was almost as if there was too much depth to articulate in one book and thereof laxed in some places. For example, the Hilarie storyline (more on this below).
Romance: while I did like the romance in some areas—and I really admired all the Christian themes that it communicated—I didn’t appreciate other aspects at all, such as the way the author painted kissing to be so okay before Selena even wasn’t sure she liked Austin. While I certainly agree that Christian authors have to be careful around romantic topics, not to scare off readers but also to say the truth, some fall through and I did not like the way it was done in Purple Moon at all. Aside from that, I adored Selena and Austin together.
I thought there were plenty of powerful themes sent about life in general, and I absolutely LOVED the way the author delivered the Christian message. It was so clever and wonderfully done.
The family storyline was realistic and done nicely. I know that’s rather a bland description, but that’s all I have to say about it. No complaints, but nothing super exceptional.
And I was really dismayed that we never got closure or any sort of follow-up on the Hilarie storyline. Like, what did she decide? How did she go through that? What happened? It was a geniunely captivating side plot, and when it disappeared it gave the impression the author wrote it in just for the purpose of Selena finding out the truth and nothing else. I was very disappointed. I wish we could have gotten at least a hint at what happened.
Also I found Whitney’s “apology” super cheesy and quixotic….maybe that’s just me though.
Good premise and overall good story, it just lacked follow through in quite a few places and didn’t line up with the depth it implied. It was quality writing though, excellent characterization and great descriptions, storyworld, etc, so I did enjoy it. Just some elements bothered me.
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Recommended to: Readers 13 & up.