Reading this book was chosen for me by the wonderful ladies of http://girlsinthestacks.com/. I have joined their book club in the effort to socialize outside of the computer world. The Girl who Chased the Moon was the first book we were to read as a group. I didn't know much about the book when I opened the cover other then it had a very pretty and inviting cover. I will say that the cover was just the start to joy this book holds.
The Girl who Chased the Moon is a book about a teenager named Emily. Her world has been turned upside down by the death of single parent mother. Emily has been shipped off to live with her grandfather for whom she has never met before. The small southern town where her mother had grown up, was about to reveal secrets Emily could of never imagined.
The book was a charming read. You were dragged into the surroundings of Mullaby, North Carolina and could almost smell the barbecue described as you are reading. The characters were well developed and balance. You cared what was going to happen to them on up and coming pages.
There are two romantic story lines flowing at the same time. The main, about Emily and her relationship with the mayor's son Winn. The second is between Emily's neighbor Julia and a lost love Sawyer. The split in romance time reminds the reader of the difference between Adult and Teenage love and the issues that can arise from both. The lessons of acceptance and forgiveness are also mingled in.
Even though romance was present in the book I would not call it a romance novel. It held a charisma that made the book almost magical. There is a hint or two towards oddities or unexplainable occurrences but did not have the feel of a fantasy or paranormal story. The book was nicely balanced with all of these attributes and makes the reader crave the story for what it is.
Overall I was gleefully shocked at how much I enjoyed The Girl who Chased the Moon. Even though the ending was wrapped up very nicely and could be a stand alone novel with success, I am hoping for a little bit more. I don't want to leave the characters or the environment. It held that southern charm that makes people want to move to small towns, like Mullaby, after you have only been visiting for a few hours. It is a perfect summer read next to the pool or at the beach. I gave The Girl who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen 5 out of 5 Stars!
On a side note, the author was very gracious and sent our book club a number of gifts including two of the recipes mentioned in the book and nameplates personally signed by her. Between her excellent writing and her generosity, I will be picking up her next book without hesitation.