Monday, May 02, 2011

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

The Girl Who Chased the Moon
By Sarah Addison Allen
Copyright 2009
Bantam Books - Fiction
269 pages

Book Description:

Bugger. Can I skip this part? Or, maybe I'll just pull a Raych and write it in plain speak. Yes, that sounds good. I promise in advance that this will not become a regular practice. Okay, there's this teenager, Emily, whose mother has died and she has no father so she has to move in with her grandfather . . . who is a giant. She settles into his mansion in Mullaby, North Carolina and feels a little out of place, plus there are these weird lights in the forest and her wallpaper changes based on her mood.

So, Emily is trying to fit in, figure out the strange happenings and get her grandfather to hang out with her a little whilst some dude in a bow tie drops odd hints about the reason people hate her for her dead mom's sake and then she meets Julia. Julia bakes cakes and sells them at her dad's barbecue place because she's not particularly interested in the whole barbecue restaurant thing. She's from Mullaby, but she managed to get away from the town when something frightful happened and she really wants to get the heck out of Dodge. But, she has to pay off the mortgage and sell out. Dead dad was in debt, so that'll take a while.

There are all sorts of small-town secrets and weird, maybe-magical things happening. This really good-looking guy is crazy about Julia but she's all, "Leave me alone because our secret is the sucky kind that forces me to shove you away." And, Emily has the bow-tie wearing dude whose entire family doesn't come out after dark interested in her. So, what's up in Mullaby, North Carolina? What on earth did Emily's mother do to piss off an entire town? And, what does the moon have to do with anything?

My review:

This will be a short one. Honestly? I love everything Sarah Addison Allen has written (you'll hear my thoughts about The Peach Keeper in a few days). I love the little touches of magic, the deep, dark secrets, the way she slowly reveals what happened to people that made them all screwed-up and sensitive but then somehow unknots their twisted pasts and ends each story on an upbeat, happy note.

I'm not going to answer the questions, of course. That's what you have to discover for yourself. I will tell you, though, that I found The Girl Who Chased the Moon very satisfying. If you love a small-town Southern story with a little romance, a touch of magic and quirky characters that are so well-developed you can't help but wonder what they're up to, days after you close the book, you'll love The Girl Who Chased the Moon.

I checked this one out from my local library. After finishing The Peach Keeper, I thought, "I really, really, really want to read the book I missed," (I've read all of SAA's books, now) and I'm glad I did, even though I probably ought to quit inserting books from the library and the non-ARC shelf into my TBR pile. Because, geez, that shelf is just not getting any sizable holes from frequent removal of books. I'm starting to feel pissy about my lack of discipline, to be honest.

Enough personal revelation for one day. I shall do my utter best to return to quality book reviews, tomorrow.

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  1. I'm sorry, but I must inform you that THIS is a "quality book review." Quality does NOT mean formal, and I happen to think this one is just fine. Great enough that I went straight to my library's web site tonight and put this book on hold. Just crank 'em out, dear heart, 'cause you always do a very credible job, even when you think you don't. (So there.)

  2. Bonnie,

    Well, thanks. There are just so many wild and crazy things that happen in this book that, for some reason, this was the only way I could figure out to get it all squoze into a few paragraphs. Too many paragraphs and people start wanting to bash their heads against the wall, you know, and I really don't want to be responsible for sore heads and wall holes.

    Also, obviously, I'm in a weird mood tonight. LOL

  3. For a book that that seems to have a lot going on in it, I think you did a wonderful job boiling it down so those, like myself, who have either not heard of the book before or maybe not been that interested in it, would be tempted to read it.

    I for one am going to look into this one more, eventhough it's not my normal "type" of book to read.

    Great review!

  4. I recently read The Peach book but I am not sure I would like her other books. What do you think?

  5. Anonymous10:21 PM

    I think this is just perfect, because I went through the same thing when trying to write up my post on The Peach Keeper. ..and I really neededto say more than just "Loved it."

  6. Yeah, I've decided I'm tossing my budget to the wind and buying The Peach Keeper. Wahoo!!!

  7. Ryan,

    That's exactly why I decided to write this review the way I did!! Too much going on, hard to boil it down.

    Thanks. I may have to totally rethink the way I write. LOL


    I think that depends on what you thought of The Peach Keeper. There's always something bad that happened in the past or is happening and the characters have to move beyond. I know one person who thinks her books are "yucky" because of that. I think she does a good job of writing stories of redemption that are believable and upbeat. Did you like The Peach Keeper?


    Oh, dear. Now, I'm all nervous about The Peach Keeper. LOL Thanks. If all else fails, there's always the self-interview. Ever tried that?

  8. Andiloo,

    It's good to be wild and crazy, now and then. ;)

  9. I hate synopses! I actually skip them most times but I read and enjoyed yours. You should always write them like this! I know what you mean about the TBR shelf never getting smaller and lack of self control. So annoying.

  10. Jenny,

    Ack! I don't know if I could live with myself if I wrote like that all the time!!! But, I have to admit it seems to have worked for this particular book. I try to keep my synopses casual; I always, always write them in my own words.

    Oh, the TBR shelf . . . it kills me. I'm turning down ARCs until I catch up and I keep looking at it, thinking, "2 months," then it doesn't shrink, so it's "2 more months," over and over. I have got to get serious about that ARC backlog!!!

  11. I bought this after reading the great reviews that went around a little while ago. I can't wait to read it!

  12. I have Allen's Garden Spells on my shelf and have for a long time. It's weird, because I have heard such good things about her, but I am never inspired to move my reading around and read the book. I think it's because, like you, I just have so many ARCs that need to be read, and I don't have the time to read all the things that I really want to. That being said, this book sounds really awesome, and I am going to be adding it to my wish list right now. Thanks!

  13. Anonymous10:32 AM

    I just finished The Peach Keeper last night and fell in SO MUCH LOVE with it! My library doesn't have any other SAA books, but I'm making them truck me in some from a different branch, and I can't wait! This review did a wonderful job getting me all hot and bothered for reading any other SAA I can get my hands on - wonderful job!

  14. Kathy,

    I think you'll love it. All her books are wonderful, in my humble opinion.


    Give in to the force!! You really must read Garden Spells. It is absolutely enchanting -- still my favorite of her books, although I love them all. Also, it's a quick read (wink, wink). The ARCs won't have to wait long.


    I don't know if my library has any of the other books, but I'd assume they have the first two, if only because SAA is a Southern writer and they do try to get as much Southern lit as possible. My library has a puny budget, so it takes a while. I figured they'd have The Girl Who Chased the Moon, simply because it's been over a year since its release. It's not unusual for a title to show up on the "new books" shelf a year after release. Good thing I'm a patient girl. LOL

  15. I've read and loved all Sarah's books. I have Peach Keeper in my stack for a book tour and I'm anxious to get to it.

    2 Kids and Tired Books

  16. Holly,

    If you liked her other books, you'll love The Peach Keeper, too. It's wonderful. :)

  17. Personally, I thought your book review was really nice! And I have to agree - Sarah Addison Allen's writing always puts me in a happy place!

  18. I really enjoyed Garden Spells, but see that I have some catching up to do on Addison!

  19. Stephanie,

    Thanks! Her books are total uppers, aren't they? I love the way I feel when I close a Sarah Addison Allen book!!


    You have a lot to look forward to!! I think Garden Spells will always be my favorite because of that crazy tree and the fact that it was my first by SAA, but I've loved every single one of her books.

  20. The worst thing about having read all of SAA's books, is having to wait for the next one each time.

  21. Marg,

    Absolutely!! That's why it's best to own them -- so you can reread while you're waiting for the next of her novels!

  22. You give good Raych! LOL

  23. LOL Thanks, Bybee!

  24. I'm the same way! I had no idea that I missed a book by Sarah Addison Allen and I'm so thrilled that I can pick this one up soon! And so excited that you liked this one, too! :)

  25. I loved the intricacy of the relationships in this story. There is an amazing sense of honesty coupled with magical realism that is astonishing and adds such a unique, expressive quality to the book. I don't often give five stars to anything I read but this was a truly great story...simple and very captivating.


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