Review: Moon River

Moon River by Amber D. Tran

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actual Rating: 3.5

*Thank you to the author for a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review!*

First off, I really like the cover for this book, and just the mood that it gives off – a bit of nostalgia, and a bit of home – fits the book so well.

For me, the blurb for this book was a little misleading, as it made the book seem like a typical young adult contemporary novel, when in reality it was a lot more. Moon River centers around Abigail, and the best word for what this book is is coming-of-age. Abigail met Ryan when she was only nine years old. Back then, he was different – a little shy, but still full of adventure. But of course, things change, and the arrival of Lilly Anderson throws everything they’ve ever known out of equilibrium.

The writing style is what I have to start with, because I thought it was absolutely mesmerizing and beautiful. It was definitely different from the type of young adult writing I had been expecting, and the book had a sort of soft, memoir-like atmosphere throughout. Another unique thing about this book is that it spans years and the story is told in anecdotes that happened during this time period. I was a little unused to this style; it felt a bit like what authors do when setting up the scene for their story during the rising action, but for Moon River the entire book was written in this sort of style and it took me a while to realize that the story was already well under way.

I did really like the characters; they were multifaceted and I thought they were realistic in a way that highlighted their flaws and yet made me love them regardless. There was something special in this book that also underlined the relationship between the characters; this was perhaps one of the strongest aspects of this book, as it focused a lot on how characters were linked together, either emotionally or physically.

The plot, like I said, was different from what I was used to because of how long of a time this book covered. Nevertheless, I found myself emotionally invested in the plotline, and it was an intriguing journey to follow Abigail as she grew up and learned more about herself and about the world. I read a review that compared this book to John Green, and though I do see a bit of a similarity, I actually connected with this book more than I did with John Green’s. Overall, I would still recommend this book to a lot of people who enjoy memoirs or contemporary novels, and I hope they enjoy Abigail’s journey as much as I did.

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