Eden’s mom has never had a good word to say about Eden, but Eden’s zero self-esteem is about to change thanks to three guys who enter her life. Under a Purple Moon by Beverly Stowe McClure is an entertaining clean romance. The novel also tackles the social issue of abuse in both forms: physical and emotional. Despite some flaws, Under a Purple Moon is a sweet summer read.
The plot has some original and intriguing aspects. Having four troubled teens all drawn to a house that seems lonely makes for an appealing setting. In addition, I appreciated how each of the teens teach each other something about friendship and then all in turn draw on their newfound strength to stand up to their parents. Unfortunately, the plot also had several predictable moments. As soon as Eden’s heart began to flutter for Tyler, I knew that the faithful Murphy would lose out to the athletic stud. I also immediately knew that when Tyler acted jealous of Josh, a love triangle would form. I might be in the minority, but I still prefer that romances about the average girl and the average guy who stumble about trying to find their way through the sometimes awkward road of romance.
What helps bolster the plot are the sympathetic and endearing main characters. The first two to start hanging out together are Eden and Murphy. Murphy seems to have a found a good home with his grandparents, but his parents have long been out of the picture. At the start of a new school year, Murphy invites Tyler to The Old House. Tyler is a handsome and talented football player who should on all accounts be living the American dream, but the problem is his parents are attempting to mold him into the image of the son whom they lost in an accident. Because of his dysfunctional family life, Tyler is searching for a girl who is kind or in other words a girl like Eden. Finally, there’s Josh, who just shows up one day at The Old House. Of the four troubled teens, he’s the one who sports the physical bruises.
I enjoyed reading about the bond between the four, which develops as they practice together at The Old House for a school play. Having Murphy help initially Tyler to know what to say around Eden added some humor and poignancy. However, I found some of the minor characters stereotyped. It should surprise no one that the popular girls at Eden’s school are your cliché blondes who naturally belittle Eden whenever opportunity rises. In addition, Eden’s dad is the typical father who can’t handle his wife’s mood swings and so deserts the family.
The character portrayal that most frustrated me is the mom. Eden is continually encouraged to give her mom a chance; she’s had a rough life. But we’re never really told what that rough life is. When her mom’s behavior becomes more erratic, one day painting rainbows on the house walls and another day slapping Eden for turning off the television, I keep expecting to learn she has a mental illness. Instead it’s eventually revealed she’s been cheating on her husband. The mom doesn’t make any sense to me.
Spring is here. The sun is out. It’s a perfect time for curling up with a light read. Novels are enriched when a little social commentary is sprinkled in. Under a Purple Moon by Beverly Stowe McClure should satisfactorily entertain females of all ages who are looking for an innocent summer romance.
My rating? Read it: Borrow from your library or a friend. It’s worth your time.
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