More than a Moment starts out with Julia’s boyfriend (Tyler) abruptly breaking up with her just before their senior year in high school. As if that isn’t enough, Julia is also a bit on the outs with her friends after being laid up with a horseback riding injury over the summer, and one of her so-called best friends appears to have grown much closer to Tyler than normal. Luckily, she strikes up a friendship with Lucas (a classmate and immigrant farmhand who works for Tyler’s parents) and, in doing so, learns a lot about true friendship, love, following your heart and standing up for what you believe in.
“For anyone who has ever wanted more time.”
I suspected from the opening line that this book would touch my heart, and I was right. However, I wasn’t expecting to feel so many different emotions—from sadness, anger and anticipation to embarrassment for the characters and relief. All a result of the themes covered in this lovely YA novel: friendship, peer pressure, bullying, stereotypes, racism, immigration, young love and romance.
Aside from the range of emotions I felt while reading, I loved the realistic interactions between the characters, all of the interesting information about horses, and the way Albright tackles the topic of illegal immigration. This is the first fictional book for teens I’ve encountered that highlights several current points related to the issue, all of which are seamlessly woven into the storyline so as not to make the book seem like a lesson in sociology or politics.
Two final things that really tugged at my heart strings were the romance between Julia and Lucas, and Albright’s focus on the significance of blinks (and all that can occur with just one) throughout the story. Here are some of my favorite romance- and blink-related quotes:
“Maybe that’s what life is—one giant series of blinks. The problem is you never know which ones will become your story until after they pass. It can make you want to squeeze your eyes shut with fear, never to blink again, or flutter your eyelashes like crazy, just to see what’s ahead.”
“But there’s no rewind and no fast-forward—just blink after unexpected blink. It doesn’t seem fair how fast the good blinks seem to pass us by.”
“His eyes sparkled like a guy who hadn’t had a bad blink day in a long time.”
“I stared at our fingers as they intertwined with one another—a zigzag of caramel and cream.”
“So, in a perfect world we’d say lots of hellos and goodbyes?” I teased. “Millions—all back to back—so we’d never be apart.”
“There are as many little stories in you as stars in the sky,’ he sighed, “and I want to know them all.”
If you’re looking for a clean YA read with serious everyday themes, then I highly recommend this one.