Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Published by Speak on May 1st 2004
Genres: young adult, contemporary
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Colie expects the worst when she's sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast -- first for being fat and then for being "easy" -- Colie has no friends at home and doesn't expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina.
But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.
“So I ran inside and up to my parents’ room and woke up my dad,” he went on, dipping the brush into the can of paint thinner and swishing it around. “I was freaking. Crying and everything. And my mom kept saying how she’d known I was too young to camp out and how he should have listened to her–this was before the divorce–and my dad kept telling her to be quiet so he could hear what I was saying, because he couldn’t understand me.”
He stopped then, and I thought of the voice on the answering machine, clearing his throat. Waiting.
“What were you saying?” I asked him.
“I was saying,” Norman said, looking outside, “that they took the moon. They were keeping the moon.”
Keeping the Moon was a short and enjoyable read. It was very easy to finish in a few hours if you are a somewhat fast reader. Characterizations were really, really good. They were quirky, fun, and interesting. I absolutely adored Mira and her individuality. The female friendship in the book was fierce and strong. Colie started out a bit on the annoying side, but she came into her own at the end like all Sarah Dessen characters do. The romance was sweet and slow to develop, just like I like, and I was into it.
Sarah Dessen’s books follow a set formula, and rarely, if ever, deviate from that. Normally this would be a bad thing, but to me it’s not. They are warm and comforting, like a fire in the fireplace at wintertime, or a warm blanket and a cup of coffee in the middle of a snowstorm. You can always expect consistency and a fun read from Sarah Dessen. It is easy to see why she has so many fans. Her books touch on very important topics to teens. I see her as almost the young adult version of Jodi Picoult. I grew tired of Jodi’s books after being a huge fan for many years. That has yet to happen with Sarah Dessen though.
Some of her books are better than others, but I thought Keeping the Moon was one of the better ones, although it really didn’t go as deep as her other books do. It wasn’t as detailed and this was due to it being shorter in length. It touched on topics of body image, self-esteem, female friendship, bullying, and individuality, which I think are extremely important topics for teens. I’m not a teen anymore, but it’s still an important topic for me, too because even as an adult I am still insecure, and books like this remind me that it is okay to be me and to be comfortable in my own skin.
I definitely recommend Keeping the Moon.
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