Title: Keeping the Moon
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak – Penguin Group, Inc.
Release Date: May 11, 2004
Fifteen-year-old Colie has never fit in. First, it was because she was fat. Then, after she lost the weight, it was because of a reputation that she didn’t deserve. So when she’s sent to stay with her eccentric aunt Mira for the summer, Colie doesn’t expect too much. After all, why would anyone in Colby, North Carolina, want to bother with her when no one back home does?
But Colby turns out to be a nice surprise for Colie. Almost without trying, she lands herself a job at the Last Chance Bar and Grill. There she meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel – two best friends who teach her what friendship is all about, and help her learn to appreciate who she really is.
Ever since reading Along for the Ride, I have loved Sarah Dessen, and this book is no exception. Each of her books take on real issues, that many people, if not all, can relate to. Even if you’ve never had problems like a character in her books, the way she writes makes you understand and feel what the character is feeling. There were times when I was close to tears while reading, just because I couldn’t stand the way that Colie was feeling – useless, friendless, etc.
I liked how Dessen didn’t focus on the guy, Norman, until the end. Colie was going through enough self-discovery without having to add a guy into the mix. However, their date at the end was VERY cute. I’m glad that it finally happened. Norman’s attitude and personality were perfect for Colie. Plus, his relationship with Mira was great – he was like the boy next door who helps the old lady next door with all the yard work. Mira’s eccentricities were hilarious, with all her little notes everywhere. But she had some really profound insights that can be applied to life, no matter who the reader is, which I appreciated.
Morgan and Isabel were especially important to the story, and to Colie. Morgan’s genuine kindness and motherliness was definitely nurturing for Colie, but it was the combination of that and Isabel’s rough-around-the-edges attitude and insight into Colie’s life that truly inspired a change in her. The way she could relate to Colie, that we find out in the end (even though I had an inkling what it was), made everything that Isabel ever said to Colie in the book that much more significant. The book may have been about self-discovery, but it was also about having other people – older, wiser people – there to help you along the way.
I loved this book – it was funny, sad, and contained a life lesson for everyone somewhere in its pages. It’s up to you to read it and find out, though!
**Note: I recommend this book to people ages 13 & up due to some profane language.