Title: Keeping The Moon
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Pub Date: this ed. May 2004, Speak (Penguin)
Trade Paperback, 228 pages
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.
I rather wish I had come across Sarah Dessen when she published her first book, That Summer--I really think that her books are great reads for teen and 'tween girls. However, that doesn't stop me from enjoying them years after the fact.
Keeping The Moon deals with an issue that I think most girls struggle with at some point--their weight and appearance. As always, Dessen handles the story tastefully and realistically. It's interesting to see how she has evolved from her first book in this, her third book. For me, her stories are a welcome departure from most of the books I gravitate toward--mystery, fantasy and paranormal. Every now and then I just enjoy a book about people that might have lived next door to you, or perhaps you knew them in school.
Another aspect of Dessen's works that I appreciate is her ability to weave strong, positive messages into the story. In Keeping The Moon, she notes that confidence comes from within and that you make yourself into who you want to be--no one else can decide that for you. So even though this may be a light read (perfect for summer, I might add), you come away with a positive message and feeling after reading it. Overall I really enjoyed the story, though at times I wish it were fleshed out a bit more. I often find that with Dessen's books--they tend to be shorter reads that are over before you know it. And really, that's probably not a bad thing given how many chunkier books are out there for the young adult market. So if you're looking for a light read with a positive message, this might be the book for you.
Other reviews of Keeping The Moon: