A Year of Sarah Dessen | Keeping the Moon


Here I am keeping the momentum going with my latest Sarah Dessen read. As usual, she leaves me reflecting on and longing for those days from way back!

keeping-the-moonKeeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 1st, 1999

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

While her mother, aerobics queen Kiki Sparks, spends the summer touring Europe, fifteen-year-old Colie Sparks is stuck in sleepy Colby, North Carolina. But she’s not complaining. For one thing, her Aunt Mira is a sweet, laid-back eccentric; for another, no one knows that back home in Charlotte Colie is seen as a formerly-fat “golf-course slut,” the school scapegoat. Then, by fate or by accident, Colie lands a waitressing job, where she meets Morgan and Isabel. The two wisecracking–and wise–20something waitresses help her turn her life around, and realize the potential that has been there all along. Sarah Dessen’s newest novel is poignant, humorous, and full of characters to cherish–what readers are coming to expect from this extraordinary young talent.

Angie’s Review – 3.5 Stars – B

I loved the set-up of this book – former overweight teen whipped into shape by her fitness guru mother. This book, to me, is so much more than the blurb leads us to believe. Going into it, I was expecting a critical mom who dumps her daughter for a European tour, but that’s not what this was at all. Colie’s mom was very caring. She adored her daughter and wanted her to have a nice life. I love the glimpses we got of their past and how they’d had some really tough times that they’d pulled themselves out of.

When Colie goes to stay with her aunt for the summer, she finds a job, and the first real friends she’d ever had. I really enjoy the way Sarah Dessen writes friendships. It’s always as if the ‘new’ person slides right into the circle of friends, and instead of finding friends that fit you, you find friends and accept them as they are. Or you try to. But since Colie had never had friends, that was something that was hard for her. She was always waiting to be excluded based on how things had always gone for her previously – she was branded a slut at her former school, and no one wanted to be friends with her. Here, when she finally finds a place to belong, Colie starts to change. And it’s not all for the better. Luckily one of Colie’s new friends doesn’t hesitate to keep her in check. I also liked the plot with her aunt – she’s an eccentric woman, who, like Colie, generates a lot of attention simply by being who she is. But unlike Colie, her aunt doesn’t care what people think about her. I love how we see Colie moving from being embarrassed by her aunt to getting defensive when she overhears nasty comments. There was a romance in this one, but it was a very light thread throughout this story, and as with most Dessen books, the main character had a lot more going on than dealing with boys.

Usually the title plays a prominent part in the book, but it felt a bit like an afterthought in this one. And while the pacing was a bit slower than I’m used to, this book was worth the read to see Colie find friends who bring out something in her she never knew was there. I’d recommend Keeping the Moon to anyone who is a YA fan.

FYI, I listened the audio of this book, and I really enjoyed the narrator. I had to bump the speed up to 1.25x, but that is standard for me.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

This is my tentative reading order for my year of reading Sarah Dessen. If there’s a book you think should be added to the list or one that is so spectacular it should be moved up, feel free to let me know in the comments below!

1. Just Listen – March 2016 checkmark
2. Lock and Key – April 2016 checkmark
3. Saint Anything – May 2016 checkmark
4. The Truth About Forever – June 2016 checkmark
5. Dreamland – July 2016 checkmark
6. This Lullaby – September 2016 checkmark
7. Keeping the Moon – August 2016 checkmark
8. Along for the Ride – October 2016
9. That Summer – November 2016
10. The Moon and More – December 2016
11. Someone Like You – January 2017
12. What Happened to Goodbye – February 2017

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