Monday, October 24, 2011

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Pages:  228
Release Date:  May 11th, 2004 (First published September 1st, 1999)
Date Read:  2011, August 30th-31st
Received:  Own
Rating:  4/5 stars
Recommended to:  16+
Barnes and Noble

Summary -
Welcome to the life of Colie Sparks - once a fattie, daughter of a world-famous workout instructor, and bored for the summer.  She has to stay with her (eccentric) aunt, an aunt who doesn't exactly fit into her small town of Colby, NC.  But what Colie finds in Colby is more than she expected, and it may change her life forever.

My thoughts -
This is a book about belonging.  It's about Cats and Normans, grilled chicken salads, sympathy cards, and sunglasses.  It's about friendships and laughter and growing up.  It was full of real life, great happenings in a small town, and rising above.

It was surprising to me to discover just how inspiring it was.  It had me laughing out loud the entire time, except the times when I was boiling over with anger at the mean girls or holding back tears at the sweet parts.  But mostly, I was laughing.  It had me from the first page.  I began to love it all, including the writing (which was really good), and especially the dialogue.  This is all especially surprising to me since I thought I'd never read a Dessen book (or a contemporary fiction).  But after reading a few rave reviews from my dear friend Laura @ A Work of Fiction, and found this copy for $1.00, I knew it was about time.  What a great way to start!

Character notes -
Every person in this book, from page 1 to page 228, is defined.  Perfectly imperfect.  I was so pleased by this! Colie, with all her baggage she's holding onto; Norman, with all his funny, hippie ways; Mira, the eccentric relative.  Morgan and Isabel, besties who love each other unconditionally despite their hilarious and sometimes hard differences.  Bea Williamson, the town gossip, the ruler of all social standings (in her small, pathetic world).  There was even Cat Norman (as opposed to Norman Norman), who is by far the most fascinating and hilarious cat I've ever come across.

These characters had me laughing out loud and gaining strange glances fro my family.  They made my heart pound, my blood boil, and my eyes grow wide.  There was no end to the realness of them all.  I related to both Colie (I've never been a skinny girl, and I know what it's like to be "new") and Morgan (my drama is ridiculous sometimes).  They all inspired me, though.  Even Isabel with her bad attitude and Morgan with her constant quitting.  Because who's perfect?  Not me, that's for sure, and not these characters.  And that's what makes them so incredibly epic.

Story notes -
I wrapped myself in this story as I would in a bright beach towel after a day in the water.  It took me about four hours, and by the end I was warm, dry, and basking in sunshine.

It really is a great story.  It had the conflict in the beginning, things are hard, Colie doesn't understand, she's hurting, she wants to belong.  Then things lighten up; laughs are shared, lessons are learned.  But darkness threatens to swallow up the happiness.  I loved even those dark scenes, when everything looks grim and depressed.  But they help each other, encourage, serve and love, and together the break through the shadow and into the moonlight.  Sometimes it takes listening to Gloria Gaynor and dancing like a freak, or sitting for a painter for hours and hours.  Sometimes, it just takes a simple word of encouragement.  But no matter how it happens - the darkness is brushed aside, life is reborn, and the story goes on.  There is no "the end".  No, this is only the beginning.

Summing it up -
Encouraging.  A lovely read, no matter who you are or where you are, with characters that inspire and a story that rocks and a depth I was not expecting.  Put it on your list; you will enjoy it!

For the parents -
Brief strong language (GD, B, and a handful of minor cuss words).  A few extremely nondescript kisses.  Some references to what highschoolers do to others when they hate them.  One girl is called some rude nicknames (Hole in One, Slut, etc.).  one stupid man is said to have cheated on his fiancee, married the girl he cheated on, got her pregnant, and was still dating his fiancee!  :/  Recommended 16+.

Read my other reviews!


  1. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAYAYABSABDABDSDHQWJOJOHFCNOMDMfmmJ!!!!!!1 I don't know what I just wrote but it was supposed to convey my girlish-OMG-freak-out excitement. Did it? Let's hope. Point is, I could caps lock "YAY" for the entire length of this comment and it still wouldn't justify how freaking happy I am that you've read a DESSEN book and LIKED it! Well, contemp in general, really. But moving on, you do realize this is just the beginning? You still have NINE other books to read! :D I think you should try and get your hands on a copy of The Truth about Forever next because, duh, it's my all-time favorite Dessen book. Then you should DEFINITELY read Just Listen. And maybe This Lullaby next, though you might not like that one as, maybe Along for the Ride. Ohhhh, I just can't take it. The very thought of you reading these precious books makes me so mind-bogglingly happy.

    …I’m such a loser.

  2. Ahhhh Lauzie, your comments are THE BEST!!! :D Ok, you know I bought another Dessen book for really cheap right? Like $2.00. Well, I'm reading it next week while I'm in TX for a while. :D I have my reading pile for Texas and it's definitely in there. (It's Someone Like You.) <3 LOVE YOU!

  3. If you liked this on and I see you are about to read Someone Like You, I think you will love some of her other books.  My person favorite is either This Lullaby or The Truth About Forever.  It just depends on my mood which one I love more.  They have all the elements that you liked about this one, plus so much more.