Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin, Speak
Publication Date: September 1st 1999
Genres: Young Adult
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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.
This is one of the very few Dessen books that I haven’t read yet and I finally picked it up last week. While it wasn’t my favorite Dessen book, it was still a very charming read.
This book follows Colie, who used to be fat as she spends the summer with her crazy Aunt Mira in the town we’ve all come to love through Sarah Dessen books, Colby. Colie is used to being bullied as she’s been bullied all of her life at school and because of this, she doesn’t let very many people close to keep from getting hurt when they inevitably do. The summer in Colby changes Colie for the better and as much as she drove me crazy through the book, I was so glad when I finally finished the book because there was growth and there were lessons learned and a boy that I came to adore throughout the entire book.
Colie’s Mom is a fitness guru who used to be big and transformed her and Colie’s life with a diet and exercise plan that changed their lives and made her an instant success story. Colie and her Mom used to live out of their car at times, move around all the time and that kind of lifestyle didn’t really help one stay healthy and so Colie and her mother were overweight for a good portion of Colie’s life and now that they’ve taken control of their health, they’re no longer big girls and yet Colie still doesn’t have the confidence in herself and in her looks the way that one would think after shedding so much weight.
Colie is distant and she’s reserved and for good reason. She’s been through things that I wouldn’t wish anyone to go through and my heart hurt for Colie as I got to know her because there were reasons for the way that she was and when she started to step out of her comfort zone and let others into her life, I cheered because she deserved the very best that life had to offer her and she shied away from everything because of the way that her peers treated her at school. She learned some very hard lessons early on in life and those lessons stayed with her and I loved when Isabelle and Morgan came into her life. I loved that they were older and wiser and were there when Colie most needed her. They were there to help her blossom into the young woman at the end of the book and boy did I really enjoy the way that they stepped into her life and made her accept them and then in turn, accepted her.
Then there was Norman. Oh, what a cutie patootie that guy turned out to be. I really liked getting to know him through Colie’s POV. He was mysterious and studly in a nerdy way and I adored him. I adored the way that he lived his life. I adored the way that he was always there and accepting of Colie, through all of her different looks. I loved the way that he was with Aunt Mira and how good he was to everyone around him. He was such a good guy and when Colie finally figures this out, I was a happy camper.
There were times when the story dragged a bit but it didn’t last very long. Leave to Sarah Dessen to write a complex story about one character with not much happening…and yet so much happening. I adore Dessen’s books and this was another winner for me. Great story.
…and that’s your scoop!
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