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Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
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Keeping the Moon (original 1999; edition 2004)

by Sarah Dessen

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2,295544,139 (3.87)28
Member:actirana
Title:Keeping the Moon
Authors:Sarah Dessen
Info:Speak (2004), Edition: 8th printing, Paperback, 228 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Novel

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Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen (1999)

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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
At first I was a little put off by the book. But since I love Sarah Dessen, I knew that if I stuck with it that it would get better. When me first meet Colie, we are going through a flashback type thing. She is remembering when both her and her mother were fat, and traveling across the country. When the story really gets going you find out that Colie and her mom are both now skinny, and her mom has turned into this fitness/weightloss guru. Colie is being shipped off to her Aunt Mira's in Colby, North Carolina.
Colie is only 15, so she can't really be left at home for the summer while her mother goes on tour for her fitness program. So Colie gets on a train and travels from Charlotte to Colby, where she is picked up by Norman, her Aunt's boarder. Norman and Aunt Mira turn out to be a little wierd, well wierd to most people. Mira's house is strewn with items that only half work, and Mira herself seems a little off the norm. Mira is overweight and in her world it doesn't bother her. Colie knows that while she is there for the summer that she really can't just sit around, so when she ends up at the Last Chance Bar and Grill, she meets Morgan and Isabel; two best friends that have been together since at least high school.
Colie soon lands a job at Last Chance, and becomes somewhat friendly with Morgan and Isabel. Morgan is the sweet one while Isabel is a little rougher and at times can seem just downright mean.
While working at Last Chance, Colie watches the way that Morgan and Isabel interact and while she never had a friend like either of them before, she learns that they would do just about anything for each other.
Isabel kinda takes a liking to Colie about half way through the book, when she happens to overhear some nasty things that a girl from Colie's hometown has to say about her. Isabel then helps Colie recognize her self-esteem through the rest of the book.
Keeping the Moon is a great coming of age/self-esteem book for young girls. And by the end of the book I was almost in tears with the transformation of Colie. ( )
  chaoticbooklover | Dec 26, 2018 |
I really like this book. That said...

I'm a little surprised hearing Sarah Dessen say that in order to have worth and be accepted by society, you need to Be Conventionally Pretty. Colie (who, I swear, every time I saw her name in print, I temporarily misread it as "Colic") begins the summer a bit of an ugly duckling, having deliberately changed her looks to reflect the illness she feels in her spirit. Her black hair dye is unflattering and patchy, some people find her lip ring revolting, and she hasn't got a clue how to put on make up. Her mother is so busy helping the world feel better that she just doesn't get, or even worse completely ignores, her daughter's well-being. If Colie's ever had a friend it hasn't been for long, and she's now gotten to that point in school where if you don't have a built-in cadre of girlfriends, you're going to be very alone and awkward, and generally despised by the rest of the world, for the next half dozen years. There are Caroline Daweses and Bea Willamsons everywhere, my dear, and they aren't going to go away. Trust me Colie, I get it, I developed the same social radar you did, but at least you have Morgan and Isabel to get you over the worst speedbumps.

So tall, bony, independent-minded Isabel takes Colie over, fixes her hair, introduces her to Chick Night (complete with green face mask), and gives her the basic lessons she needs. Shoulders back. Smile. It's all in your brain already. Stand up for yourself. You deserve the respect of others and if you respect yourself first the rest of the world will follow suit. This last is probably the hardest for both Colie and I to learn. So used to being dumped on by everyone else, we become convinced that we do not deserve the respect of others, much less of ourselves. Isabel convinces Colie to leave out the lip ring for one night, but at the end of the night Colie quietly slips it back in; I think it is her way of rejecting the shallow world of Caroline Dawes and Bea Williamson. It's her little nod to artistic Mira and Norman, whose eclectic artistic lives she has a few qualms about embracing.

Now to the scene that bothers me most, Colie's first visit to the Last Chance Cafe. This is also her (and our) first introduction to Morgan and Isabel. Morgan is described as a tall bony girl, and Isabel as a curvy blonde. Morgan ends up quitting (apparently she does this two or three times a week) in order to storm out after a group of businessmen who left a crummy tip, but they've "just left" so she comes back in and puts her apron back on. Through Morgan's whole fit, Isabel sits calmly and takes Colie's to-go order. I had to go back to this scene this morning and write descriptions of the characters on a post-it to remind me which character was which in this scene, since I feel like it so mis-pegs these two important characters. I get the impression from the rest of the book that it should be ISABEL storming around and not taking guff from anybody and MORGAN passively sitting there while the storm rages.

Also, I feel like the physical descriptions of Morgan and Isabel should be reversed, with Morgan curvy and Isabel tall and bony. My reasons are twofold: Isabel's explanation for Morgan staying with skeezy Mark all this time is that she's afraid no one else will love her and tell her she's pretty. In my experience, this is a side-effect of being not conventionally pretty. Tall, bony blondes do not usually exhibit this fear; curvaceous women with a history such as the one Isabel and Colie share are usually the ones who cling to bad boyfriends because they're afraid no one else will love them. So that was my first reason. Reason 2 is that when Isabel confronts Caroline Dawes, Caroline shrinks back the way "pretty girls do at girls who are much prettier." If it is generally accepted that Isabel is prettier than Caroline Dawes, who is skinny and dark-haired, then Isabel can not be curvaceous; a skinny, popular girl like Caroline would never recognize Isabel as prettier than herself if she were not of supermodel good-looks: tall, bony, and blonde, which is apparently Morgan's look. It's confusing and it doesn't jive with me. It's a small but surprising lapse on Dessen's part; she's usually so spot-on about teenage social customs and dynamics.

Okay, all of these complaints, and I still gave Keeping the Moon 5 stars?! Yes. I really wish we could give half-stars on this site, but we can't, so I rounded the 4.5 up to 5. My only complaints are the two I just sketched out in the above paragraph. But Dessen really hits the nail on the head, and I wish I had had Keeping the Moon when I was 15. Unfortunately, I didn't. ( )
  mrsmarch | Nov 28, 2018 |
wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy this book but once I started it I couldn't put it down!
as someone who struggled with my self confidence a lot in high school as well as my weight this book really hit home a lot of truths for me.
I think anyone who has self confidence issues or just want a feel good read should pick this book up!
5 out of 5 stars for me! ( )
  ReadingwithLynn | Sep 25, 2018 |
This is one of the best of Dessen's books--A great, simple story about a girl who's life is complicated, but not unbelievable. ( )
  VanChocStrawberry | Apr 2, 2018 |
I'm usually not a fan of Dessen's earlier novels just because the voice seems to be very different from the novels I know and love from her but this story was super cute and touching. Colie's growth as a person and character was slow building but lovely. She transforms into the butterfly she was always hoping to be and I loved how Morgan and Isabel help. Those two girls were a great addition to the story and I loved the drama they added to the story.

Dessen always has a beautiful way of portraying love, especially first love and I felt that Dessen did it once again with the love between Colie and Norman as well as Morgan and the cheating rat bastard.

I just enjoyed the characters and loved how everyone grew. I wish that there was more about what happened to Colie when she went back home and how her summer changed her relationship with her mother, for the better, but I guess Dessen wanted to leave those thoughts to us. Either way, I'm so glad I gave this book a chance because it was just what I needed. A quick little escape with some good friends and some romance! ( )
  IntrovertedBooks | Mar 26, 2018 |
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For Lee Smith who taught me, and for past and present burritogirls everywhere.
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My name is Nicole Sparks.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Last Chance is an alternate title for Keeping the Moon.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142401765, Paperback)

Fifteen-year-old Colie is spending the summer with her eccentric Aunt Mira while her mother travels. Formerly chubby and still insecure, Colie has built a shell around herself. But her summer with her aunt, her aunt's tenant Norman, and her friends at the Last Chance Diner teaches her some important lessons about friendship and learning to love yourself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:01 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Fifteen-year-old Colie, a former fat girl, spends the summer working as a waitress in a beachside restaurant, staying with her overweight and eccentric Aunt Mira, and trying to explore her sense of self.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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