Sunday, September 11, 2011

Keeping the Moon

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen was one of her first books.  It is a great book, for many reasons, but you can tell that Dessen was still developing as an author.  It is a great read, but at the beginning it was a little slow, or at least it was a little more difficult to get into.  I really like Dessen and her books; this book was not my favorite of her books, but it was an enjoyable read.

The narrator and main character, Colie, is a 15 year old that has a lot to learn about herself.  I found this very much like 15 year olds I know.  Most teenagers have to figure out who they are and where their confidence comes from.  Colie is alike most teenagers now a days, however she is still unique.  Colie is not your typical Sarah Dessen character; she is a bit angry and doesn't quite feel confident enough to defend herself.  She hasn't had the best of luck with friends.

From Sarah Dessen's website I found the following book description: "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." 

I had always loved Sarah Dessen b/c she lives in Chapel Hill.  I love North Carolina, and I love Chapel Hill.  An author of realistic fiction, a genre I love, from the same place I love is an automatic favorite author.  It helps that she is really good as well.  I had learned a bit ago that she was once a waitress at a burrito location in Chapel Hill I had frequented during my time there.  What I didn't realize, until I read her website, is that this book is the last one she wrote while she was still a waitress there.  I then found it fitting that there is a lot of waitressing in this book.  I guess I enjoy finding out where authors get some of their ideas and inspirations.

Colie learns a lot about herself in this book.  She learns to stand up for herself, which I love.  I never realized how difficult it is for some to stick up for themselves.  I guess I am on the opposite end of the spectrum, and I have a hard time keeping my mouth closed at times.  I loved seeing Colie grow as a character; she slowly began to believe in herself.  I think it is a transformation that every person has to have sometime in his/her life.  However, many people, like Colie, need someone else to point it out to them.  Many people need family or friends to help them believe in himself/herself.  I enjoyed what Isabel said to Colie one night to help her believe in herself.  "What you were that night at the beach was just you, Colie.  It was all you.  Because for once, you believed in yourself.  You believed you were beautiful and so did the rest of the world."

Teenage years are hard.  Teenage years are harder when you lack the confidence and others take advantage of that.  I love how books can help teach the readers something about themselves.  I love the power of books in our lives.  I love reading, and I really enjoy reading Sarah Dessen books.  I'm still anxious to read her new one.  I'll keep you posted.  

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