Book Review: Keeping the Moon
By: Sarah Dessen
Narrated By: Stina Nielsen
Published By: Recorded Books
Publication Date: January 2009
Length: 6 hours
Audience: Young Adult
Keeping the Moon focuses on Colie's story as she spends the summer with her eccentric aunt in the beach town of Colby, North Carolina while her mother is off touring Europe for work. It's not easy being the daughter of Kiki Sparks, the queen of a major weight loss empire - especially when you used to be overweight. Colie has become a social recluse, but her summer on the beach might just bring her out of her shell and help her step into some confidence.
Before I continue with my review, can I just say how much I loathe this cover? Seriously? Why do we need a crotch shot of jean shorts and shades for this book? I get that its set in a beach town and that sunglasses do play a prominent role in Norman's art, but I think this might be one of the worst covers I have ever seen. Why did the publishers think this would be a great way to showcase Dessen's work? Okay, rant over.
Typically, I love Sarah Dessen's work, but this one is by far my least favorite of all of her books that I have read. I almost stopped listening to this one several times, but I kept hoping that things would pick up. I didn't like any of the characters. The main character, Colie, annoyed me to no end for most of the book. I finally started to tolerate her better when she grew a backbone and started sticking up for herself. I wanted to sympathize with Colie more - she's the former fat kid whose still dealing the lingering results of insults about her weight - I lived that life as a teen too - but for some reason I just couldn't understand some of her choices. Furthermore, I didn't like her personality at all. The supporting characters were just as bad in my opinion. I just wanted Morgan and Isabel to stop talking! The only one I even remotely liked at all was Norman, but even he wasn't enough to make me enjoy this book more. In addition, I was actually bored throughout most of this book. That has never happened to me with a Dessen read before so it was shocking, but I suppose I'm not meant to like every single book an author writes.
While I still think Dessen is an amazing writer and I enjoy the voices she puts on real teen issues, Keeping the Moon fell short of the mark for me. I wouldn't recommend this book, but would rather send readers in the direction of Just Listen, Along for the Ride, or What Happened to Goodbye.
As far as the audio version of this one goes, I didn't like the narrator at all. Perhaps that was part of the reason I couldn't seem to connect with Colie. If you're going to give this one a read, I would suggest sticking to the book in traditional form and not wasting your time with the audio.
One Last Gripe: I didn't enjoy the romance aspect of this book. That was somewhat of a let down after past Dessen reads.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The explanation of the title
First Sentence: My name is Nicole Sparks.
Favorite Character: Norman
Least Favorite Character: Colie
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.