By Sarah Dessen
3.5 / 5 Gnomes
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.
It has just felt like a sweet, teen, coming-of-age kind of summer, and nobody quite fills that niche like Sarah Dessen. I adore her books. Every character, in some way, shape, or form, is flawed. And every character learns that life is hard, but beauty and hope is possible. It seems simple and maybe a little obvious, but it's definitely a lesson young girls need a good dose of from time to time.
Colie, like so many teenage girls, didn't quite feel comfortable in her own skin. She used to be fat, and high school isn't always easy for kids who might not look the same as everyone else, especially when there are girls like Caroline Dawes roaming the halls.
Enter a group of people that will change her life forever, build her confidence, and show her that true beauty is more than skin deep. Colie's Aunt Mira is this fantastic, larger than life grief-card writer. The woman rides a bike around town with bright yellow shirts and purple tennis shoes. Her house is filled, from ceiling to floor, with rummage sale finds that don't quite work correctly, and post-it-notes label everything that needs to be fixed. Then there's Norman Norman, not to be confused with Cat Norman. Norman lives in the basement, collects sunglasses, and works at the Last Chance diner with Morgan and Isabel. Morgan is OCD, genuinely kind, and engaged to a baseball player who Isabel hates. Isabel is beautiful but cranky. She's not afraid to tell someone exactly what is on her mind, and she's overflowing with confidence.
Sarah Dessen's settings are always dreamy and the plot always heartbreaking and heartfelt at the same time, but what she does best is create characters you genuinely grow to love. You find that friendship can come in the most unlikely of forms, and by letting people in, you give yourself the opportunity to love and live. Keeping the Moon is simply another great read by Dessen.
Favorite Quote: "I've always known who I am. I might not work perfectly, or be like them, but that's okay. I know I work in my own way."