Author: Sarah Dessen
Published: May 2004 by Speak
My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Girls
Includes: Sensuality, Brief Profanity
First Lines: My name is Nicole Sparks. Welcome to the first day of the worst summer of my life.
From Page 47
The girls stopped talking and we all watched as Mira came into view. She was still wearing her yellow overalls, rolled up at the cuff, and a worn pair of purple high-tops. Her hair was flowing out behind her, long and red and wild, like some kind of living cape. All of the reflectors on her battered bike glinted as she came closer.
Even though Colie has recently lost over forty pounds and shed the "geeky and fat" look, her self-esteem is still not fully healed. So, Colie sees this as an opportunity to start over and be a new person, since no one in Colby will know about her past. After meeting best friends Morgan and Isabel, and the artistic Norman, Colie is starting to enjoy the summer and the person she's created to be. That is, until an old classmate from her hometown shows up and starts the gossip all over again. Colie feels defeated and hopeless, until her new friends start teaching her life-long lessons about beauty, guys, and life. Slowly, Colie is able to mend her shattered self-image and embrace the person she was all along.
This is one of the most realistic books I've read in a long time. It was almost strange how this is all fiction, because it seemed like something that could happen to one of my very own friends, or myself. The characters in this novel were all very distinct, and I got to know each one personally. I liked how they were all different - Morgan, the caring perfectionist, and Isabel, the bold and flamboyant one. However, it didn't seem like I really was able to dig deep into their characters until after the first half of the book was over. To me, the novel dragged in some chapters and I was ready for a new twist in the plot or a change of setting. But, halfway through it picked up and also a touch of romance was added, which is always a good thing. ;)
I think I also really enjoyed this book since I could relate to Colie so easily. I could feel her pain when she had flashbacks of being teased in middle school. My own personal stories were revealed through her character and that really fascinated me.
From Page 127
No one ever really teaches you how to dance. I was kind of moving back and forth, looking down like everyone else. Then I heard it. Someone laughing. The noise started off quietly, but as the music was dying down, the song changing, it got louder. I looked up, still dancing, to see a boy across the cafeteria with his cheeks puffed out, moving like a hippopotamus, his legs straight and locked, rocking back and forth. Everyone was standing around watching him, giggling. It took a few seconds to realize that he was imitating me. And by that point everyone was staring.
After finishing the last page of the book, I just took this deep breath and sat there smiling to myself. The ending was perfect, all the loose ends were tied together and I was satisfied. But I didn't want it to be over! The best parts of the book were during the last couple of chapters, when a lot of events finally started to happen.
I feel like this was a deep, and thought-provoking book. If you look close enough, there's a lot of important lessons buried inside of it, and even the title has a little hidden symbolism in it - which is brought up halfway through the novel. I'm glad I took the time to read this book, but it's not one of my favorites of Sarah Dessen's other novels. I just feel like there was a whole lot of potential for this book, but it didn't execute enough plot. I loved how realistic it was, though!
- Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Title: Keeping the Moon
Since her aerobics-obsessed mother is going to Europe for business, Colie is sent to live with her wacky Aunt Mira in Colby, North Carolina.
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