“Keeping the Moon” by Sarah Dessen

When I did a good long think about the young-adult novel I am attempting to write, I realized something strange. It’s a romance. Which is not what I set out to write. But when I read Fifteen by Beverly Cleary this summer, I realized THAT was the kind of book I was trying to write: a coming-of-age romance with not too much conflict. Who knows if I’ll even finish mine. I’ve been working on it so long because, basically, I wasn’t a good enough writer to tell the story the way I wanted to. I’ve kept writing, and in the hope that someday I’ll be able to pull it off.

But YA romance, by and large, isn’t something I’ve read much of, so I did some spelunking at amazon.com and at sites like Forever Young Adult. I revisited this YA-fiction flow chart, and it was clear I needed to check out something by Sarah Dessen. Thus, Keeping the Moon.

My name is Nicole Sparks. Welcome to the first day of the worst summer of my life.

Nicole, nicknamed Colie, is shunted by her famous mother to live with her eccentric aunt in a tiny vacation town for the summer. Colie has dyed black hair, a lip ring, and an event in her past that’s made her angry and isolated. Over the summer, she gets a job as a waitress, makes some friends, tries to figure out her aunt, meets cute boys, and, guess what? She does not, in fact, have the worst summer of her life.

This, along with some other plot points, were not surprising. But Colie and the friends, even Colie’s relationship with her mother, all had some nice touches that felt real and true. I enjoyed it, and will seek out some of Dessen’s other books to see how they compare.

2 Responses to ““Keeping the Moon” by Sarah Dessen”

  1. carolyn Says:

    I recommend “The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater. Coming of age with a romance, but not just a romance. “An Abundance of Katherines” by John Green. “Boy Meets Boy” by David Levithan.

  2. girldetective Says:

    Abundance of Katherines is on the shelf, with Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, with Anna and the French Kiss on the nook. Almost finished with Beloved, by Morrison, so looking forward to something a bit lighter.