Title: Keeping the Moon
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publication: May 11th 2004 by Speak
Summary: 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 Café 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.
Colie has completely changed her appearance: she’s lost weight, pierced her lip, and dyed her hair, yet she still doesn’t fit in. Then, when her mother sends her to stay with her eccentric aunt, she is in for a surprise. Colie manages to find friends, a job, and even some romance.
Sarah Dessen always captures an honest and easy-to-relate-to teenage voice. There are so many young girls who can identify with the same insecure and self-conscious feelings that Colie has. Keeping the Moon is a cute and light read about finding acceptance, friendship, and confidence. The characters are believable and you can’t help but feel connected to them. All the characters seem to be looking for the same thing: love, acceptance, and friendship.
Overall: If you looking for a light and touching summer Keeping the Moon is a great choice! Recommended for anyone interested in friendship, romance, and acceptance.
Rating: 4 Stars!
Title: Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication: April 6th 2006 by Viking Juvenile
Summary: Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.
Just Listen is one of my favorite books by Sarah Dessen. There’s so much going on in the plot, so many different issues that Annabel has to deal with, they all just mesh together and make her life much more complicated, complex, and most importantly believable.
First, her best friend, Sophie, abandons and retaliates against her for supposedly ‘hooking up’ with her boyfriend. Then, there’s also her sister’s eating disorder, her mother’s persistence with her modeling, and her inability to say ‘no’ or to speak up for herself.
Then she meets Owen, the other ‘loner’ at lunch. Owen is music-obsessed, speaks with Anger Management terms occasionally, and has a strong belief in telling the truth. He teaches Annabel to just listen and to speak up for herself. He eventually helps her to confront what really happened between her and Sophie’s boyfriend.
Overall: I love, love, love this book. I recommend this book to… well, everyone. But mostly for those interested in real teen issues, contemporary, and romance.
Rating: 5 Stars!
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Keep an eye out for Sarah’s next book The Moon and More!