*I know that I’ve been absent this week, but life got in the way and I didn’t have time to post anything. I’ve tried to visit you guys as much as I can, but sometimes I’m too tired to lift a finger. Hopefully, everything will be back to normal by next week. I have been reading though, so look for all of those reviews next week.*
First Published: September 1st 1999 by: Viking BFYR /Speak
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Social Issues
Format: ebook Source: Library
My Rating: 3.5 stars
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.
Keeping the Moon is an enjoyable read that I found to have some great lessons for teens, as well as adults. It’s about loving and accepting yourself. It’s a fast read, and I would have liked for it to be longer. While Colie may be the main character for this story, I still felt a connection to all of them. Isabel with her straightforwardness, Morgan and her naivety, Norman and his oddness, and Aunt Mira with her self awareness – they all stood out to me. Colie is still insecure, even after losing 45 pounds. She has kind of turned dark, in a way, that only makes her stand out more. She’s had her fair share of bullies all through life, so she’s built a giant wall and gotten along fine without the need to socialize. That all changes when she’s sent to Colby for the summer, to stay with an aunt she barely knows. There, Colie starts to see that people will mock you no matter what, and it’s okay to be yourself. For a moment she almost turned into one of those “mocking” people, but Isabel pointed it out to her. I love that she realized what a nice person Norman was, and gave him a chance.
Aunt Mira may be my most favorite supporting character. No matter what those simple-minded people said about her in that town, she didn’t even give them the satisfaction of any sort of reply. She loves herself and she’s happy. As for Morgan, poor girl. I felt bad that she couldn’t see it. Isabel may be rude sometimes, but she only wanted what’s best for Morgan. I’m glad that their friendship was a focal point in this book. I think I loved that little side story more than the main one. I have a problem with how it ended. It just…..stopped. There are stories that do abrupt endings well; I feel this one needs a little more story before cutting off. I would have liked more time with Colie’s mom, but I guess it’s good to wonder. If you like stories of summer friendships, this one would be a good addition to your shelf. Or, if you’re looking for a story with body image positivity, this one gives you characters who have issues with weight – have lost weight, and those who feel they don’t need to and love their body.
Published: June 16th 2009 by: Speak Genres: YA, Contemporary
Format: ebook Source: Library My Rating: 4 Stars
It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.
A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
Of the five titles I’ve read thus far, this one would win 3rd place. It just happens that I love what the story is about, and also ELI. He makes this book so much better. Auden isn’t my favorite character, but she’s not bad either. It’s hard to break a conditioning that has been going on for 18 years. Yes, her scholarly parents started their brain control when Auden popped out the womb. I’m just glad that she got away from her mother for the summer, and that she saw that there’s more to life than school. It’s important to do great in school, but Auden missed out on her whole childhood because of her parents. Her mother is a control freak, and her dad is a self-absorbed jerk. If he wants to be that writer who neglects any and everything family related, he should be alone. Why did he even go out and start another family? This summer, Auden learned a lot about her parents but, more importantly, herself. A summer stay in Colby with her dad and stepmom changes everything.
I love Auden’s growth throughout this story. She fell back to her old self for a minute, but I’m really glad that she pushed on. It’s not about getting to do things you never did as a child. It’s about realizing that your life is yours to navigate. Auden’s mom really got on my nerves. She’s Mrs. Perfect, so she expects her children to be the same way. When Auden’s brother showed up with his new girlfriend, I knew then that things were looking up for the siblings. They changed and I liked those changes. Auden now has girlfriends to gossip with, and a late night partner in crime to keep her busy until the sun rises. Eli is just the sweetest guy, but he’s still grieving for his best friend. I loved the time that they spent together. I read The Moon and More first, so I was really stoked that a character from that story is in this book. This book came before that one, but Clive Conaway is the same laid back man.
This book is about a girl finding more to life than academics. It’s one thing to be a shy introverted smart person, but Auden isn’t shy. She’s just been controlled all her life, and now that she’s tasted freedom, she’s not going back. Other than an controlling mother and neglectful dad, I really enjoyed this book. Great for those seeking summer reads!