Keeping The Moon
Author Sarah Dessen
Publication date September 1999
Published by Viking Press
Publication Order
Preceded by
Someone Like You
Followed by
Keeping the Moon is the third book written by Sarah Dessen.

Summary Edit

Fifteen-year-old Colie has never fit in. First, it was because she was fat. Then, after she lost weight, it was because of a reputation that she didn't deserve. So when she's sent to stay with her eccentric aunt Mira for the summer, Colie doesn't expect too much. After all, why would anyone in Colby, North Carolina, want to bother with her when no one back home does?

But Colby turns out to be a nice surprise for Colie. Almost without trying, she lands herself a job at the Last Chance Bar and Grill. There she meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel-two best friends who teach her what friendship is all about and help her learn to appreciate who she really is.

Plot Edit

Nicole Sparks (Colie) and her mother used to be poor and moved often. They were very overweight and spent most of the time living in their car while her mother switched jobs.

Colie endures the aftermath of “chick night” and enjoys her newfound confidence, finally standing up to her bully back home and giving her number to a cute guy she meets, Josh.

The novel comes to an end: Morgan is getting over her loss for Mark, Norman and Colie are in a relationship, and Isabel and Morgan come together during a disco beat. At 12:15 Colie gets to see her first eclipse and watches in awe as she looks across her row of new friends, and at the sky as the moon disappears.

Characters Edit

Nicole Sparks

Mira Sparks




Katharine Sparks

Caroline Dawes


Where else did I read about that? Edit

Characters Edit

Colie is later mentioned in Along for the Ride as the pretty, dark-haired, girl with a lip ring who Auden gives her order. She also waits on Emaline in The Moon and More.

Isabel is mentioned in What Happened To Goodbye as the waitress at the Last Chance Diner.

Isabel and Morgan appear in Along for the Ride as Heidi's friends.

Lacey, Olivia's cousin from Lock and Key was inspired to run for a marathon because of Kiki Sparks, Colie's mother.

Places Edit

Colby is where Along for the Ride and The Moon and More take place.

Things Edit


Sarah's Words from Sarahland Edit

Keeping the Moon was the last book I wrote while working at the Flying Burrito, and because of that it is thick in all of my best waitress stuff. I think I got a lot more confident working there, and I wanted to use that experience to say something bigger about the fact that no matter how you look, it’s what is inside that gets you where you truly are meant to be. Colie was different from my other narrators because she was so angry, and as a writer I really enjoyed getting into her voice. Morgan and Isabel, the waitresses, are basically composites of a lot of the girls I worked with at the Burrito, who always amazed me with their humor, emotion, and absolute loyalty to each other. After Someone Like You, which was a heavier book that dealt with some big issues, Keeping the Moon was a fun, less-stress summer book that still had something to say. If you read my novels, you’ll see that I love a book set in the summer: it’s such a good, concise time period, and there’s endless potential for what can happen. A lot of Colie’s experiences,and the details in the book, are very personal for me: I did have a customer say “Duh,” to me when I didn’t immediately know the answer to her question, and I have a tendency to make devilled eggs whenever I get upset or am stressed about something. (Right before a book comes out, my house is filled with eggs. Filled.) I don’t like to pick favorites of my books, but if I had to Keeping the Moon would be a serious contender.

It just says a lot of things about self-esteem that I have learned, and continue to learn. Isabel, especially, has stuck with me, and when I am feeling particularly wimpy I remind myself of her, and this story, and it makes things a little easier.

Covers Edit

Cover Release Date Image
Original cover.

Released in 1999.

Second cover.

Released in 2003.

Current cover.
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