As an early book by Dessen, Keeping the Moon
is really nothing special. The characters, namely Norman and Colie are basically prototypes for Dessen’s later novels: Wes the mobile artist in The Truth About Forever.
My main scruple: The book is short, not really allowing the characters to be fully developed. Personally, I wanted more dialogue between Norman and Colie—more descriptions about his art, why he loves his work, etc. Though I must give Dessen credit for her characterization of Colie: Dessen’s spot on with her description of a typical girl with self-esteem issues. People with low self-esteem tend to view others as being better than themselves, and if someone happens to like them, show an interest, that person is considered to have an even lower rank on the social “totem pole.” That perfectly describes Colie’s view of the world around her, and explains her initial reaction to Norman.
Mostly I’m giving this book three stars because of Cat Norman. His descriptions are so visual and funny. When the cat came onto the scene, you knew something good was about to happen. That cat stole the show, so to speak. ;)