Sarah Dessen knows teenage girls. Her ability to write books that are so unbelievably relatable to millions of girls out there is amazing. Not only are her narrating characters relatable, but Sarah seems to nail what every teenage girl is looking for – a summery romance all while teaching her readers important life lessons.
Basically, Sarah’s written 12 books. Each one deals with some sort of difficult experiene, tradegy, loss or someone just going through a time of change. Most are coming-of-age transition stories of teenagers finding themselves – an experience that most of us struggle with and need some guidance with throughout our entire lives. I think that women of all ages will learn a great deal from each and every one.
Not only do the storylines allow the reader to learn something from the books, but they are just all round easy to read, addictive, enjoyable and perfect summer reads. All of them leave you with a warm gooey feeling when you’ve finished and you’ll want to read them over and over. Each one is different but characters and places cross over in each book. When the books are read in the order they were published in you pick up little hints towards characters and storylines from previous books – amazing!
I’m not going to run through every book because that would make one enormous blog post but I will just run down the titles of each of her books in published order and link you to each so you can see Sarah’s description and a favourite quote from each:
That Summer (here)
“As I stepped out to face myself in the mirror, reaching a hand to smooth away the steam, I saw myself differently. It was as if I had grown again as I slept, but this time just to fit my own size. As if my soul had expanded, filling out the gaps of the height that had burdened me all these months. Like a balloon filling slowly with air, becoming all smooth and buoyant, I felt like I finally fit within myself, edge to edge, every crevice filled.”
Someone Like You (here)
“If you have just one person believe in you, you’ll always find your way”
Keeping the Moon (otherwise known as Last Chance) (here)
“…for once, you believed in yourself. you believed you were beautiful and so did the rest of the world.”
“And she was good to me: strong, fun, and fiercely loyal. And if I didn’t have many other friends because of her-most girls were intimidated by her looks, or thought she was too pushy, or just flat-out feared for their boyfriends-it never bothered me. I never missed having a wide, thick circle of girlfriends: Rina was more than enough. We were comfortable with each other’s flaws and weaknesses, so we stuck together and kept to ourselves.”
This lullaby (here)
“If what you’re asking is how I debated whether or not to love her, the answer is I didn’t. Not at all. It just happened. I didn’t ever question it; by the time I realized what was happening, it was already done.”
The Truth About Forever (here)
“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”
“I knew that in the silence that followed, that anything could happen here. It might be too late again. I might have missed my chance. But I would at least know I tried, that I took my heart and extended my hand, whatever the outcome.”
Just Listen (here)
“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.”
Lock and Key (here)
“What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn’t just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them perfect, and we couldn’t expect them to be. You can’t make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build your world from it.”
Along for the Ride (here)
“Morning would come before we knew it. It always did. But we still had the night, and for now, we were together, so I just closed my eyes and drank it all in.”
What Happened to Goodbye (here)
“I thought of all the times we’d been together, how I kept coming closer, then retreating, while he stayed right where he was. A constant in a world where few, if any, really existed.”
The Moon and More (here)
“We were willing to do so much for the people we loved, even if it meant hurting ourselves. Maybe that, in the end, was what love- all kinds- was really about.”
“Life is long. Just because you don’t get your chance right when you want or expect it doesn’t mean it won’t come. Fate doesn’t punch a time clock or consult a schedule.”
Saint Anything (here)
“He had a nice smile. Seeing it, I felt like I’d won a prize, because he was so sparing with them.”
Over the past few years I’ve made my way through all of the books above, besides Saint Anything as it’s only just been published and I haven’t managed to get my hands on it yet! There isn’t one of these books that I don’t like and I have thoroughly enjoyed how heartwarming all 11 have been. My all time favourite however just HAS to be The Truth about Forever. Gaaaah this book is amazing. I read it every summer when I’m on holiday and I honestly love every aspect of it. I’m thinking of writing a whole blog post focusing on this book (is that something anyone would enjoy?) but all round it is just a FABTASTIC book. (And my GOD who doesn’t want a Wes?)
So there you have it – an overview of Sarah Dessen and all 12 of her books. Basically if you love young adult romances then these are 100% for you and I couldn’t recommend them enough. Thank you Sarah for knowing exactly what I’ve always wanted to read and for making me the hopeless romantic I am today! I’ve learnt a lot from your books!
Love, S x