Receives the Adele award for being the best author ever! And I am a very dependable source. Really.
*BOOKS BY SARAH DESSEN ARE PERFECT FOR PEOPLE WHO: have a laidback, simplistic reading style. These books can be page-turners, but more often they are books you can put down and pick back up later, like an ice cream cake that you enjoy in the morning for a breakfast treat, and then maybe come back to it for a midnight snake. Food reference. Typical.
LET THE CRITIQUES BEGIN.
KEEPING THE MOON
DISCLAIMER: My favorite Sarah Dessen book of all time. Worthy of a Facebook status after I finished it for the third time in three hours flat. Love love love. Love.
SNIPPETY SUMMARY: Colie has been dropped off at her odd Aunt Mira’s house over the summer (fun fact: Dessen’s favorite time to set a novel is in the summer!). She sees a season of boredom stretching before her, but she meets quirky characters like Norman, Isabel, and Morgan as she finds herself in unknown territory. A story of self-consciousness and self-confidence, of dealing with enemies and powerful friendships.
LIKES: Very strong characters, all webbing together to create such a great story. My favorite would be Isabel. She’s tough stuff. Same thing happened with the male interest also. Norman was described as the long-haired, no-shoes wearing hippie type. But you learn to love him <3.
DISLIKES: Wow… I don’t even know.
S. SUMMARY: HEROINE Annabel Greene has become an outcast at her school, for reasons you’ll later read about. At lunch one day, she befriends another loner, LOVE INTEREST OBVIOUSLY, Owen, and together they discover music and how to deal with their inner flaws. There’s pretty complicated family drama, and of course, ROH-MANCE. Not my favorite Dessen book.
FOR: Music lovers! This book made me think twice about being an avid listener to stations like WZPL and Radio Now, which feature Top 40 songs. I mean, I’ve heard very good songs on the radio, but more often than not, songs like “Baby you’re a fiiiirework, come and show ‘em what you’re wooorth, make ‘em go “oh, oh” as you shoot across the sky…” Seriously?
LIKES: The male interest, Owen, is described as very bulky, built like a football player, with a crew cut. Not typically the type of guy I’m drawn to. But this is where Dessen’s character build-up plays a huge role; I felt myself warming up to Owen as the book continued on, and by the end, I was dying for him and the main character, Annabel to be together. Suuuuuuuper cute.
DISLIKES: Pretty slow-moving. Not as easy to relate to as some of her other books. Also compared to her other books, the characters in this one were pretty weak.
WARNING: This is Dessen’s most depressing book by far. On her website, she said that she even had to take a break after writing this one by writing another super happy book. It tackles issues like relationship abuse and familial pressures of the older sibling on the younger sibling. I’ve never been in a situation like this, so I can’t give firsthand info on whether it’s realistic or not. But it’s pretty easy to empathize with the narrator, Caitlin.
LIKES: It shows Dessen’s range. This is to all you who think that Dessen’s plotlines are all the same! THEY’RE NOT!!! Also, this book brought up an emotion in me that is rare for Sarah Dessen books: anger. I was so, so furious, so, so angry at the abuse that Caitlin experiences. And if I know anything, it’s that a good read is something that forces you to feel something.
DISLIKES: It’s soooooo depressing. But hey, the thing I like most about Dessen’s writing is that, while cheesy, a lot of the dialogue is believable. So it’s only fair that she handles abuse, one of the darkest yet common problems that plague teenage relationships across the country. I admire her for that.
SIDE NOTE: There is a rumor going around that all Sarah Dessen books are the exact same plot. FALSE. The names are all different, HELLO! All joking aside, the plotlines do follow a very predictable pattern, but in a world where we can control very little about our environments, it is comforting to know that in most Sarah Dessen books, the main character’s struggle does cease at the end of the book, creating a happy ending and the warm, fuzzy feeling that we of chick literature know and love.