Tag Archives: sarah dessen

Book Review: The Moon and More

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Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre: YA

Summary: Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

Review: Dessen has a magical way of writing a true teenage girl. Every. Single. Time. And they’re always different. Emaline, the heroine of this novel, is just as authentic.

I loved the way Dessen built Emaline’s love of her small town. As a “small town girl in the middle of nowhere”, it has taken a few years and lots of nostalgia to appreciate and even love living in a small town. Seeing Emaline defend her hometown to the big “city clickers” was refreshing.

Dessen also does a great job setting up this view between the vacationers and the townies of “us” and “them”. Emaline has to decide which part of “us” and which part of “them” she wants to be part of. I also loved the tension that Dessen created between Emaline and her father. 

Recommendation: READ!! Read NOW!

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Cheers! 

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Book Review: What Happened to Goodbye

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Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre: YA (contemporary)

Synopsis: Who is the real McLean?

Since her parents’ bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combining Sarah Dessen’s trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

Review: Completely in love with the ending! I was nervous about this book from the summary. I should know by now that SD never let’s me down!

Her characters are always unique and well developed. Her pacing is perfect, especially in this book!

Recommendation: Go read now!

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Cheers!

Book Review: Along for the Ride

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Author: Sarah Dessen (a favorite of mine)

Genre: YA

Summary (from Goodreads, of course): 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.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

Review: I hesitated to read this book. Yes, Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors but I hadn’t connected with the last one I had read as much as all of the others. I was afraid that I had out grown her work, so I just didn’t try. Boy am I glad I gave in! I loved this book from the beginning. Sarah brings her characters to life within the first few pages. She has a way of letting you get to know them, seemingly intimately, within the first chapters. I also experience the feeling of growing as I read her books and this one did not disappoint. She is an amazing writer, and after ten books, she still knows how girls feel at a certain age and has a wonderful grasp on the family dynamic. 

Recommendation: A must read! 

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Cheers!