One of my all time favourite authors, Sarah Dessen, I suppose could be said to be my inspiration for wanting to write Young Adult.
I think I’ve mentioned this a million times, but back in year ten, it was thanks to Sarah Dessen that I got back into reading. I always did call myself a reader, but until I picked up Sarah Dessen’s book The Truth About Forever, I guess I didn’t truly get the what ‘reading’ meant as a hobby. I mean you can always say you read for a hobby, but unless you truly enjoy it, it’s not right?
Well when I read The Truth About Foreverthat was when I realised what it meant to succumb to another’s writing and to forget where I was and who I was. I was so absorbed by her tale, I forgot myself. When I finished, I realised it was way into the night and well, I had school the next day. But staying up to read Dessen’s book made me realise how amazing it felt to be absorbed in this other word. After that I had to know what else Dessen had written. I had to know what else she could make me feel.
Picking up Just Listen, I felt the same kind of attraction that most would laugh at, since it seems so melodramatic and obsessive. I felt that it was dangerous. Why? Because I was getting addicted to her characters, to their stories and to how Dessen could write to make me feel. I just had to read both again.
Dessen is amazing! After reading nearly all her books, I think I still have to read Dreamland, I can honestly say I really admire her work. She’s one of my favourite authors, and I totally admire the way she writes. I wish I could write like that and I hope in the future, that I could you know weave a tale so intricate and emotive.
I like to think of Dessen’s work as like the ultimate Young Adult Contemporary novel. This though can be disputed since everyone has different tastes. But I think in my head, this has already become the bar to which all others must be compared to. Haha, I just really love her work!
Quotes from Just listen:
“All I’d ever wanted was to forget. but even when I thought I had, pieces had kept emerging, like bits of wood floating up to the surface that only hint at the shipwreck below.”
“No matter how much time has passed, these things still affect us and the world we live in. If you don’t pay attention to the past, you’ll never understand the future. It’s all linked together.”
“Silence is so freaking loud.”
“I wondered which was harder, in the end. The act of telling, or who you told it to. Or maybe if, when you finally got it out, the story was really all that mattered.”
Quotes from The Truth About Forever:
“It’s just that…I just think that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic. It’s the universe’s way of providing contrast, you know? There have to be a few holes in the road. It’s how life is.”
“It’s all in the view. That’s what I mean about forever, too. For any one of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You never know for sure, so you’d better make every second count.”
“That was the thing. You never got used to it, the idea of someone being gone. Just when you think it’s reconciled, accepted, someone points it out to you, and it just hits you all over again, that shocking.”
“Shoulda, coulda, woulda. It’s so easy in the past tense. ”
Dessen writes about aspects of life, especially those of young adults, in a way which really reflects and resembles reality. Her books belong in the contemporary category, but it’s not just the characters problems which attract readers, but the little romances in them. What I love is that Dessen never completely absorbs in the ‘love’ aspect of the novel too much – as many YA novels do, which really irritates me because while it begins strong with a character that can be related to, it quickly dips into that clichéd genre of obsessive-ness – instead she gives the character a beginning, a middle, and an end. It follows a kind of ‘quest’ model, and the character goes on a personal journey of discovery. That’s what I love. I love seeing her characters grow, develop, and in the end, find closure in herself or find a satisfactory sense of victory. Haha, I’ll even go as far as to say her books are like fairytales that are not fairytales at all. Gosh, does that even make sense?
But Dessen is not the only one in this genre that’s worth reading, even if I think she’s the best! – but that’s my opinion! Others worth reading include John Green, Elizabeth Scott, Melina Marchetta, Shirley Marr, Maureen Johnson, Jay Asher and Elizabeth Chandler (though her books are mysteries – the Dark Secret series).
- From Past Blogs: “That Summer” – Sarah Dessen (sincerelycontemplating.wordpress.com)
- Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen (diaryofacambridgestudent.wordpress.com)
- The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (bookjourney.wordpress.com)
- Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen (bookjourney.wordpress.com)
- This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (Camryn’s YA Review) (bookjourney.wordpress.com)
- Just listen (haveyoureadthisone.wordpress.com)