|Quote from The Truth About Forever|
I am participating in Sarah Dessen Week hosted by the ladies of The Reading Housewives and YA Bibliophile. All week long different blogs will be posting reviews & discussions on everything Sarah Dessen! If you’re a Sarah Dessen fan or thinking about trying her books (which I wholeheartedly recommend you do!) visit the link-up page here to see who all will be participating in this tribute to this wonderfully talented author!
I fell in love with Sarah Dessen when I read Lock & Key back in March. I followed up that amazing book with Just Listen a few days later and then read The Truth About Forever. I have Along for the Ride on my bookshelf, waiting patiently to be read and plan to buy What Happened to Goodbye when it comes out this week – TOMORROW eeekk!
The only book of hers I can say I didn’t really enjoy was the first one I tried – This Lullaby. There was something about the characters and especially Remy and Dexter’s relationship that didn’t sit right with me. But I loved the smooth writing and emotion Dessen evokes in her novels so I was determined to try again. Boy was I glad I did when I read the next three. I much preferred the way Dessen had each of her leading gals and guys become good friends before they would ever admit their feelings for one another. It created a much better flow to the story and I found myself much more invested in the overall plot as well as the charming characters.
In honour of Sarah Dessen’s latest release I will be re-posting reviews I wrote of Lock & Key, Just Listen and The Truth about Forever in tomorrow’s post.
Here is my order of favourites, though:
1. Just Listen for the great leading characters and the amazing and tender connection between Owen and Annabel. The story was rough to read at times because of the context of the plot and the struggle Annabel was going through, but I absolutely adored Owen. He was honest, strong and very kind. He had an outward appearance of some tough guy who didn’t give a crap about anyone or anything but that was only what others thought of him, not how he really was. I was so engrossed in his relationship with Annabel and the ways these two grew and learned from each other. It may sound trite, but Dessen sure has a way of breaking your heart and putting it back together again in the best way.
2. The Truth about Forever for the thoroughly charming, hilarious, touching and enigmatic cast of main and secondary characters. This was a story full of charm and energy. It made me laugh and cry within the space of one sentence. It was touching and frustrating in all the best ways. I really loved Will and Macy. I liked that they were different but had both gone through some major upsets in their young lives. I liked that Will wasn’t perfect or the personification of the “good guy”, he’d been in trouble and faced the consequences and had matured and grown from his experiences to make something really unique of his life. I liked that his relationship with Macy was slow and steady and didn’t run full speed ahead. They both had relationships with other people that they were dealing with and I liked the push and pull the dynamic created between them. I also loved the background of the catering company. I read a book my Maeve Binchy when I was younger called The Scarlett Feather which was set around a catering company and I loved it so I was really happy to see this type of theme again.
3. Lock & Key was the first Sarah Dessen I fell in love with and it created my addiction to her mix of light and emotional. The characters were real and unique. They felt like people you could know and be friends with in real life. The dynamic between Ruby and Nate was really intriguing and there were a lot of things going on in this book to keep it interesting and surprising. Ruby is a messed up girl and yet she shines. Nate is also dealing with a lot in his life and yet he still manages to be comforting and supportive of the new girl next door. Their relationship was sweet and tempered and very real.
4. This Lullaby was my first Dessen book and I enjoyed the writing and pacing of the story as well as the overall dynamic of the relationship between Remy and her girlfriends, but admittedly I found it hard to relate to Remy when she was so determined to never open her heart. She was self-destructive in some ways and it made me what to slap her at times. Dexter was cute but I felt like he was kind of silly. He was supposed to be this really goofy and loving guy but I couldn’t connect much to him or his eventual relationship with Remy. Ultimately I realized after reading other Dessen books that I much prefer the slow evolution between hero and heroine rather than the too quick lust and love between Remy and Dexter.