Tag Archives: Sarah Dessen



for this alone I will always love New Girl

Also doubly cool cause I’m reblogging this from Sarah Dessen, how cool.

remember me?


I have been SO off of blogging I wasn’t even sure how to begin this entry. Which is CRAZY, considering how often I used to do it. What, you may ask, HAVE you been doing with all your time? Well, there’s been this little matter of raising my kid. Also a first draft of the next book to try and finish. Plus: husband’s business things, brawling with NC Dept of Revenue (don’t ask, will just say do NOT recommend it) coddling my chickens, helping my parents get ready to move for the first time in over thirty years. Also, a lot of Real Housewives to watch. 

Somehow, however, I have managed to join Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/dessensarah) AND resurrect this Tumblr. So clearly I am still into social networking/procrastination, if not blogging. Look no further than my Twitter (@sarahdessen) which I am on constantly. I’m thinking I may cross post from now on here AND Tumblr, with shorter entries. If I can pull myself away from my chickens and the Housewives.

I am also reading: I swear! Although this week I faced that dilemma of having started a REALLY well reviewed, Literary, Important Book that I just…couldn’t get into. It was nonfiction, a bestseller, with a serious but crucial subject. The kind of book you feel like a moron if you don’t like, because you MUST be shallow. (That’s my internal voice talking: it’s nice, right? Yeah, I don’t really think so either.) Anyway, thanks to support of my Twitter folks, I decided to set it aside anyway, even if it was a failing on my part. It was not the book, it was me. But as my mom is fond of saying, “Life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy.” 

And you know what? I am SO GLAD I did, because I finally had a chance to pick up John Green’s latest, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Disclaimer: I bought this book back on the day it was published (no joke) but I don’t read YA that much, and not at ALL when I am working on a draft of my own. Too distracting. However, I was finally at a place where I could dive in and I am LOVING it so much. (Please, no spoilers! Please?) I really don’t want to work on my own book at ALL since it is so good (which is kind of unfortunate, as I really do need to knuckle down right now). Seriously, though, I’d been trudging through this serious book, berating myself for not being more into it. Then I picked up TFIOS, read one page, and was sucked under. Night and Day, people. Related: YA rocks. Yeah, I said it.

Sarah Dessen has tumblr now! And thinks TFIOS rocks! (This is just a piece of the post, go to Dessen’s blog for the rest!)

Books that taught me about Love

It’s late, and I can’t sleep, and it’s now officially my six month (or half year) anniversary of my first serious relationship. So for the last few days I’ve been wanting to write this book list of stories that taught me about love. It is in no way complete, but includes some of the tiles that really shaped my opinions of young romantic love.

Looking at the MoonFirst Book of the Lioness QuartetHow I Live NowStargirl 

Looking at the Moon by Kit Pearson

Kit Pearson was one of my favourite authors when I was younger, and this is the first book I remember reading that focuses on a love interest. The protagonist is a young girl from England, who has been sent, with her brother, to live with a Canadian family in order to escape the danger of World War II. She “falls in love” with the family’s charismatic older cousin while vacationing at the family’s summer island cottage. I remember reading this book over and over again to hear about the boy. Nothing happens between the two of them, romantically speaking, but the young girl, Norah, reads further in to their friendly conversations than realistic. It’s the classic story of a young girl mooning over an unattainable older boy, which is probably why I related to it, and liked it. However, Norah and her crush make a strong connection several times throughout the book. This was interesting for me because it seems, so often, that we interpret actions and words from people we admire to mean more than they do. In Norah’s case, she actually became very important to this person because of the way she sought his company, the meaningful conversations they had, and the connection they made.

The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

I was a big fan of girl power stories as a child, I still am, and Tamora Pierce’s girl knight stories were a great example. I liked this story because the knight saved the prince. This is also the first novel I remember reading which contained any sexuality, tame as it was. I guess what I learned from this one was how important equality is in relationships. The romantic pair, Alanna and Jon, are both very strong characters who can be very stubborn, which causes a fair amount of conflict in their relationship. I admired Alanna’s bravery and determination when it came to standing up for her opinions and what she thought was right. She wasn’t going to back down for anyone, even a charming prince. Even a charming prince she had strong feelings for.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

I think the first time I read this book I was in grade 6 or 7, and I convinced my teacher to read it to the entire class once I’d finished since I loved it so much. Stargirl was a great role model for me. She’s one of the characters who lives on in my heart, whether or not she, or someone like her, ever existed in four dimensional space. I think I wanted someone to feel about me the way Leo felt about Stargirl ever since I read this book in elementary school. This book also taught me how easy it is to mess things up, even when two people care about each other, and how hurtful people can be unintentionally. I still like to think that Stargirl and Leo made amends in the end and came back to each other, as they were still somewhat young and foolish during the span of the story. The sequel, “Love, Stargirl”, leads me to believe Jerry Spinelli thought so too.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

For quite a while this was one of the books that came to mind whenever I was asked for my favourite. I read and reviewed it for a contest Chapters held, and made it in to something like the top 20 out of 1000, which made me ridiculously proud of myself. It’s about a girl who gets sent to live with a ragtag bunch of her quirky cousins in rural england by her evil stepmother. She falls madly in love with her cousin right before war strikes, pulling the family apart. The love portrayed in this story is some of the strongest I’ve ever read about, regardless of the fact that it’s shared by cousins, by teenagers, by those who have no right to love that strongly. The thing I took from this book was the power of love, how one person could truly become the purpose in your life for better or worse, simply because you couldn’t bare to live any other way.

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

A couple years ago I read 5 or 6 of Sarah Dessen’s books in about the space of a month. I’m a big fan of her writing, and her sweet but down to earth love stories. However, months, maybe even years, before that reading spree, I got my hands on Someone Like You, and that book has a special place in my heart. It’s a story about teen pregnancy, loss, and at its core, friendship. There’s also a boy, a bad boy. Before I’d had my first kiss, and after the kisses I’ve had, I’ve often thought of a scene from this book. Halley has just been in an argument with her mother (about getting home late, or sneaking out or her new found attitude) and looks in the mirror with her lips still red from kissing, wondering how much she’s changed since she started going out with this guy. What I took away from this one was that it’s really hard to critically evaluate anything when you’re in love. It’s hard to see someone’s faults when you care about them, but, painful as it is to acknowledge, they might not be as great as you think at the time. Also, it is possible to get over the pain of heartbreak.

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

This extraordinarily witty and genuine book is about depression, moving forward, and the odd way friendships develop. The people we think we should be with aren’t always the people we need, or who need us. It is one of the loveliest books about friendship I’ve read, because the characters are quirky and gross and nerdy and kind and passionate and annoying and conflicted, and immature, and wise, just like real people, real teenagerss. The love story within this story is honest and rough. Francesca and Will have fallen for one another in such a straightforward and genuine sense that it’s simply heartwarming. However, even when it seems like everything should work out, things may be more complicated then they seem. The road to love is often rocky, but it can be travelled.

Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci

This is my favourite prince charming story. Both Egg and Max are such extraordinarily talented and intelligent characters, that I, like, am jealous. They do a ton of cool things like participating in frankenfood protests, reporting on political issues for the school newspapers and creating wicked cartons and monster masks. They both think deeply about things. I called this a prince charming story because Max saves Egg from her way of thinking, her negativity and self pity. I guess in the end she really saves herself, but he’s the one who shows her there’s another way to be. This book also really nails down the whole beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and beauty is more than skin deep thing. Their connection is so much deeper than looks. It’s unmistakable that Egg changes in this book, but she doesn’t change for Max, she changes because Max has inspired her to look at the world from a different perspective, and that makes her want to try harder, be kinder and contribute more to the world.

Anne and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

The link to Anne and the French Kiss is the only one that doesn’t go to amazon.ca, because, for one, I couldn’t find it on amazon, and two, the author, Stephanie Perkins, website is adorable. This is one of the most genuinely funny and romantic stories I’ve ever read. It was recommended to me via youtube and John Green (whose books I also love.) The author is a nerdfighter with blue hair (like me!) This book has so much going for it, it’s set in Paris and the boy has an accent, charisma and messy hair for starters. What I find refreshing about the characters in this story is their imperfections. In the vampire era of teen fiction it seems like we are surrounded by books about angst and chiselled abs. Here is a story where the things that are unique about someone, crooked smiles, poor french, paralyzing fears of heights, are endearing and special and treated gently. This is a story about real people falling in love. Becoming best friends and falling in love at the same time, which really, when you think about it, no trivial feat, and something to be admired.

“Very sly. Very funny. Very romantic. You should date this book.”
— Maureen Johnson

Saving FrancescaBoy ProofAnne and the French Kiss

I hope I have managed to convey, at least to some degree, the things I loved about these stories. I hope you get a chance to read some of them, and would love to hear your opinions if you did. I’m also always up for giving more book recommendations, as this is only the smallest sampling of the books I’ve learned from and been inspired by. Happy Reading!