Author: Sarah Dessen

Review Round Up | Blacklist, Once and For All, Blood of Wonderland, and The Hate U Give

Posted June 23, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Blacklist, Once and For All, Blood of Wonderland, and The Hate U Give

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 reviews of already published books (either older/backlist or newer releases) that I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! After enjoying UNRIVALED and being incredibly interested to see what would happen next, it felt like BLACKLIST would never arrive. I checked it out from the library and stashed it under my bed (where I unfortunately keep and forget about all of my library books). I finished up what I was reading and suddenly remembered that I had BLACKLIST to dive into. Let me tell you, it was exactly what I needed at the time. Like its predecessor, I couldn’t put this one down. I don’t see many differences in my feelings between the two books, to be honest. I felt the same way about the characters (didn’t really care about or for them). I felt the same way about the pacing (awesome). I felt the same way about the mystery (really interesting; I have a few theories!). I don’t know why but I think I liked this book more than the first. Maybe it’s because the stakes feel higher? I can’t put my finger on it. Long story short, I stayed up late to finish one night and had to wake up at 4:30 AM the next day. On my way home that evening, I was so excited to think I had more to read when I […]

(Re)Reading Sarah Dessen | Introduction and Someone Like You Discussion

Posted June 7, 2017 / Book Lists, Book Reviews, Features / 10 Comments
(Re)Reading Sarah Dessen | Introduction and Someone Like You Discussion

Everyone knows that Sarah Dessen is the queen of contemporary romance and adorable (and often darker or more complex), coming-of-age summer stories. I have read and loved most of her books already, but I made it a point recently to read (or in a lot of cases, reread) all of her books. Her books are important to so many people and really are what got many of us into reading contemporary romance books. This summer, Cristina from Girl in the Pages and I have teamed up to talk alllllll about Sarah Dessen – when we started reading her books, our experiences with rereading, and other fun discussions, recommendations, and personal stories. Our feature will take place over 4 weeks this June on Wednesdays (here) and Thursdays (there). Schedule Introduction, Our Sarah Stories, and Discussion of Someone Like You June 7th on Bookmark Lit – June 8th on Girl in the Pages Dessen Recommendations and Similar Stories June 14th on Bookmark Lit – June 15th on Girl in the Pages Blog Features: Cover Colors and I Will Go Down with My Ship June 21st on Bookmark Lit – June 22nd on Girl in the Pages Once and For All, Dessen Favorites, and Wrap-Up June 28th on Bookmark Lit – June 29th on Girl in the Pages   As I mentioned in my intro paragraph, Sarah Dessen has been my go-to favorite for years and years. I don’t remember the first time I picked up one of her books, but I’m fairly sure it was This Lullaby or The Truth About […]

#ReadADessen: Along for the Ride

Posted May 17, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
#ReadADessen: Along for the Ride

I was sent a finished copy of this book for review as a part of the Penguin Random House Partner program. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Click the photo below to view the original source on the Penguin Read a Dessen campaign website! When Penguin invited some bloggers to join in with the #ReadaDessen campaign in honor of her new book ONCE AND FOR ALL (out June 6th), I hopped on board real quick. I’d been planning a Dessen-filled summer with Cristina already, but figured I’d give myself even more motivation to get rereading. True story: everyone has a favorite Sarah Dessen book. And if you ask them about it, they’ll be more than happy to gush about it for as long as possible. That’s why this summer we’re asking readers to spread the love by sharing their favorite Sarah Dessen novel with the world. Whether it’s because your favorite Sarah Dessen book gave you a love for reading, got you through a tough time, or changed the way you see the world – we want to know. [Source] Why Along for the Ride? In 2009 when this book initially came out, I was turning 18 years old and moving away to college in mere months. I was with my dad and family in Maine for one of the two weeks we’d spend there each summer, when we went to this little bookstore in Wells. The shop owner asked me what kind of books […]

#ReadADessen: Lock & Key

Posted May 8, 2017 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 1 Comment
#ReadADessen: Lock & Key

I was sent a finished copy of this book for review as a part of the Penguin Random House Partner program. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Click the photo below to view the original source on the Penguin Read a Dessen campaign website! When Penguin invited some bloggers to join in with the #ReadaDessen campaign in honor of her new book ONCE AND FOR ALL (out June 6th), I hopped on board real quick. I’d been planning a Dessen-filled summer with Cristina already, but figured I’d give myself even more motivation to get rereading. True story: everyone has a favorite Sarah Dessen book. And if you ask them about it, they’ll be more than happy to gush about it for as long as possible. That’s why this summer we’re asking readers to spread the love by sharing their favorite Sarah Dessen novel with the world. Whether it’s because your favorite Sarah Dessen book gave you a love for reading, got you through a tough time, or changed the way you see the world – we want to know. [Source] Why Lock & Key? I didn’t remember much about this one so I partially picked this story to remind myself of why I initially loved it! I remember there being a really excellent character arc in this one, where Ruby learns to rely on other people sometimes and admit she needs help. I’m ALWAYS drawn to sister stories because I love my sister and want […]

Reread Review: Keeping the Moon

Posted September 21, 2015 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Reread Review: Keeping the Moon

Some summer many years ago, I think. I remember bringing a few Dessen books to Maine with me throughout the summer and I’m pretty sure this was one of them. This is the book I remembered the most details about out of all of her books, actually. I remembered the main character working at the Last Chance Cafe and how much I loved Colby, NC. This is the first Dessen book I read that is set in Colby, so it kind of held a special place in my heart. I pretty much forgot all of the other details though. Dessen reread 2015! I was thinking of what audiobook I should start next and decided on this one because I finally tracked it down. I just kept remembering the one book with the restaurant setting and was determined to get to it next. After reading the synopsis again and not seeing a hint of romance, I was kind of excited to see how a book with friendship as the main focus would be. I’ve read plenty of books with friendship as a strong theme, but I feel like it’s usually coupled with family issues and/or romance. This one seemed to be straight up friendship feels.Ah, this was so good. I’m surprised to see that most people don’t count this as a favorite or even like it that much. Colie was an interesting character and I totally forgot about all of the bullying she dealt with. I absolutely loved the friendship storyline in this […]

Reread Review: What Happened to Goodbye

Posted August 12, 2015 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Reread Review: What Happened to Goodbye

I read this book for the first time, I think, during the summer of 2012. It may have been a few years earlier, to be honest. I’ve been iffy about which of her books I’ve actually read – there are so many and they all sound similar (even though they aren’t) when I read the synopsis again – but I knew I did read this one back in the day. Honestly, not much. The mini town model is the one thing I remembered the most from this book. The restaurant itself also seemed familiar. For some reason, the Dessen books that take place in restaurants always stick in my mind the most. I’m so glad I revisited this one, especially because I barely remembered anything from the first time I read it. I’m so terrible with remembering book details; rereading is ideal for someone like me. I remember loving the restaurant, the model, the characters, and the whole plot, actually. I also had a vague idea of how the book ended.When Cristina mentioned that she was rereading this one soon, I knew I had to hop on board. I’ve been aiming to read more Sarah Dessen this summer (somewhat failing, I guess) and this was a perfect one to add to the mix. I will say, I miss Colby (as a setting) and hope to get into some of those books by her during the duration of the summer. There was a glimpse at Colby in this book, which was nice, but I need […]

Musical Memories ft. Just Listen

Posted June 16, 2015 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Musical Memories ft. Just Listen

When Cristina and I discussed our new mini feature, Book Buddies Ask, we decided to start with the Sarah Dessen novels we both planned on reading or rereading this summer. Our first question debuted over on my review of Saint Anything (and hers!). I decided to reread Just Listen when she told me she was on the blog tour, but am still working my way through it. This post was inspired by the strong musical elements of the novel, as well as some general thoughts about it. “A song can take you instantly back to a moment, a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment.” When I read Hannah’s post last week about memories tied to music, I thought it would be a great way to discuss Just Listen. I started spiraling through Spotify and making my own memories-related playlist. I listened to it all day at work and reflected so much on different memories in my life. I don’t think I got much work done, but what else is new. Like her, I don’t really consider myself to be a crazy music person. There are actually plenty of days where I don’t listen to music at all, thanks to my addiction to audiobooks. I will say that there will always be songs that make me crank up the volume when I catch them on the radio. (Namely, most classic rock songs.) Check […]

Review: Saint Anything

Posted May 20, 2015 / Book Reviews / 18 Comments
Review: Saint Anything

It wasn’t until I started filling out my rating report that I knew that this book could be considered a favorite. I got to the end of it and was completely impressed, AS USUAL, but just didn’t feel like it had a SPARK that made me say “this is hopping onto my favorites shelf.” It’s the kind of quiet YA book that I’ve been absolutely loving lately. (Read Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway as soon as its released; you’ll know exactly what I mean.)  It has some really heavy themes but there’s not a lot of your typical drama that gets associated with some young adult contemporary books. It was so refreshing. Her family has issues that they need to deal with – A LOT more issues than your average family – but it was still a very subtle (maybe that’s not the right word) story that impressed me regardless. I can completely see why Dessen has said this book took her a long time to write and was particularly challenging. I’ve always thought that Sarah Dessen was the queen of contemporary because she could perfectly blend family, friendship, and romance all into a perfect story about imperfect characters. This book was no exception to that, although the romance part was definitely subdued compared to the rest – which I loved! It was built up organically through little glances at each other and moments of “what-if,” but didn’t compare to the themes of friendship and family. It had its rightful […]

200 Word Review: That Summer

Posted September 24, 2014 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
200 Word Review: That Summer

I don’t want to say I was disappointed, because that seems a bit harsh, but it definitely didn’t exceed my expectations. Why? The characters – ALL of them – were so selfish. I get that there was (kind of?) a reason for it in terms of the book’s moral, but I just found myself SO sick of their shit. Nothing. Happened. At. All. The book took place over the course of a month or two and literally Haven worked, ran into her sister’s ex, complained about her life, and spent time with her friend. Oh, and there was a random supermodel show that pretty much added nothing to the plot. I’m okay with the fact that this book was only about family issues, but it was just missing the spark of something else. ANYTHING to get some more action. The moral/message of the book was pretty clear and I liked the way it ended. The narrator had the most childish voice. I get that the MC was 15, but holy shit it felt like a 12 year old. Overall, I did like the book. It didn’t blow me away and it certainly isn’t one of Dessen’s best, but I can’t say I regret listening to it.