Saturday, 13 July 2013

Sarah Dessen Books Review

Stolen from the internet. 

Hey there, 
Today I am going to be a review of all the Sarah Dessen novels I have read. Sarah Dessen is a very popular young adult novelist so if you read ya books, you've probably heard of her. So starting from the first, let's go: 
  • The Truth About Forever
  • Lock And Key
  • This Lullaby
  • Keeping the Moon
  • Just Listen
  • Along For The Ride
  • What Happened to Goodbye
The first S.D novel I bought was actually Keeping the Moon when I found it at a book sale, say 5 years? ago. It was A LONG time ago. Anyway, I had started reading it but it didn't keep my interest so I tucked it away in my bookshelf, barely read. After that I was not as interested in reading her novels so I never picked up another. That was until last summer when I was hanging out with my cousin and saw a couple S.D novels on her bookshelf. The Truth About Forever caught my eye because of the title. It has one of those titles that just screams "READ ME!" So because of that and my cousin's very high recommendation of it, I decided to give it a whirl. I was not disappointed. I started reading it in the evening and I pretty much did no sleeping that night. My entire outlook on Sarah Dessen novels had changed. After reading that one, I quickly grabbed the other two on her bookshelf, Lock and Key and This Lullaby, and even though I did not love This Lullaby as much the others, I was on a mission to find and read all S.D novels. 

Now as you can see from my list above, I have not read all of them. What happened, you ask? Is it because you have not had the time to read at all or is it because there are so many other books out there to read? Both have an element of truth to it however, neither are the actual reason. 
After reading the first 4 or 5 of them, they began to lose that original spark they had. Reading the first one was like when you first watched gangnam style or harlem shake, it was different and enjoyable and you liked it. You continue to enjoy the song or other harlem shake videos but then, it goes mainstream, you're seeing it all over the place, you get annoyed and want to rip your ears off when you happen to hear it. Okay so, Sarah Dessen books were not as drastic as that and it's a slightly different situation, but you get my point ( I hope)

In a nutshell, Sarah Dessen's novels are very formulaic. She knows what she's good at and she sticks with it. It begins with a girl who is unhappy about something in her life. Then you either have "That Summer" where this said girl does something a little different or it takes place in her school year. She ALWAYS meets a boy and they get close and start to date. Then something happens, and they begin to doubt each other, they have a fight and consequently break up. After that, it's like she'll suddenly see the light or something and she discovers something deep and profound about herself or life etc etc, she'll realise that breaking up with him was a mistake, they will reconcile and we have a happy ending. Oh, and whatever was going on in her life will also be resolved so by the end she'll be a gleeful and free bird cheerfully chirping away with a prospective life of sunshine and rainbows awaiting. 
The other very repetitive thing about her books are the characters. You always have the shy girl who doesn't realise she's pretty and the hot, moody guy. And the female lead will always need to the guy's help to resolve whatever is going on at home. *rolls eyes* It just gets so cliche. 

You could argue that all authors use the same outline for all their works and that may be true but I find it so much more prevalent in Sarah Dessen's books.

Even though I find her novels so formulaic, I do recommend you try them. I probably will not be reading another of her novels anytime soon because her repetitive style has irked me and I really can't stand the same thing over and over again but if you took each novel individually and changed how the story unfolds but still keeping with the same character and her problems, I think they would be phenomenal. So I do still recommend them because they are good books and can be very relatable to young girls out there. 

Anyway, I would love to hear your opinion on her novels even if it is rave, so feel free to leave me a comment or message.

Until next time, toodles :) xoxo

P.s Let me clarify, I loved The Truth About Forever. It is one of my favourite novels :) I also loved Lock and Key, but the rest sort of went downhill for me. 

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