"There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment."
— The Truth About Forever.
The first Sarah Dessen book I read and the first one recommended to me was "The Truth About Forever." I wasn't aware that I liked the style of writing until I found these books. The Truth About Forever is captivating with it's following of sixteen year old Macy and how the death of her father is effecting her, her family and the relationship she has with them. She soon meets a catering crew who is quite different from those she's ever known before, those who know how to live a little more unruly. They bring her closer to the free, artistic side of life. She finds herself and finds love in someone with a past just as damaged as hers, but she finds beauty in it all. The lessons that are taught throughout the book, the memorable quotes and ever so clever lines make this one of her most memorable.
The next most memorable Sarah Dessen related item would have to be the movie "How To Deal" which was created based upon her two books "That Summer" and "Someone Like You." This movie is one of my favorites especially since Mandy Moore played the main character, Halley. The story is that of a whirlwind that definitely catches you off guard in the beginning. Halley is searching for herself and searching for the meaning of love as all she's been seeing is the heartache. After her parents divorce due to her fathers affair, Halley grows more distant from her family. As her mother is still reeling from the divorce they find out that Halley's father is getting remarried, and to top it all off Halley's sister, Ashley announces that she is getting married as well. Talk about bad timing, huh? Halley seeks comfort in her best friend Scarlett who is more than distracted and head over heels in love. In a twist of fate, Scarlett's boyfriend suddenly dies on the soccer field with Scarlett and Halley watching on. Scarlett soon finds that she's also pregant with her deceased boyfriends baby. While dealing with all of this Halley begins to fall in love and test the waters with Scarlett's deceased boyfriends, best friend, Macon. "A lesson in love for the nonbelievers."
The rest of Sarah Dessen's books like "Just Listen," "This Lullaby," "Keeping The Moon," and "Dreamland" are nothing but meaningful. EVERY single one of these books deal with something important in life like learning the sound of your own voice and speaking up, realizing who you are, who you are not and who you want to be. They're about learning how to really fall in love, realizing how to be comfortable in your own skin regardless of the previous battles you've faced and realizing when you've hit rock bottom. An by hitting rock bottom, I mean falling in love with a charming but abusive, drug addict who gets you hooked on drugs too. He then takes you to very shady locations and pulls you away from your loved ones. "Dreamland" is a tough and gritty story chalked full of beautiful lessons, it's also a favorite of mine.
"It's a lot easier to be lost than found. It's the reason we're always searching and rarely discovered -- so many locks not enough keys." - Lock and Key.
The two books I would have to say I relate to the most are "Lock and Key" and "Along For The Ride." I can relate to Ruby from "Lock and Key" due to her independence and the struggle she has letting people in. When I read this book I was in awe because some of the situations were so similar to things I have gone through myself. Those are the kind of books I love the most, the ones that you make you feel something or realize you're not alone. "Lock and Key" is a breathtaking tale of family dysfunction, learning how to trust and learning how to love. It's a constant battle of realizing who you should let in and who you should shut out. It's the epitome of learning how to live all over again with people who love you instead of people who hurt you. "Along For The Ride" was a book that I just could not stop reading for some reason. Auden who has become quite the insomniac due to her parents fighting and then the inevitable divorce has taken to downing coffee, getting as much work done as possible and then pretending like everything's alright. While staying at her dad's, new step mom's and home to their new baby, Auden begins exploring the town at night. Once Auden runs into Eli it's instant chemistry and the fact that he's a fellow insomniac makes their love blossom even more. The two of them take to exploring the nocturnal world together while learning more and more about one another. Eli's story mixed with Auden's personality makes a perfect pair. Auden finally finds the balance in life.
So, with that said, I hope you've read a book by Sarah Dessen and if so, which one is your favorite? Look for my review of "What Happened To Goodbye?" coming soon!!