Explaining The Sarah Dessen Diarist

I am a self confessed geek and bookworm.  My endeavour is to make my way through Sarah Dessen’s eight books chapter by chapter and post my musings on them.  I had intended to call this ‘Sarah Dessen is a Goddess” but it sounded a little too predictable so I went straight to alliteration with ‘Sarah Dessen is a Deity’.  Sure the alliteration worked but who would actually want to go to a site called that?  They might think I was retelling the gospel according to Sarah.  Since I am diarising my adventures in reading I went with the boring opinion for which I apologise.

Just to start though – Who is Sarah Dessen?

Sarah Dessen grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating with highest honors in Creative Writing. She is the author of several novels, including Someone Like You and Just Listen . A motion picture based on her first two books, entitled How to Deal, was released in 2003. Her eighth book, Lock and Key, will be published in April 2008. She lives in North Carolina.


Dessen is the author of eight books that have been categorised as Young Adult Literature (a label I despise, a good book is a good book!).  In ten years she has had eight novels published-

  • That Summer
  • Someone Like You
  • Keeping the Moon
  • Dreamland
  • This Lullaby
  • The Truth About Forever
  • Just Listen
  • Lock and Key

The question you may be asking is – Who am I?

Well my name is Adele and I am a teacher, reader and lately…podcaster.  I have found myself recently enjoying novels intended for “young adults”.  I am currently in my mid-late 20’s and was convinced I was going to be Louise M. Alcott or L.M. Montgomery when I was older.  I could even imagine myself burrowed in some darkened attic like Jo scribbling away at some monumentally brilliant piece of writing, complete with dorky hat fitted to my head.  Alas my dreams of writing have been tucked away and I have instead decided to focus on my other love – reading books.  Sarah Dessen is an author I kind of fell into via my Mandy Moore adoration.  (What can I say, I love the girl).  I loved the movie How To Deal but felt like there was something missing.  It was only months later having realised it was a meshing of two novels’ characters, settings and events into one screenplay, that I realise why it felt a little off. 

The aim of this blog:

  • To read all eight of Sarah Dessen’s novels.
  • To write my reactions, deductions and connections to each chapter as I go.
  • To find links between the novels.
  • To bring more readers into the Sarah Dessen light.
  • To share my enjoyment of good literature.
  • To have other readers share their own perspectives, opinions and questions regarding each novel.
  • To discuss Sarah Dessen’s blogs.

5 thoughts on “Explaining The Sarah Dessen Diarist

  1. Michele says:

    Adele–you would love my graduate program. I am getting an MA in Children’s Literature at Hollins University in the states. My courses require me to do something very similar to what you are doing here and I’m surrounded by people who are also in their 20s, 30s, 40s, etc. who are still reading “kids books.”

  2. fangirlcast says:

    Thanks Michele – it was lovely to wake up this morning and see your comment staring at me via my email. I actually studied Children’s Literature as my sub-major at university and it was my favourite part of studying. Doing a MA would be fantastic, an absolute dream. That being said, I am enjoying this little project knowing that it won’t be marked and that people enjoy reading it. Adele

  3. Vanessa says:

    Hi Adele. So nice to finally meet another Aussie Sarah Dessen fan. I stumbled upon Someone Like You in my local library wayyy back in 2001 and have been addicted to Sarah’s books and her Livejournal ever since. I was amazed Lock and Key was actually released here before the US, all her other books have been hard to hunt down (getting easier thanks to Amazon and Borders books these days) but yes they should definitely all be made more known here. She is such an amazing writer and btw I love Mandy Moore also. Great to have found this blog and look forward to sharing some thoughts on Sarah’s books with you. My fave, still always going to be Someone Like You and also love This Lullaby. Cheers. Vanessa

  4. […] & Key Index Introduction Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter […]

  5. Alisha says:

    Hey! Well I’m not an Aussie fan but i REALLY love Sarah Dessen books and i’m trying to get my hands on all the ones i haven’t read yet. I loved The Truth About Forever, and it just got me hooked. I also loved the book Looking For Ali Brandi by Melina Marchetta… 😀 awesome choice of authors!!

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