Awesome Authors #18: Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen Quote

Image Credit: Quotefancy

I’m long overdue for an Awesome Authors post.

I inhaled Sarah Dessen’s books when I was in high school and college.


Dessen was born in June 1970 in Evanston, Illinois. Her parents, Alan and Cynthia, taught classicism and Shakespearean literature at the University of North Carolina.

When she was 15, Dessen became involved with a 21-year-old man. She realized it was a bad idea, and cut ties shortly thereafter. In an interview, she said she took the blame for the situation and relationship for years afterward. When she herself turned 21, she made a point to look at teens and ask herself whether or not she wanted to hang out with them, or even date one. The answer, she said, “was always a flat, immediate no. They were kids. I was an adult. End of story.”

She first attended Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She dropped out quickly to enroll in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She graduated with the highest honors in Creative Writing.

While launching her writing career, Dessen worked as a waitress at a restaurant called Flying Burrito. Her first book, That Summer, was published in 1996.

The 2003 movie How to Deal, starring Mandy Moore and Allison Janney, was based on Dessen’s books That Summer and Someone Like You.

Several of her novels have been named the American Library Association’s (ALA) “Best Fiction for Young Adults” selection. Along for the Ride (2010) made the New York Times Best Sellers List.

In 2017, Dessen received the Margaret A. Edwards Award as a result of seven of her novels, published between 2000 and 2011. Her newest book is Once and for All (2017).


Just Listen (2006)

Just Listen (novel).jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

I’m pretty sure this is the first book of Dessen’s I remember reading, although I’m not 100 percent sure.

Lock and Key (2008)

Lock and Key (novel).jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

As someone who has struggled all her life to ask for help, this one cut deep.

That Summer (1996)

Image result for that summer book

Image Credit: Goodreads

I think I’ve read this? I’m not sure. This is Dessen’s first novel.

Dreamland (2000)

Dreamland (Dessen novel).jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

I passed by this book so many times at the library, and then once I finished either Just Listen or Lock and Key, I knew I needed to read it.

This Lullaby (2002)

This Lullaby.jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

I remember this one, since having faith and learning to leap is something I’ve worked on for years. The cover also caught my eye at the library.

Along for the Ride (2009)

Image result for along for the ride book

Image Credit: Goodreads

I don’t remember reading this one, but I know I want to.

Keeping The Moon (1999)

Keeping the Moon.jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

If I have read this, it was early on. I distinctly remember the cover, and I know I saw it on the library shelves. Regardless, I do want to pick it up and re-read it.

Saint Anything (2015)

Image result for saint anything book

Image Credit: Goodreads

This is one I definitely haven’t read. I’m pretty sure the last new release I read was Lock and Key.


What about you? Have you read any of Sarah Dessen’s works? Have you seen How to Deal?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth  🙂

2 thoughts on “Awesome Authors #18: Sarah Dessen

  1. I haven’t read anything from her, but now I want to. Thank you for sharing!

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