summer of sarah

#SummerOfSarah Check In: June

Sorry this is so belated guys! I’ve been ill and then on vacation, but I’m back on track if slightly belated. As we all know, this year I’m doing the #SummerOfSarah, in which I reread all twelve of Sarah Dessen’s novels during the summer of 2015. In the month of June, I read the first four books, so keep reading to see what I thought of them!

That Summer (Goodreads): Sarah’s first novel was published back in 1996, and rereading it now, you can definitely tell. No cell phones! That Summer is centered around Haven during a summer when her family is in upheaval and she can’t stop growing taller. I adore the focus on family in this book, and that we all remember events and people differently. Plus, this book was made into the movie How to Deal with Mandy Moore, along with…

Someone Like You (Goodreads): This book is a great friendship tale, as it chronicles best friends Halley and Scarlet after Scarlet’s boyfriend dies and she discovers that she’s pregnant with his child. I enjoyed this so much while I was reading, and while it’s not necessarily one of her most well known books, it’s one that feels comforting whenever I return to it.

Keeping the Moon (Goodreads): This has always been a book I want to enjoy more than I actually do. I adore Morgan and Isobel’s friendship, and I try to root for Colie, but it’s too difficult to embrace her character. Obviously a personal opinion, but I just don’t like her as much as Sarah’s other protags. It’s by far the most lackluster “romance” of Dessen’s dozen, although Norman on his own is such a great character.

Dreamland (Goodreads): Inarguably Sarah’s darkest book, Dreamland deals with an abusive relationship, and at times it’s heartbreaking to watch Caitlin suffer through Rogerson and lose herself along the way. This is definitely #QuietYA, and I think it gets overlooked a lot compared to her other books, but it’s so impactful.

I’ll admit that reading chronologically means that I read my least favorite books first. While I don’t dislike any of the four above, I identify more with the books to come (especially in July!). These first four, however, are great examples of what I think Sarah does best – relationships. Friendships, romance, family…Sarah knows how to write an honest dynamic.

Have you been reading along for the #SummerOfSarah? Let me know, as well as if you’re planning to read any of the July books: This Lullaby, The Truth About Forever, Just Listen, and Lock & Key!

One thought on “#SummerOfSarah Check In: June

  1. So I'm doing #SummerOfSarah in a bit of a different way, in that I'm only reading the ones I've never read before, or the ones I haven't read in years. I read a lot of the other books earlier this year. That said, I did notice that the “formula” isn't as prevalent in these books as it is in many of the others I've read. I agree with you on Keeping The Moon…I loved the friendship dynamic, but the book as a whole fell kinda flat for me. I read Dreamland earlier this year and I think it does a great job of spotlighting a type of relationship that teens especially don't always talk about, or are even aware of. That Summer and Someone Like You were adorable, and show that from the get-go, Sarah definitely had a knack for writing about relationships, like you said. I am beyond excited to read This Lullaby again (it's staring at me from across the rug as we speak), as well as The Truth About Forever, which I think I last read in middle school. Woohoo!


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