Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I heart Sarah Dessen

In my summer reading post the other day, I did not mention the book that I've been pining for, which is Sarah Dessen's newest, Along for the Ride. It comes out on June 16th, I believe and I will be grabbing a copy as soon as I possibly can.

If you are not a Sarah Dessen fan, well, you should be! Just Listen is my favorite, followed by The Truth About Forever, but honestly, I love everything she's written. Her characters speak to me in ways that no one else's do and I think it's because I'm by nature a perfectionist who has trouble with change but still courts it because I know it's good for me or simply because the fates shove me toward it. I live in Texas, nowhere near where I grew up and where "my people" are, and so I've had to cobble together new family with friends and neighbors. I know what it is to have my world change in an instant, and not always in a good way. And Sarah Dessen's fiction speaks to these things. Characters whose lives are disrupted; who are forced to reckon with the hard truths of their situations, who find love in unexpected places and people. Who have to be pushed out of their comfort zone into something they never expected to love. Not all of what happens results in perfect happily ever afters. But every word, every description feels real, authentic.

If you ever read this post, Sarah Dessen, it was your writergirl live journal that I stumbled upon a couple of years ago when I was still an unpublished author with huge dreams and a messy life. I still make sure I read your Friday Five. I can only wish that someday I can master the craft as you have! I read about your love of those deviled eggs and basketball, and just today about your tangerine purse and trip to BEA and I'm encouraged. Of the many writers who've inspired me, whose way with sentences has awed me, you have always been top of my list. One of the things I try to do as I move from debut author to author - hopefully - of that second and third book - is to find the truth in the human story, the truth as I see it. Dreaming Anastasia is in part about imperfect people who make mistakes and then have to deal with the aftermath, as I guess we all do.

So here's to summer and here's to Along for the Ride. I can hardly wait!

Til next time...

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