It’s just a few weeks until the Queen of Contemporary YA, Sarah Dessen, has a new book hitting shelves! While eagerly waiting for my copy of Once and For All to arrive, I’m joining Penguin Teen’s #ReadADessen campaign and featuring Dessen’s most recent novel, Saint Anything.
Note: I was provided a finished copy of Dreamland by Penguin Teen to read, review, and feature on my blog as a #PRHPartner.
About the Book
Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.
The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.
Now, I read and reviewed Saint Anything when it came out in 2015 and really enjoyed it. This summer I thought it would be fun to do a feature inspired by the book, especially from its chronic, mouthwatering descriptions of food! While many restaurants do wine pairings for their menus, I figured what better thing to pair with Sarah Dessen novels than ice cream, the quintessential summer treat?
Someone Like You | Cookies and Cream: This story is about friendship at its core, just like cookies and cream is a classic duo.
Keeping The Moon | Coffee: Last Chance Café makes me think of a lot of coffee and late nights with good friends!
Dreamland | Chocolate: This book is seductive in its dreamlike quality and rich in its depth, just like chocolate.
This Lullaby | Mint Chocolate Chip: I often hear that this is the first Dessen novel that falls into people’s “all time favorites” category. Mint Chip is definitely a classic flavor but is more adventurous and exciting than your vanillas and chocolates!
The Truth About Forever | Cherry: The protagonist in this novel encounters a romance and summer filled with the unexpected, sweet and tart and a little bit surprising, just like cherry ice cream!
Just Listen | Salted Caramel: There’s a lot going on under the surface in this novel, and the complexity of caramel ice cream with those hints of salt that add a depth of flavor remind me of Annabel, and how there’s much more to her than meets the eye.
Lock and Key | Rocky Road: Focusing on a protagonist who literally has quite a bumpy and troubled road ahead of her with her family and future in this novel, I couldn’t resist pairing Rocky Road with this novel!
Along for the Ride | Lemon: Along for the Ride is my favorite Dessen novel because I love Auden and how mature she is and sometimes detached from those her own age, yet the novel is placed in such a charming and welcoming beach town. I think lemon flavored ice cream is definitely for a bit more sophisticated palettes, but it’s still super refreshing and perfect for the beach.
What Happened to Goodbye | Butter Pecan: McLean’s dad is a restaurant consultant, and I can picture her being introduced to more “adult” flavors earlier on in life because of it. I think she’d like this classic southern flavor!
The Moon and More | Lavender: I think this is the only Dessen novel I haven’t read, but the cover is such gorgeous shades of purple, and the synopsis sounds like the protagonists’ family is pushing her toward a more sophisticated life. I think a trendy ice cream flavor like Lavender (probably found in an all-organic, independently owned creamery) fits right in with that sentiment.
Saint Anything | Bubblegum: Solely chosen because it reminds me of the pink lollipops that appear chronically throughout the book!