(Re)Reading Sarah Dessen | Dessen Recommendations and Similar Stories

Posted June 15, 2017 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Features / 10 Comments

Most readers and bloggers can agree that Sarah Dessen is the Queen of Contemporary. Her books have been around long before YA was a well-known genre and I remember her books being some of the first I ventured into in middle and high school summers when the YA section at my local library was lacking and I didn’t even really know what a contemporary novel was. Over the past 12+ years I’ve read and loved almost all of her books, and with Once and for All out this Sarah has surely been on everyone’s mind! Lauren from Bookmark Lit and I are therefore joining forces this summer to discuss all things Dessen this month- when we started reading her books, our experiences with rereading, and other fun discussions, recommendations, and personal stories. Our feature will take place over 4 weeks this June on Wednesdays at Lauren’s blog and on Thursdays here!


Introduction, Our Sarah Stories, and Discussion of Someone Like You
June 7th on Bookmark Lit – June 8th on Girl in the Pages

Dessen Recommendations and Similar Stories
June 14th on Bookmark Lit – June 15th on Girl in the Pages

Blog Features: Cover Colors and I Will Go Down with My Ship
June 21st on Bookmark Lit – June 22nd on Girl in the Pages

Once and For All, Dessen Favorites, and Wrap-Up
June 28th on Bookmark Lit – June 29th on Girl in the Pages

This week Lauren and I are giving you book recommendations based off of Dessen novels. I chose some of my favorite Sarah Dessen novels and ones that I’ve read recently and picked more recent contemporary novels that carry similar thematic elements, plots, and overall vibes as their Dessen counterparts. If you liked a particular Dessen novel listed below, I’m willing to bet that you’ll enjoy the corresponding recommendation too!

Someone Like You | Trouble: If you enjoy non-stereotypical stories about teenage pregnancy and unorthodox support systems found in unlikely places, both of these books are great picks.

Dreamland | It Ends With Us: Both of these stories focus on violent relationships and really get inside the mindset of the protagonist.

Keeping the Moon | Nantucket Blue: Both of these novels feature self-discovery found in a coastal town with a misplace protagonist facing a summer she didn’t expect.

Along for the Ride | Alex, Approximately: Also set in the summer by the beach, both of these stories have protagonists who bear the weight of fractured family systems and who are learning to live with their fathers again, all while navigating a quirky summer job and highly unlikely romance.

Saint Anything | Ramona Blue: Both of these stories have protagonists who are often overshadowed by infamous and/or larger than life siblings, and are the only ones who truly can see and navigate what’s going on with their families.

Come back next week for our next installment and be sure to check out Lauren’s post from yesterday!




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10 responses to “(Re)Reading Sarah Dessen | Dessen Recommendations and Similar Stories

    • I feel like Along for the Ride is a real hidden gem of Sarah’s that gets overshadowed by some of her more popular books, but that a LOT of people really love! I actually read it for the first time this past winter (it somehow slipped under my radar) but it was amazing! I hope you love Alex, Approximately too!

  1. I can totally see Alex, Approximately being rec’d to Sarah Dessen fans. The beachy setting, the quirky museum job, the romance. It’s a little more edgy than her books, but definitely in the same category. Great picks– I love this series you guys got going on– very fun!!

    • Alex Approximately was definitely more overtly intense than her books, but it really reminded me of what it’s like to get consumed by a small beachy YA contemporary town in a way I haven’t been in a while (and in a way that’s similar to getting sucked into a Dessen book!)

  2. I loved this post! Saint Anything is probably my favorite book by Sarah Dessen. I also just finished reading Alex, Approximately and absolutely adored it.

    ! I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

    Breeny's Books recently posted: Book Review: NOTEWORTHY by Riley Redgate

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