If John Green is the king of YA fiction, Sarah Dessen is certainly the queen.
While I am now an avid reader and passionate writer, studying English at UCLA, I used to be quite the reluctant reader when I was in elementary school. It wasn’t until middle school, when I discovered the Young Adult section at my local (and now extinct) Borders that I really gave reading a chance. Around this time, I stumbled across Sarah Dessen’s novels—and I quickly fell in love. When I read Dessen’s novels, something…clicked. Finally, I found a literary voice that I truly identified with.
Illustrated in such detail, her novel’s world, though fictional, achieves a captivating realness. Dessen has a talent for creating complex and introspective narrators that capture both the chaos of a youthful mind and the maturity of an emerging adult. Not to mention, she presents a vibrant and dynamic cast of characters to complement the leading voice, which in The Truth About Forever, is Macy Queen, a sixteen-year-old living in the fictional town of Lakeview.
A synopsis from Dessen’s website—
Macy’s summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy’s plans don’t anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or … Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn’t fit Macy’s life at all–so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So … happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before her eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.
While many YA novels portray romances that are, well, very surface level, The Truth About Forever explores a relationship between two young people that is rooted in honesty, strengthened by a common respect for and understanding of one another’s pain and fear—and hope. Their relationship, along with Macy’s narrative, is utterly vulnerable, sincere, and especially fulfilling.
If you are looking for a taste of YA fiction, Dessen is a good way to go.
Post submitted by JoAnna