Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Inspiration: Sarah Dessen

As a writer, I believe that we all have at least one author who becomes our inspiration for writing. In some way, they had an impact on us at one point in our life or another, and we find ourselves saying "I wan to write just like her someday." For me, Sarah Dessen would be that author. Like I have mentioned before, I used to have a lot of trouble with reading when I was younger. It was a complete struggle for me, and it took some independent classes (and missed recess) in order to help me develop better reading skills. After that point, reading had seemed like a bit of a chore for me, so I did not do it nearly as much as I should have. It was not until I read my first book by Sarah Dessen (That Summer), that I fell in love with reading once again. After that, I would pick up any book that I could get my hands on and give it a chance.

Since then, I have continued to buy and read all of Sarah Dessen's books. In fact, aside from my Harry Potter books, Dessen's books are the only ones that I buy in hardcover within the first month that they are out. (Hardcover books are pretty expensive, after all, and I'm on a teacher salary so I usually stick to e-books, library books, or wait until they come out in paperback). Every time I read another one of Dessen's books, I am even more inspired to make my own book become a reality. I hope that it is a point that I will eventually reach, too.

At this point, Dessen has written eleven books, and they have all been amazing. Of course, there are some specific things about some of them that really inspire me and give me ideas for my own writing. I won't talk about all eleven (I don't want to bore you!), but here are a few of them.

The Moon and More - Published June 2013 
This is Dessen's most recent book, and I think that it is wonderful. I love that YA novels seem to be moving towards having the strong, empowered female characters. Emaline, the main character in this book, can certainly fall into this category, too. Along with a strong female character, Dessen gives a new look into the typical love triangle. You have the ex-boyfriend, and then the new, intriguing guy. However, she shows us that sometimes the new guy isn't as great as he seems, and might not be who is best for you.

 Dreamland - Published May 2004 
This is one of the books that I read first by Dessen, and I was intrigued by it. Naturally, there was a great main character, Caitlin, but she was not as strong as most of Dessen's lead characters usually are. It was nice to read about a character who was more vulnerable and scarred. In this novel, Dessen discusses a difficult topic that I am sure happens to more young girls than we want to think about - abusive relationships. Instead of giving the typical teen romance that we see in a lot of YA contemporary novels, Dessen gives us a story about falling in love with the wrong person, and what can come out of that situation.

Lock and Key - Published April 2008
This one by Dessen is really, really good. In the novel it introduces the main character Ruby, who goes to live with her sister after being abandoned by her mother. It is a huge change for her, and she really struggles. Then she meets Nate, the boy who lives next door. He has some issues of his own, though he does not actually want to talk about it. You really cannot help falling in love with them. It is nice to see the two of them stick together and help each other get through their struggles.

Along for the Ride - Published June 2009
Out of the eleven novels that Sarah Dessen has written and published, Along for the Ride is definitely my favorite! (I know that I have said all the others are really good, and they are, but really I mean this is my favorite!) We are introduced to a main character, Auden, who is one of my favorite character EVER. She is wonderful, and you just cannot help but to root for her. She has family issues and goes to stay with her dad for the summer where she meets Eli, the shy, conflicted boy. The whole story is beautifully written, and it is wonderful to watch things evolve between the two main characters.

I just wanted to share a little about what inspired me to begin writing. What has inspired you to write/read?

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