Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Snack Size #10

So it's been a little while, but here is another round of mini-reviews, at only 100 words each. This week I picked three Sarah Dessen titles, each of which I read for the first time this year.

Keeping the Moon
Published September, 1999

Formerly fat Nicole 'Colie' is forced to spend a summer in small-town Colby, North Carolin with her eccentric aunt, while her fitness queen mother aerobicises her way across Europe. While things initially seem grim, Colie loses the teen angst-titute as she works in the local diner and is befriended by two local waitresses. I love the way Dessen explorers identity and sense of self in Keeping the Moon, especially the way this idea intertwines with female relationships. An enjoyable read (perfect for summer) with a strong message of self worth and the importance of sisterhood - without getting too ya-ya on you.

Lock and Key
Published April 2008

Ruby is abandoned for the final time by her addict mother, and moves to a wealthy neighbourhood to live with her estranged sister, brother-in-law and one very neurotic dog (random thought, I really like that Dessen even creates really quirky, loveable pets). Whilst I enjoyed the story, I often found myself more interested in the supporting characters (Cara, Olivia, Jamie and Gervais) than Ruby and her relationship with boy-next-door Nate. Regardless, Lock and Key is an engaging look at the meaning of family and the concept of home. Also, I love that Dessen sneaks in little references to characters from her other works.

Someone Like You
Published May 1998

Someone Like You has all the hallmarks of a great young adult novel – first loves, bad boys, strong female friendships and characters forced to deal with the consequences of their actions. It is the story of Halley, who discovers all of these during the course of a difficult year, alongside her best friend’s pregnancy. It was really interesting to get a teen pregnancy plot told from the perspective of the best friend, and is handled with sensitivity. A layered and insightful novel and Dessen does an excellent job (and the ending still managed to give me a case of the warm fuzzies).


brave chickens said...

Whoa, I haven't heard of 'Someone Like You' and now I'll need to check it out!

btw, 'Last Chance' was my first and most favourite SD novel, and seeing a different cover for it is cool :D

Alexa said...

I love this idea. Great way to make every word count, which is something I need to practice in my writing :)

I haven't read any of those but The Truth about Forever is one of my favourite YA books.

I also LOVE the UX?Austrailian covers, so much nicer than the US.

Girl Friday said...

Chickens - I think it's her first novel and might be a bit tricky to find (I was lucky, my library had one very battered copy). I love seeing international covers for titles! It's always fun to see how people use them to represent the book

Alexa - thanks - I find that normally I'm quite rambly in my reviews, so this is supposed to make me be more polished (but don't think it's working yet haha). I loved Truth About Forever! One of my favourite Dessens! I have to agree re: covers (I think these are a UK imprint). The illustrated covers are so cute and quirky!

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