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Finley's avatar

What are some books like (don't judge) Sarah Dessen's style, but more age appropiate?

Asked by Finley (833points) September 10th, 2010

I’m looking for a quick read that I don’t have to think about just can read quickly and love the happy ending. Sarah Dessen sucks, but I like her characters and their personalities but her style is just way too elimentary. I want more romance and more quality (I loved, loved, loved Water for Elephants). John Greene books are pretty awesome but I’ve gone through them all. Help! and remember I’m looking for something easy and relaxing that I can start and finish this weekend.

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7 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’m not familiar with Sarah Dessen, so this may not be much help. I have enjoyed Maeve Binchey’s books, as they are light, typically romantic, have a bit of mystery about them, and end up with a happy ending.

If looking for something with a bit more substance, but still an easy read, I recommend The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.

dursus's avatar

I don’t know those authors, but there’s a site where you can put books you like and it gives you suggestions along with summaries of other books you’d like. I put in Water for Elephants here’s the result:

keobooks's avatar

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The characters are Sarah Dessen like, but the story is from a boy’s point of view, and he’s received cassette tapes from a female classmate who committed suicide. So it’s not fluffy at all—as is most Sarah Dessen stuff.

Looking for Alaska by John Green has a lot of Dessen-like character development, but Green has more of a sense of humor than Dessen. Most of his books revolve around rich character development with a skeleton of a plot.

I’ll finally throw in a little Jodi Picoult in, just because a lot of the teens and adult YA readers I know consider Picoult to be a grownup Dessen. Personally, I think Picoult relies too heavily on schmaltziness and forced tearjerkers. However, almost all the Dessen fans I know really really like her.

Finley's avatar

@keobooks Looking for Alaska is one of my favorite books. I love John Greene.

keobooks's avatar

@Finley I like John Green a lot. Out of all those authors, he’s my favorite. He mixes in the serious with the funny in a very good way. He’s got a big presence of youtube, btw. I know some patrons who are big followers of him.

I was just thinking of this author too. Chris Crutcher’s Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes It’s about a fat kid who made friends with a girl who had a severely burned face. As he gets older, his fat turns more into muscle (he becomes a swimming jock) and he’s dealing with becoming more popular, yet trying to stay friends with someone nobody accepts or likes.

I read a lot of Dessen for work, btw. To be honest, I know what you mean. She has some nice relationships, but after a while, you feel like you’re reading the same book over and over!

Finley's avatar

@keobooks you read for work? What exactly do you do?

keobooks's avatar

I’m a librarian in the YA department. I need to keep up with all the authors!

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