My favourite YA writer (hell, my favourite writer) ever: Sarah Dessen. I just ADORE her way with words, and how tenderly she treats her characters, and how she gently allows them to interact with each other. She is, in a word, brilliant (that sort of reminded me of Simon Cowell). Let me dissect my favourite characters from my favourite SD books, starting from my absolute fave:

1. The Truth About Forever
A story about a girl whose father had died of a heart attack on a run. After his death, her mother throws herself into work and Macy isn’t allowed to grief so as to support her mother. She tries hard to be perfect, like her boyfriend Jason. But when she meets the Wish Catering crew one day during one of her mother’s launch parties (she sells houses), she slowly allows herself to live life again, making new friends like Wes, Kristy, Monica, Bert and Delia. But her mother tries hard to pull her back, and Macy has to guide her through the process of grief that they had denied themselves all this while.
Wes: he’s actually my inspiration for Caleb. He’s gentle with Macy, giving her time and space to grieve. He’s swoon-worthy, he’s thoughtful, he’s caring, he’s modest, he’s artistic, he’s a reformed delinquent, he’s a responsible brother. He’s also my absolute favourite male character from all of Sarah Dessen’s books.
Kristy: she was in a car accident when she was young, which gave her the very noticeable scars. But she’s loud and out-spoken. She loves attention. She figures if people are going to stare at her because of her scars, she might as well give them something to look at.
Bert: the fumbling, unassuming younger brother of Wes. He’s kind of weird if you don’t know him better, because he keeps going on and on about the end of the world and stuff like that. But he’s really endearing.

Okay, you know what. I really need to go back to work. I promised myself I’d finish writing chapter 24 today, and I’m only halfway through and it’s already 7.10pm! More soon.

Mrs Dessen, you are my inspiration. I love you and thank you for creating such relatable, unforgettable characters, and for writing book after amazing book where each character is so different yet universal. I am damn glad I picked up Keeping the Moon (my second – or third – favourite SD book) when I was 14.


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