Sarah Dessen is a writer of fiction for young adults who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina.
Her first book, That Summer, was critically acclaimed; it focused on 15-year-old Haven, whose summer is framed by two weddings - her father's and her sister Ashley's. Nothing seems stable except for her memories of the summer that Ashley dated Sumner Lee, who suddenly reappears in Haven's life, giving her a perfect link to that perfect past- and her future.
It in turn led to four more:
- Someone Like You, which dealt with teenage pregnancy in a very straightforward, unpatronising way
- Keeping the Moon, about a girl who slowly regains her confidence after being bullied
- Dreamland, which dealt with family relationships and taking the "bad route" towards forging an individual life
- This Lullaby, a love story about a girl who doesn't believe in long-term relationships.
The initial two are widely acknowledged to be her best, and are in the process of being filmed as How to Deal, starring Mandy Moore.