Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To My Cousin Who Loves Sarah Dessen


Top Ten Tuesday, asΒ  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To X Person


So, every summer we have a family reunion/crab feast in Maryland and every year that we go my teen cousin, a junior in high school, has a Sarah Dessen book. I’ve literally never seen her without a Sarah Dessen book. I’ve talked to her a bit about what else she likes to read and she named a few pretty popular contemporary authors similar to Sarah Dessen but she expressed that she really doesn’t know what to read so she just sticks to all of Sarah Dessen books. Of course, I was all like CHALLENGE ACCEPTED… I will totally make you a list of books to read that are similar to Sarah Dessen’s books. Now I’m not the most well read when it comes to Sarah Dessen books (only a couple) but these are some contemporaries that I think fans of Sarah Dessen will love!

For Fans Of Sarah Dessen

Books Similar To Sarah Dessenif you like sarah dessen booksgood books like Sarah Dessenbooks like just listen by sarah dessen

Pretty much, with the exception of two which I’ll note below, these are some of my favorite contemporary books ever!

1. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson: Road trip! Sweet romance! MY HEART! Also highly recommend Second Chance Summer which wrecked me.
2. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby: Beach setting! Great father/daughter relationship! Also super cute romance!
3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han: A classic if you love contemporary YA!
4. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler: A new favorite! Funny, sweet and made me cry! One of my favorite dads in all of YA lit. Also love Twenty Boy Summer!
5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Paris! St. Clair! One of my favorites!!
6. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: What a beautiful book! If you like your prose more lyrical..whew! Get this!
7. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland: I LIKED this one a whole lot! So much good about it. I don’t think I even had one bad thing to say in my review..I just didn’t get to that LOVE position. But it’s a great book that I really think my cousin would like! She also plays lacrosse so I think she’ll like Cricket in that way for sure! πŸ™‚
8. The Statistical Probablity of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: SO CUTE! I just can’t even. I devoured it in one day!
9. If I Stay by Gayle Forman: Oh god this book. Make sure you have Where She Went afterwards…I loved that one even more.
10. All I Need by Susane Colasanti: Okay, I didn’t really love this book at all. It was a quick, fun summer-y read but though it wasn’t really my taste I KNOW my cousin would love it.


So tell me…what other books that might not be on my list would be my cousin who is a huge Sarah Dessen fan? She’s definitely not into super steamy books and my aunt would kill me haha. Do you disagree with any of my picks? Agree?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I love Sarah Dessen! I’ve read a few of these, but a few are still on my list to read. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m a huge fan of Sarah Dessen, and I’ve only read two books off your list–ANNA and STATISTICAL. (And I basically DNF’d NATUCKET.) I want to read so many of these, especially AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR. It looks so good, and I have a copy so there’s really no excuse. Cool topic pick!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

  3. I absolutely love Anna & the French Kiss and The Statistical Probability. Two of my favorite contemporary books ever. Now I feel like rereading them haha.

    Other recs could be The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg and Saving June by Hannah Harrington πŸ™‚

  4. I agree with your choices even though I have yet to read some of them. They’re definitely on my radar. It reminds me I should read more Sarah Dessen. I’ve only read one of her books! Oops.

  5. Agree with ALL OF THEM! Such an awesome list Jamie! I love great summer reads

    My Top Ten πŸ™‚

  6. Great list, although I really did not like Amy & Rogers Epic Playlist.

    Here’s My TTT:

  7. This is such a clever list of books! You’re cousin is going to have some fun reading ahead of her!
    My TTT

  8. I haven’t read ANY Dessen yet. I’m not entirely sure it will be my cup of tea. I hope your cousin tries some of these books though!

  9. Anna and the French Kiss made it onto my list, too! And If I Stay is one of my favorites. πŸ™‚

  10. There is no way someone can NOT love Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour! If she’s a fan of Dessen then she’s clearly a fan of awesome – so she should fall in love with Amy & Roger πŸ˜€

    Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is another one she might like if she’s a Dessen fan!

  11. Fantastic list, Jamie! I love Dessen and have read every book on that list except Sky is Everywhere and Statistical Probability. I will have to move both books up on my TBR list!

  12. Great list! So many of these that I loved myself – If I Stay, The Sky is Everywhere, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Anna & the French Kiss, The Summer I Turned Pretty; all such amazing books. Will definitely be adding a lot of the others to my own TBR list. My TTT.

  13. I have read and loved almost all of those books. Great list and great picks for your cousin. You know how I feel about Anna and the French Kiss. πŸ™‚

    My TTT List

  14. I haven’t read much contemporary YA to recommend anything, but I’ve added several of those to my TBR list.

    my TTT

  15. I haven’t read any of these. I don’t read a whole lot of contemporary, but am starting to dip my toe into the genre so maybe I will try a few of these out. Definitely Gayle Foreman. I’ve heard such good things.

  16. That whole list is full of WIN! :o) I’ve been meaning to get The Sky is Everywhere because I’ve heard so many good things

  17. I loved the three Sarah Dessen books I have read so far as well as Anna and the French Kiss. Several of these books are already on my TBR list. I guess I should get to them sooner rather than later. Great list!!

    Here is my TTT:

  18. I love a lot of the books on your list – especially Nantucket Blue. Great choices!

  19. Anna Anna Anna Anna.

    These are great recs for Sarah Dessen fans! πŸ™‚

  20. I loved Anna and the French Kiss (and Lola too!) and The Sky is Everywhere. I need to read more contemporary but I need to be in the right mood at the time, which can be a pain. I’m definitely adding the ones I haven’t read to my wishlist though!

  21. I’m still tentatively starting to read books from ya contemporary genre, so I haven’t read any book from your list. But they are mentioned a lot in a list of recommendations from my bookish-ya-lovin friends.

    I would add My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick , it was so cute and convinced me that I should start reading more ya contemporaries.

    Great list!
    Here’s my Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Food Lovers

  22. I used to be one of those girls who would literally read nothing but Sarah Dessen. She was the perfect summertime read for me and I’m still sad I’ve already finished all of her books so far. (This is a completely unimportant side note: I can’t wait for her next book! But I feel like she takes a lot more time than other authors :/ ) I love this list! These are all books I’ve been meaning to read but now that I’m book blogging, I just don’t have the time. I did just buy ANNA & THE FRENCH KISS a couple of weeks ago and plan on reading it when I need a contemp fix. I had to double check to make sure you included Susane Colasanti! She was my other go-to author during the summer. I’ve only read 2 books by her so far but I really enjoyed her style. My 12 year old cousin is the Susane version of me and has read all of her books.

  23. Perfect list for your cousin! I adore The Summer I Turned Pretty <333

    Our TTT

    Doris @ OABR

  24. I love the Sky is Everywhere, one of my all-time favourite books! I also want to read If I Stay, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Anna and the French Kiss and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour! I also ADORED the Summer trilogy! πŸ™‚

    Great list! πŸ˜€

    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic
    My TTT Post! πŸ™‚

  25. I agree with your list entirely, Jamie! ANNA and NANTUCKET are such such great choices. Are you going to give this list to her? I hope so, because I think she might find some new favorite books. πŸ˜€

  26. I was a huge SD fan in high school too. I think you should also suggest The Jessica Darling Series because it’s amazing and hilarious and is still my favorite contemporary series ten years later. John Green is another great author to suggest. Just One Day[I was surprised you didn’t suggest this one] is also one I recommend.

    Great list!

  27. Oh, anything by Sarra Manning!

  28. My sister is very much like your cousin – I’m afraid she’s going to run out of Dessen books soon enough! I’m always really careful about what I give her to read (since I pick her books pretty much 99% of the time since she’s sensitive to certain content), but I’m pretty sure she’d like all of these, except for If I Stay. That one might be too heavy for her πŸ˜€

  29. My girls who adore Sarah Dessen also like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, RIVAL by Sara Bennett Wealer, FIXING DELILAH by Sarah Ockler, IN HONOR by Jessi Kirby, LIKE MANDARIN by Kirsten Hubbard, EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL by Simmone Howell, and LOVE AND LEFTOVERS by Sarah Tregay.

    They also enjoy the books on your list. Someone left the suggestion in the comments for SAVING JUNE and THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB. I agree with both of those recommendations πŸ™‚

  30. I’ve never actually read Sarah Dessen, but I love Amy & Roger, Anna and the French Kiss, If I Stay and Nantucket Blue! If it’s mainly contemporary, I think Melina Marchetta would be a good recommendation, like Saving Francesca!

  31. This is the YA list for me. I’ve been reading (and loving) Sarah Dessen since I was an actual teen and, if you’ll recall, I want to read more awesomesauce current YA and I totally trust your opinion. I have Just One Day here right now to read from the library. I’ve already read and loved Anna (and Lola). I also own Moonglass and The Summer I Turned Pretty (random winnings from blog contests) so I should get on those…and all the others on the list! πŸ™‚

  32. If your cousin loves Sarah Dessen, I’m pretty sure she’s going to love most of these books (I’ve read 7/10). They have a lot of similar settings, situations and feels, and I think she’ll respond to that. Great set of recommendations J!