Kerry Winfrey
May 02, 2015 8:11 am

As any YA fan knows, Sarah Dessen is the ultimate queen of YA literature. She’s been writing about the struggles and joys of teenagerhood since her first book, That Summer, came out in 1996. And on May 5th, we can all look forward to reading her 12th book, Saint Anything. It’s full of complicated families, super close friendships, the challenges of growing up, and (duh) some swoon-worthy romance. Until you can get your hands on a copy, let’s take a look at all the reasons why we love Sarah Dessen so much.

1. She writes girls who are interesting, flawed, and human.
Sarah writes heroines who don’t have everything all together. Sometimes they’re fighting with their parents or their friends. Sometimes they’re just trying to start over, like in What Happened to Goodbye. Sometimes they’re dealing with really serious stuff, like Ruby Cooper in Lock and Key. And sometimes they’re learning how to love after watching a parent go through a string of bad relationships, like Remy in This Lullaby. No matter what’s going on in their lives, Sarah Dessen’s heroines are girls who get knocked down and then get back up and try again. These girls are always there for their BFFs, they care about their families, they take risks, and they make mistakes. In other words, they’re human.

2. THE LOVE INTERESTS.
OK, I can’t get too far in this list without mentioning the supreme dreaminess of these dudes. If you’re into broody, mysterious bad boys with hearts of gold, you’ll probably be into Wes from The Truth About Forever. If you like guys who are goofy, fun, and musical, maybe Dexter from This Lullaby is more your style. And Mac in Saint Anything is a family man who’s sweet and protective. Either way, there’s a Sarah Dessen guy out there for you.

3. So, so much food.
Whether it’s onion rings or fried pickles, Sarah’s books will make you want to hit up the greasiest of greasy spoons and chow down. Saint Anything features a pizza place and some seriously tasty descriptions of french fries. I dare you to read one of her books without getting hungry.

4. Her books are their own world.
Several of her books are set in the beach town of Colby, and every time you crack open one of them, it’s like you’re taking a trip back to your favorite vacation spot. Characters from previous books pop up once in awhile, so you get to see how your old faves are doing. And if you say “hate Spinnerbait,” you can be pretty much guaranteed that any Sarah Dessen fan is going to know exactly what you’re talking about.

5. She’s just so nice.
Do you follow Sarah on Twitter? If you do, then you have a front seat to her thoughts on TV, food, and even her own writing struggles. And if someone as awesome as Sarah Dessen sometimes gets stressed out over her writing, then there’s hope for all of us. It’s great to know that the woman behind such comforting, beautiful books is also a gem in real life.

6. Her books will always make you feel better.
That isn’t to say that her books are light or fluffy—in fact, Saint Anything goes to some pretty dark places. But Sarah’s world is one in which friendships matter, true love wins out, and families (either the ones you’re born with or the ones you build yourself) are always there for you.

Obviously, Sarah Dessen is the best. Don’t forget, Saint Anything comes out on May 5th! Who’s excited to read it? And/or just binge read all her other novels, too. When it comes to Sarah Dessen, you really can’t go wrong.

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