The BKBF Interview: Sarah Dessen

The BKBF Interview with Sarah Dessen, author of The Rest of the Story.


What is your favorite book to give an adult or a child?
For kids, it’s Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton. I know it by heart from reading it to my own daughter. For adults, I am pushing Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s unlike any book I’ve ever read and I am still thinking about it years later. I want people to discuss it with!

What books are currently piled in your “To Be Read” stack … and where can the stack be found in your home?
Right now at the top is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I have heard such amazing things! Also I am working my way through a reread of Stephen King’s IT, which got me through my senior year of high school. It’s incredible. I keep books all over the house, but my TBR stack is in by my bed. When I can’t sleep, I read.

What book do you return to most often, whether passages or whole?
A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving. I’ve read it a few times now, always when I was going through something I wasn’t sure I could handle. It’s a special book. If you’ve read it, you know exactly what I mean.

What’s the last book that had you reading past your bedtime?
Jennifer Weiner’s Mrs. Everything. It was just the book we as women need right now, and I cried when I finished.

Who made reading important to you?
My parents. They were big readers: we had books everywhere and I always saw them reading. Also my mom took us to the library every weekend, where I’d check out as many books as I was allowed. I really think that’s the beginning of my life as a writer.

BONUS QUESTION: In honor of the 5th anniversary of Children’s Day, we’re asking everyone, What’s your favorite children’s book?
Goodnight Moon. It’s like a faith. You can’t do better. You just can’t.


Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. The Rest of the Story, her most recent novel, was published in June 2019. A North Carolina native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.


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