“This Lullaby Is Only A Few Words” | Revisiting My Favorite Sarah Dessen Novel + Giveaway!

29th Jun 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, ContemporaryRomance2015, ReRead2015, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Sarah Dessen Week, Tunes for Books

“This Lullaby Is Only A Few Words” | Revisiting My Favorite Sarah Dessen Novel + Giveaway!This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Published by Speak
Pub Date: March 8th 2004
Pages: 345
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

She’s got it all figured out.

Or does she? When it comes to relationships, Remy’s got a whole set of rules.

Never get too serious. Never let him break your heart. And never, ever date a musician.

But then Remy meets Dexter, and the rules don’t seem to apply anymore.

Could it be that she’s starting to understand what all those love songs are about?

This Lullaby is my favorite Sarah Dessen novel because I’ve always seen parts of my high school self in high school Remy.

On the surface Remy treats love very cynically. She sees her mother’s failed marriages as proof that all relationships end, so she likes to keep things clean and easy by putting a timetable on her own.

Enter Dexter, who literally crashes into her life when he plops down next her and opens with a “Hey.” She’s never sure why Dexter is different from all the others when he’s what she’s always had rules against, but it really opens her up and lets her softer side show.

And Dexter. Oh, man, I just love him. I have a whole post on him (and most all the other Sarah Dessen boys) so be sure to check that out!

Remy has a great group of friends. I loved that while they each had their issues, they never brought each other down, even when they would poke fun at one another. They were all supportive in their own ways.

There are so many moments in this book where my heart just swelled and times when it just broke but it was all worth it in the end. Remy may not be everyone’s favorite cup of tea, but I think she grows so much, and for that reason I love her best. And well, we all know I love Dexter best too. :)

And because I’m going to see Dashboard Confessional this Thursday, I’ve been listening to them non-stop, so when this song came on, I immediately turned it up because all of a sudden something clicked… it’s the perfect Dexter & Remy song! Let me know what you think…






Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

18th Apr 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review:  The Moon and More by Sarah DessenThe Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Juvenile
Pub Date: June 4th 2013
Pages: 435
Format: ARC | Source: Gifted
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

Let me preface this review by apologizing to you, my readers, if this review sounds…all over the place. I tried to make sense, I swear I did! lol

I make no secret of my love for Sarah Dessen’s books. She’s one of my favorite authors whose books are instant auto-buys for me. Thanks to the generosity of a fellow blogger (THANK YOU, RACHEL!), I was able to read her newest book, The Moon and More, a little early. The Moon and More did not disappoint. I actually read this book twice already. I finished it on a Sunday, and reread it on Tuesday. Crazy, I know!

I love that the family in this book is a stepfamily. Emaline has lived with her stepdad and two stepsisters since she was two, so she doesn’t really see them as anything other than her actual family. I loved how close they were, but even in their closeness they drove each other crazy sometimes. Emaline’s father, not her dad, because as Sarah Dessen says in this book “There’s a difference between the words father and dad. And it’s more than three letters. (ARC, page 25)”, is the cause of Emaline’s grief most of this book. She doesn’t really even know she’s going through and grief until he shows back up in her life after hurting her the last time. When things between her and her longtime boyfriend, Luke, start to suffer she wonders where it’s all coming from, and I felt her father had a lot to do with it. He left her with so many questions, about him, about herself, and about her future. Sometimes the resolutions we think we need aren’t actually what is needed.

So this boyfriend, Luke. I reeeeeally liked him, right from the start. But you could soon tell that something was going to happen, especially when this other guy starts showing up in the story, Theo. (Sidenote: I love the name of both these guys, btw. Luke and Theo. Love it!) Some really sad events transpire between Luke and Emaline that left me brokenhearted. :( And while I found Theo completely adorkable at first, he soon started to show a different side of himself that I did not care for. But then, Luke wasn’t Mr. Perfect either. I think Emaline could’ve handled this whole situation differently, but I think if it had been different, she wouldn’t have realized many things about herself in the end. Sometimes, change and distance gives us so much perspective. And you can make mistakes, but what matters is how you handle them.

One character that really stood out for me was Morris. He’s cast as this slacker kid, going nowhere, but Sarah Dessen spins his story in such a positive way. I loved that she showed us that anyone can have great potential when they find something they’re good at and when given the right opportunity.

The setting was, of course, AMAZING. The beach town of Colby is one of my most coveted fictional towns. I must one day make my way to Emerald Isle, NC, which is the town Colby is based on.

The Moon and More was such a great read overall. Lots of ups and downs, but they’re well worth it. This book is the perfect beach read, as it takes place in the Summer. Just be aware it’s not a quick, beach read, as it’s over 400 pages long. AND I STILL WANTED MORE! Ha! The only thing that I wish for, and this is totally a selfish thing, is for a more concrete answer on Emaline and Luke, but I guess I’ll just have to come up with it myself. :)

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

The Boys of Dessen: Dave Wade

16th Jun 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Sarah Dessen Week

Since I haven’t done an actual review for What Happened to Goodbye (and at this rate, I’ll probably never get to it), I wanted to at least showcase the boy. :) Jeans, faded flannel or plaid shirts, beat-up Adidas, dark wavy hair that he keeps tucked away under a knit cap, and bright blue eyes…ladies and gentlemen, that’s our Dave Wade. Dave seems to have a lot of the better traits of other Dessen boys all mixed into him. He’s smart. I mean, like, total genius, as were Jason (The Truth About Forever) and Gervais (Lock and Key), who we actually see and/or hear about in this book. His humor is engaging, like Dexter (This Lullaby), but Dave’s is a more dry, deadpan kind. He’s really nice and welcoming to everyone from the start, like Nate (Lock and Key), but even being so, he’s still a little bit on the sweet-but-awkward side, like Norman (Keeping the Moon). He has the same amazing listening and understanding qualities as Wes (The Truth About Forever), Eli (Along for the Ride) and Owen (Just Listen). Yet, even with all these similarities, he still stands out as his own person. He’s still different from the rest. Still a great guy. How does Sarah Dessen do this?!

There isn’t much mystery to Dave’s story. He’s pretty upfront about his life. The reason for this is that he hasn’t really led a very exciting life. In fact, it’s been very…vanilla. He went to a school for gifted kids, during the summers went to Brain Camp, spent his free time with his parents (geniuses themselves; both are scientists). He had but one friend! Sad face. So he wakes up one day, and as fate would have it, decides it’s time for a change when he sees a “Help Wanted” sign and applies for work at local smoothie shop. He also then decides to transfer to public school, where he knows just his one friend. And by the time our protagonist, Mclean, comes into his life, he’s been arrested for underage drinking…but just the one time, he’s not a delinquent or anything. He’s still paying for that mistake when we meet him.

Although he may not be as swoon worthy as other Dessen boys, Dave Wade is not to be out done. He creates one of the most romantic gestures for Mclean. I thought it was up to par with Wes and Macy’s big moment in the end of The Truth About Forever. Loved the little people, but “Stay”?! That was swoon-worthy!! There’s no way I could not spotlight him. Another Dessen boy steals my heart. :)

Some favorite Dave snippets (spoiler free!):

“What is that they’re playing down there?”

“Cuban jazz,” I told him. “My dad swears it makes people enjoy the food more.”

“That is so weird,” he replied. “Because I hate jazz. But I’m suddenly starving.”


“Want to know what I think?” Dave called out from behind me.


“I think,” he continued, ignoring this, “that you’re scared.”

I just looked at him. “Scared.”

“Of my game,” he explained. “My skills. My—”

I walked closer to him, then reached out, easily knocking the ball from his hands. It hit the driveway, then rolled onto the grass.

“Well, see, I wasn’t in defensive mode just then.”


“Pretend to be a delinquent?” I said, clarifying.

“You can do it,” Dave advised me. “Just don’t smile, and try to look like you’re considering stealing something.”


“What was this fight supposedly about?” […]

“Apparently, it was a jealous rage spurred by seeing us together at the game.”

“Ah,” he said, nodding. “Right. The jealous rage thing.” He carefully raised a hand, touching my cheek. In my peripheral vision, I saw Deb’s eyes widen. “What really happened?”

“My locker door attacked me.”

“They’ll do that.” He dropped his hand, then smiled. “You need some ice or something?”

“Already got it at the nurse’s office,” I told him. “But thanks.”

“It’s the least I can do,” he said. “Since I was the cause and everything.”

I smiled. “You joke, but the rest of the school totally believes it. Just look around us.”

Dave turned, scanning the courtyard. Since he’d joined us, we had even more of an audience. “Whoa,” he said, looking back at me. “You’re not kidding.”

“People can’t resist a love triangle,” Deb said.

“Is that what this is?” Dave asked. He was talking to her, but looking right at me, and I felt my face flush.

“No,” I said.

He shrugged. “Too bad. I’ve always wanted to be part of one of those.”

I love guys with this kind of sense of humor. Oh! Side note…I totally crushed on Mclean’s dad, Gus!! Am I alone here?! LOL

And here’s a quote from this book that will always stay with me:

“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”


Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Winners of the Sarah Dessen Week Giveaways!

23rd May 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Sarah Dessen Week

Winners of the Sarah Dessen Week Giveaways!

A HUGE thanks to everyone who entered! You guys made that week unbelievable fun. The winners have been chosen by using Random.org and here they are! Congratulations! I hope you will love them as much as I do!

Penelope of The Reading Fever 


Sallie at @salliem92 


Amy at bookgoonie 


Gabrielle at Biased Book Reviews 


~Enamored Soul~ at ~*The Chronicles of an Enamored Soul*~ 


Erinberry at @Erinberry12 


Ariel at The Librarian’s Bookshelf 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

The Boys of Dessen: Eli

15th May 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Sarah Dessen Week


Eli, with his shoulder length dark hair, tan skin and green eyes, is the loner, quiet one of the Dessen boys. I don’t want to tell you too much about Eli because I feel it would take away some of the intrigue about him you get from the book. Auden at one time describes him as “sullen stranger, trick biker, baby whisperer” which made me laugh but it’s also pretty accurate.

Favorite Eli scene (or one of…):

Eli doesn’t talk, Leah had said. To anyone. Ever. But he had to me, and maybe that did mean something, even if it wasn’t clear just what.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I just…I thought you might want to talk, or something.”

Eli shut the drawer, slowly, and looked at me. […]

“Talk,” he said, his voice flat.

“Yeah.” He was just sitting there, staring at me, expressionless, and I felt not unlike when my mom got me in her sights, a serious squirm coming on. “You’re up, I’m up. I just figured…”

“Oh, I get it,” he said, nodding. “Right. You know now.”

“Know…” I said.

He shook his head. “I should have known when I saw you at the door. Not to mention at the party. Maggie isn’t exactly known for holding back information.”

I just sat there, not sure what to do. I said, “Look, I’m sorry. I just thought…”

“I know what you thought.” […] “And I appreciate you wanting to help me, or whatever. But I don’t need it. Okay?”

I nodded numbly. Suddenly the room seemed too bright, illuminating every single one of my failings. I slid off the stool. “I should go,” I said. “It’s late.”

Eli looked over at me. I remembered how that first night, I’d thought of him as haunted, before I knew this was true. He said, “Do you want to know why I talk to you?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I do.”

“Because,” he said, “from the first day on the boardwalk, you were different. You never tiptoed around me, or acted all weird and sorry for me, or gave me that look.”

“What look?”

“That one,” he said, pointing at my face. I felt myself blush. “You were just…normal. Until tonight.”


“You know,” I said, leaning against the doorjamb, “I’m actually really relieved to hear you say that. Because I don’t want to feel sorry for you.”

“You don’t,” he said, not looking up.

“Nope. The truth is, I’m actually kind of angry with you.”

“Angry?” I nodded. He lifted his head: now, I had his attention. “And why is that?”

“Because you almost got my ass kicked tonight.”

“I did?”

I rolled my eyes. “Like you didn’t know that was your girlfriend I was talking about,” I told him. “Not to mention looking at while I was talking about.”

“Hold on,” he said. “She’s—”

“You just let me stand there and shoot off my mouth,” I continued, ignoring this, “and then, when she came after me…”

“She came after you?”

“She poked me in the chest and called me a skank,” I said. He raised his eyebrows. “And meanwhile, you’re off eating cupcakes somewhere.”

“Excuse me,” he said, pushing the drawer shut, “but you were the one who told me to eat the cupcakes.”

“When I didn’t know my life was in danger!” I sighed. “All I’m saying is that you kind of left me out there to fend for myself. Which was not very cool.”

“Look,” he said, “Belissa is not my girlfriend.”

“You might want to tell her that,” I replied. “If you can, you know, make time during all that cupcake eating.”

I know this scene is long, but I wanted to make up for the short Eli description. I hope you guys liked it! :D

And here’s a quote from this book that’s always stayed with me:

“Maybe the truth was, it shouldn’t be easy to be amazing. Then everything would be. It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth. When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder—if not impossible—to lose.”

Here is the synopsis for Along for the Ride:

“It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.”

And now for the Along for the Ride Giveaway!

* You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
* The form below must be filled out to be officially entered.
* Contest is US Only. (I’m sorry!)
* Ends May 22nd, 2011 at 12:00pm CST.
* Winner will be chosen using Random.org
* Winner has 48 hours to respond.

Now Closed.


Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

The Boys of Dessen: Nate

14th May 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Sarah Dessen Week


Nate might not be the most popular of the nice Dessen boys, but he definitely touched my heart. Here is what you see when you first lay eyes on him: blonde, jock, rich guy. When you look a little closer you notice he has white blonde, yellow to brown multi-hue hair, bright blue eyes with long lashes and a million dollar smile. He is laid back and completely nice..to everyone! He even calls himself “compulsively friendly.” He is one of the most popular guys at Perkins Day…swimmer, Student Body Vice President, Homecoming King, Junior Prom King, Community Liaison and Champion Volunteerer. Pretty damn perfect. Except his life is anything but that. His a**hole father treats him like crap and Nate does a great job at hiding this from the world. That situation completely broke my heart. Nate is different in that he needs just as much saving as Ruby, the main character in the book. Because of that, I feel protective over him, so give him some love.

Favorite Nate scene (or one of…):

In the end, it took Nate a full twenty minutes to get Lyle in the carrier and to the car, where I was waiting with the others. When he finally slid behind the wheel, I saw his hands were covered with scratches.

“I hope you get combat pay,” I said as he started the engine.

“I don’t scar, at least,” he replied. “And anyway, you can’t really blame the guy. It’s not like he’s ever been given a reason to like the vet.”

I just looked at him as we pulled away from the curb.[…]
“You know,” I said, “I just can’t get behind that kind of attitude.”

Nate raised his eyebrows, amused. “You can’t what?”

“The whole positive spin—the “oh, it’s not the cat’s fault he mauled me” thing. I mean, how do you do that?”

“What’s the alternative?” he asked. “Hating all creatures?”

“No,” I said, shooting him a look. “But you don’t have to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.”

“You don’t have to assume the worst about everyone, either. The world isn’t always out to get you.”

“In your opinion,” I added.

“Look,” he said, “the point is there’s no way to be a hundred percent sure about anyone or anything. So you’re left with a choice. Either hope for the best, or just expect the worst.”

“If you expect the worst, you’re never disappointed,” I pointed out.

“Yeah, but who lives like that?”

I shrugged. “People who don’t get mauled by psycho cats.”

“Ah, but you did,” he said, pointing at me. “So clearly, you aren’t that kind of person. Even if you want to be.”

This is his attitude. Really. Which makes it impossible not to like him.

And here’s a quote from this book that’s always stayed with me:

“It’s a lot easier to be lost than found. It’s the reason we’re always searching and rarely discovered–so many locks not enough keys.”

Here is the synopsis for Lock and Key:

“After her mom vanished in a stench of drugs and alcohol, Ruby continued to live in the family house alone. Finally found out, the introspective teenager is sent to the luxurious home of her older sister, Cora, whom she hadn’t seen in ten years. Everything there seems unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and supremely weird: her fancy new room; her lavish new wardrobe; the exclusive private school where she never quite fits in. Most mysterious of all is Nate, the friendly boy next door who seems to have a deep secret of his own.”

And now for the Lock and Key Giveaway!

* You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
* The form below must be filled out to be officially entered.
* Contest is US Only. (I’m sorry!)
* Ends May 22nd, 2011 at 12:00pm CST.
* Winner will be chosen using Random.org
* Winner has 48 hours to respond.

Now Closed.


Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

The Boys of Dessen: Owen

13th May 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Sarah Dessen Week


Owen is definitely the most physically intimidating of the Dessen boys. He is described as “tall (6’4”) and muscular, with broad shoulders and thick biceps. And he always wore boots with thick rubber soles that made him seem even bigger, his steps heavier.” He is insanely passionate about music and is never seen without his iPod and earphones. He’s had problems in the past with expressing his anger without punching guys in the face and, as a result, he’s gone to Anger Management therapy. There he learned to never hold anything in and always be honest. To me, his honesty is more intimidating than his appearance, although I wouldn’t want him to be anything other than honest. Ever. He wears a ring on each middle finger; one’s inscribed with “Go f*ck yourself.” and the other with “Or not.” which I totally want for myself, haha! Underneath all this toughness, Owen is incredibly caring, thoughtful, and sweet. Gotta love him!

Favorite Owen scene (or one of…):

“Incredible, right?”

Before I could answer, there was a bang of cymbals, followed by fizzing noise. Call it reflex, or self-preservation, or just common sense, but I couldn’t help myself: I pressed my palms over my ears.

Owen’s eyes widened, and I realized what I’d done. […]

“You did not,” Owen said finally, his voice low, “just cover your ears. Did you?”

“It was an accident,” I said. “I just–”

“That’s serious.” He reached forward, shaking his head and turned down the CD. “I mean, it’s one thing to listen and respectfully disagree. But to shut it out entirely, and not even give it a chance–”

“I gave it a chance!” I said.

“You call that a chance?” he asked. “That was five seconds.”

“It was long enough to form an opinion,” I said.

“Which was?”

“I covered my ears, “ I told him. “What do you think?”

He started to say something, then stopped, shaking his head. […] “Melisma,” Owen said after a moment, “is innovative and textured.”

“If by textured you mean unlistenable,” I said quietly, “then I agree.”

“I-Lang!” he said, pointing at me. I shrugged. “I can’t believe you’re saying that! This is the perfect marriage of instruments and technology! It’s unlike anything anyone’s ever done before! It sounds incredible!”

LOL, that’s probably one of the best example of Owen being passionate about music. Love how every sentence ends with an exclamation point.

And here’s a quote from this book that’s always stayed with me:

“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.”

Here is the synopsis for Just Listen:

“Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything”—at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store. This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.”

And now for the Just Listen Giveaway!

* You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
* The form below must be filled out to be officially entered.
* Contest is US Only. (I’m sorry!)
* Ends May 22nd, 2011 at 12:00pm CST.
* Winner will be chosen using Random.org
* Winner has 48 hours to respond.

Now Closed.


Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

The Boys of Dessen: Wes

12th May 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Sarah Dessen Week

Wes was the first Dessen boy I fell for, as The Truth About Forever was my first Sarah Dessen read. I stayed up until 4am waiting for that moment. You know the one: “It’s so she can fly.” Run, Macy!! :D I still kind of juggle him and Dexter for the top spot. Can you blame me?! As described in the book, Wes = “Sa-woon”. He has model good looks and is totally unaware of it. On the surface, Wes is that hot, unapproachable guy…the one you tell yourself won’t give you a second glance. Once you get to know him though, you learn he is this sarcastic, funny, down-to-earth guy with a huge heart. Macy at one point describes him as “quiet and incredible” which I think really suits him. He creates these amazing metal sculptures from salvaged materials. He learned to weld in reform school. That’s right, ladies. This is one reformed semi-bad boy! Except he’s anything but. He’s actually caring, loyal and honest. Yup…SA-WOOON!

Favorite Wes scene (or one of…):

The girl in the tight black dress was passing by us now, eyeing Wes and walking entirely too slowly. “Hi,” she said, and he nodded at her but didn’t reply. Knew it, I thought.

“Honestly,” I said.


“Come on. You have to admit, it’s sort of ridiculous.”

“What is?”

Now that I had to define it, I found myself struggling for the right words. “You know,” I said, then figured Kristy had really summed it up best. “The sa-woon.”

“The what?”

“Wes, come on,” I said. “Are you seriously not aware of how girls stare at you?”

He rolled his eyes, leaning back on his palms. “Let’s get back to the idea of you being perfect.”

“Seriously. What’s it like?”

“Being perfect? I wouldn’t know.”

“Not being perfect.” I sighed. “Being…”

As I tried to come up with something, he flicked a bug off his arm.

“…gorgeous,” I finished. […]

“Again,” he said, as the parking lot girls passed by, eyeing both of us, “I wouldn’t know. You tell me.”

“Donneven,” I said, in my best Monica imitation, and he laughed. “We’re not talking about me.”

“We could be,” he said. […]

“I’m not gorgeous,” I said.

“Sure you are.”

I just shook my head, knowing this was him evading the question. “You,” I said, “have this whole tall, dark stranger thing going on. Not to mention the tortured artist bit.”


“You know what I mean.”

He shook his head, clearly discounting this description. “And you,” he said, “have that whole blonde, cool and collected, perfect smart girl thing going on.”

“You’re the boy all the girls want to rebel with,” I said.

“You,” he replied, “are the unattainable girl in homeroom who never gives a guy the time of day.” […]

“I’m not perfect,” I said. “Not even close.”

“I’m not tortured. Unless you count this conversation.”

This scene continues, but it would be waaaaay to long to post. Hopefully though, I’ve made you want to read about him a little bit more! ;D

And here’s a quote from this book that’s always stayed with me:

“For any one of us forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You never know for sure, so you’d better make every second count.”

Here is the synopsis for The Truth About Forever:

“Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.”

And now for the The Truth About Forever Giveaway!

* You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
* The form below must be filled out to be officially entered.
* Contest is US Only. (I’m sorry!)
* Ends May 22nd, 2011 at 12:00pm CST.
* Winner will be chosen using Random.org
* Winner has 48 hours to respond.

Now Closed.



Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

The Boys of Dessen: Dexter

11th May 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Sarah Dessen Week


Dexter stole my heart. From the moment he bumps (literally) into Remy at the car dealership and proclaims to her that he feels a bond, that he senses they were meant to be, he had me. I mean, who does that?! Who goes up to a person you see from across the room and tells them that?! Dexter, that’s who. Anytime he’s on the page, you are guaranteed to smile, or like me, giggle like a schoolgirl with a crush. He’s cute, tall, skinny and gangly with dark curly hair, which you would think is not all that attractive, but he’s the type of guy who’s personality makes him attractive. He’s sociable, carefree, kindhearted, sweet, smart, and funny. He’s very perceptive when it comes to other people, especially Remy. He loves to throw down ridiculous, random challenges, like, “I bet you can’t eat 10 bananas. Do you accept this challenge?” Dexter is the lead singer of a band called Truth Squad, which, no lie, automatically makes him sexy in my book. For these reasons, and a lot more that I can’t give away, Dexter is hands down my favorite Sarah Dessen guy.

Favorite Dexter scene (or one of…):

“Plastic ware,” he said slowly, “like knives and forks and spoons?”

I brushed a bit of dirt off the back of my car—was that a scratch?—and said casually, “Yeah, I guess. Just the basics, you know.”

“Did you need plastic ware?” he asked.

I shrugged.

“Because,” he went on, and I fought the urge to squirm, “it’s so funny, because I need plastic ware. Badly.”

“Can we go inside, please?” I asked, slamming the trunk shut. “It’s hot out here.”

He looked at the bag again, then at me. And then, slowly, the smile I knew and dreaded crept across his face. “You bought me plastic ware,” he said. “Didn’t you?”

“No,” I growled, picking at my license plate.

“You did!” he hooted, laughing out loud. “You bought me some forks. And knives. And spoons. Because—”

“No,” I said loudly.

“—you love me!” He grinned, as if he’d solved the puzzler for all time, as I felt a flush creep across my face. Stupid Lissa. I could have killed her.

“It was on sale,” I told him again, as if this was some kind of an excuse.

“You love me,” he said simply, taking the bag and adding it to the others.

“Only seven bucks,” I added, but he was already walking away, so sure of himself. “It was on clearance, for God’s sake.”

“Love me,” he called out over his shoulder, in a singsong voice. “You. Love. Me.”

Yes, Dexter. I.Totally.Love.You. Le sigh.

And here’s a quote from this book that’s always stayed with me:

“I can say I made a lot of mistakes, but I don’t regret things. Because at least I didn’t spend a life standing outside, wondering what living would be like.”

Here is the synopsis for This Lullaby:

“When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about?”

And now for the This Lullaby Giveaway!

* You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
* The form below must be filled out to be officially entered.
* Contest is US Only. (I’m sorry!)
* Ends May 22nd, 2011 at 12:00pm CST.
* Winner will be chosen using Random.org
* Winner has 48 hours to respond.

Now Closed.


Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

The Boys of Dessen: Norman

10th May 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Sarah Dessen Week


Norman is probably THE sweetest of the Dessen boys. He’s also not as widely adored as the other Dessen boys. That’s partly because the book isn’t really about him and Colie. Nonetheless, he deserves recognition. He has that whole surfer look going on, he’s eccentric and an amazing artist. He collects sunglasses and incorporates them into his portraits. Like Colie, I liked him well enough, but didn’t really think of him as a love interest. He’s one of those guys who goes under the radar until someone points out to you, “Hey, dork! He likes you, ya know!” and you’re like, “He does??” You start looking at him in a different light, but it isn’t until you see him in his element that he becomes desirable. As soon as Norman starts to sketch Colie for her portrait, he almost becomes another person. He knows what he’s doing when it comes to art and that confidence makes him sexy.

Favorite Norman scene (or one of…):

We sat there, not talking, for a few minutes. He ate the Moon Pie; only skinny people can scarf down junk food like that. Finally, I said, “Norman?”


“Are you ever going to show me the painting?”

“Man,” he said. “You are, like, so impatient.”

“I am not,” I said. “I’ve been waiting forever.”

“Okay, okay.” He stood up and went over to the corner, picking up the painting and bringing it over to rest against the bright pink belly of one of the mannequins. Then, he handed me a bandana. “Tie that on.”

“Why?” I said, but I did it anyway. “Norman, you are way too into ceremony.”

“It’s important.” I could hear him moving around, adjusting things, before he came to sit beside me. “Okay,” he said. “Take a look.”

Then more swoony stuff happens, but I don’t want to ruin it. :)

And here’s a quote from this book that’s always stayed with me:

“You should never be surprised when someone treats you with respect, you should expect it.”

Here is the synopsis for Keeping the Moon:

“Colie expects the worst when she’s sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast — first for being fat and then for being “easy” — Colie has no friends at home and doesn’t expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina. But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.” 

And now for the Keeping the Moon Giveaway!

* You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
* The form below must be filled out to be officially entered.
* Contest is US Only. (I’m sorry!)
* Ends May 22nd, 2011 at 12:00pm CST.
* Winner will be chosen using Random.org
* Winner has 48 hours to respond.

Now Closed.



Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

The Boys of Dessen

9th May 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Sarah Dessen Week

In anticipation of Sarah Dessen’s newest book, What Happened to Goodbye, Jacinda & Jasmine of The Reading Housewives of Indiana and Heidi of YA Bibliophile are hosting:


That’s right! A full week of Sarah Dessen awesomeness!! Go to either of their sites throughout this week and check out what others are doing to celebrate! So here’s what I’ll be doing…

There are a lot of reasons to love Sarah Dessen’s books. In them, we read about friendship, family, pain, loss, happiness and last, but not least…LOVE. Sarah Dessen can always make me fall for her boys. Always. Even that sneaky Macon, from Someone Like You…but I won’t ruin it for you, in case you haven’t read it. :)

SO I’ve decided to tell you about the ones who stole my heart. I’ll go through them in order of their book’s release date. In each post I’ll describe them, give you a favorite scene from the book involving them, and you’ll have a chance to win the book so you can read and fall in love with them yourself!! Since you are able to enter each giveaway as you like, if one person gets chosen for two (or more) books, they will get to pick one, and the others will be re-drawn. Don’t ask me what I’ll I do if this happens to more than one person…let’s hope it doesn’t make it that complicated for me, lol.

To kick us off, in this post I will give away a copy of SOMEONE LIKE YOU, Sarah Dessen’s second novel and WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE, her latest!! And don’t forget to stop by each day this week (yes, even the weekend!) too read about the Dessen boys I love and the chance to win the book!!

The other featured boys and giveaways (all ending May 22nd):
The Boys of Dessen: Norman (Keeping the Moon)
The Boys of Dessen: Dexter (This Lullaby)
The Boys of Dessen: Wes (The Truth About Forever)
The Boys of Dessen: Owen (Just Listen)
The Boys of Dessen: Nate (Lock and Key)
The Boys of Dessen: Eli (Along for the Ride)


* You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
* The form below must be filled out to be officially entered.
* Contest is US Only. (I’m sorry!)
* Ends Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 at 12:00pm CST.
* Winner will be chosen using Random.org
* Winner has 48 hours to respond.

Now Closed.



Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Waiting on Wednesday: What Happened to Goodbye

26th Jan 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: What Happened to Goodbye

Waiting on Wednesday: What Happened to GoodbyeWhat Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Juvenile
Pub Date: May 10th 2011
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Who is the real McLean?

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

I looooove Sarah Dessen and I CANNOT wait for What Happened to Goodbye to be in my hands!! She was my first venture into Contemporary YA with The Truth About Forever and quickly became a favorite of mine. I immediately had to get my hands on all Sarah Dessen books! This Lullaby, Just Listen, Lock and Key, and Along for the Ride have also become some of my favorite books. If you have not discovered her for yourself or if you haven’t read the ones I just named, go out and pick one up!


Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post