Sarah Dessen is an American writer born on June 6, 1970 in Evanston, Illinois. Dessen’s parents were both English professors who inspired her love for literature early on in her childhood. After high school, she attended Greensboro College for a short period of time before dropping out to take creative writing classes at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. While she was a university student, Dessen worked as a waitress and wrote stories in between her shifts. The bits and pieces of her writing came together to be her first novel, This Summer, which was published in 1996, three years after her graduation. However, that debut novel was only the beginning and she would go on to publish numerous more young-adult books, one of which is called The Truth About Forever.
The Truth About Forever tells the story of teenager Macy Queen, who is recovering from the death of her father. To cope with her grief, Macy pours herself into work, taking shifts at her local library in the morning and working for a catering company by night. Yet, it is only the coworkers at her catering job who lift Macy out of her depression and allow her to feel the greatest sense of purpose. Throughout the novel, Macy comes to terms with her loss with the help of her newfound friends.
Dessen’s novel was met with great praise for its truthful portrayal of grief and loss. Publishers Weekly stated that “readers will cheer Macy on as she tentatively reenters the world of the living by taking risks and relearning how to act spontaneously, embracing change rather than avoiding it.” It also went on to become a New York Times bestseller.
Since The Truth About Forever, Dessen has published seven more novels: Just Listen (2006), Lock and Key (2008), Along for the Ride (2009), What Happened to Goodbye (2011), The Moon and More (2013), Saint Anything (2015), and Once and For All (2017).