I'd just like to say that I'm choosing to still publish this despite the fact that Sarah told me I wasn't funny the other day. (To be fair, she did say it with love. Also, I maaaaay have deserved it. 😬)
  1. She's essentially the Stevie Nicks of the YA world.
    Much like Nicks, Sarah's not only a legend in her profession but someone with a gift of writing words that so entwine themselves with her fans' hearts that you can hear them echoed back in their heartbeats.
  2. She has impeccable taste in music.👌
    Just Listen mentioned Led Zeppelin's "Thank You," What Happened to Goodbye features lyrics from Ben Lee's "Families Cheating at Board Games," and The Moon and More's Emaline was named after the Ben Folds song of the same name. In short, if I ever had to trust somebody to come up with a soundtrack for me, it would be her.
  3. She's helped fill my bookshelves with so many new books/authors that I may not have heard about otherwise.
    My bookish world expanded times ten after I started following Sarah on Twitter.
  4. She's incredibly funny.
    Honestly, I don't think she realizes just how funny- and charming!- she truly is.
  5. She's a bonafide sweetheart.
    When I saw her at her event in Asheville last summer, the first thing she asked me was how my grandmother was. What made it even more meaningful is that I still barely knew her at that point and yet she cared enough to ask when people I'd known for years didn't bother.
  6. She introduced me to this community.
    Whether you would like to thank her or blame her for that is totally up to you.
  7. When she's a fan of something, she tends to be (very) passionate about it.
    I thought I was going to have send her my condolences and a flower arrangement after seeing just how saddened- and outraged- she was by The Grinder's cancellation.
  8. Even after all this time, she still wants to hear her readers' stories.
    It doesn't matter if it's about the first time somebody read one of her books or someone finding inspiration and strength in her words, she listens to each of them with an open heart and a gracious spirit.
  9. She writes the most swoon inducing guys.
    I honestly believe that 10% of my crush on the guy at my local record store can be attributed to the fact that he's the kind of guy who could be in a Sarah Dessen novel.
  10. More importantly, she writes girls whose realness comes in their complexities.
    I can't even begin to properly explain how much it meant to not only see girls like me on the page, but to know there was at least one person out there who just got it.
  11. She's extraordinarily real.
    Rarely do I adore her more than when I open Twitter to find her talking about having Cheetos with her wine, refereeing wrestling matches between her dogs, or nerding out over new office supplies.
  12. She's also aces when it comes to encouragement.
    Sarah Dessen pep talks are just some of the best, y'all.
  13. She shares regular pictures of these two:
    I kind of feel like she would do the Li.st community a great service if she did a list of just pictures of Goose and Roxy because... well, look at those faces! (And yes, I borrowed this from Instagram because it would be a disservice to this list not to feature those two.)
  14. She and her husband are a pretty cool example of the twists, turns, and timing of life.
    The story is hers to tell if she so desires but from the bits and pieces I've seen her share, it kind of reminds me of a John Hughes film.
  15. She's raising a pretty awesome kid.
    She's even already written her first list here: WEIRD THINGS MY DOGS HAVE DONE
  16. Once upon a time ago, she wrote the most charming blog.
    I understand why she quit writing it but that doesn't mean I don't miss it enough to go back and read old entries from time to time.
  17. She's a lover of pop culture.
    So much so that she once tweeted out a PSA after I shared that the guy who played Mike Damone in Fast Times at Ridgemont High later played Natalie's boyfriend Snake on "The Facts of Life".
  18. She helped connect me to some of my favorite people ever.
    This includes Johanna, a.k.a. another member in the "not funny" club. 😄
  19. She's just an all around lovely person.
    I mean, I don't know how else to put it other than to say that for every bit as awesome as she is a writer, she's at least ten times that as a human being.
  20. ********************************************
  21. Now I realize a better person could come up with a far superior closing but since I'm clearly not that person, I'll simply say Happy Birthday, Sarah!
    I truly hope this new year of life is not only as gracious and beautiful as you are, but that it's filled with an overabundance of the people, places, and things you love most in this world. 💛