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Dessen's books feature female protagonists and a variety of real-life problems. Family, as well as romance, usually factors into the stories quite heavily and I'm constantly impressed with her depictions of the intricacies of sisterhood. For many YA readers she was one of their first introductions into the genre that has seen a lot of growth since the publication of her first novel, That Summer.
sarah ockler - Yeah, yeah, they have the same name. But more than that, Ockler's heavy focus on family and her ability to write real-life stories that are complex and relatable, puts her in the same category as Sarah Dessen. And much like Dessen has cornered the market on sisterly relationships, Ockler's uncanny ability for writing truly complicated and realistic female friendship subplots is unparalleled in YA.
bunheads, by sophie flack - This book, with a great protagonist and romance subplot, has much in common with a Dessen story and a similar sort of vibe, while not being too alike.
ann brashares - The writing of Brashares, though very different from Sarah Dessen, has the same ability to immerse the reader completely in the story and make you forget about reality for a while.
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His debut novel won the Printz Award and Green's ability to write smart, complex teen characters make his books stand out. Most of his books are narrated by male characters and heavily feature romance. Unlike Dessen, he focuses much more on peer relationships than family and his style is definitely literary-leaning.
hannah moskowitz - The differences between Green and Moskowitz are obvious: she's female, and had her first two books published while still a teenager. But writing-wise, their styles are not that far apart and the book that continued to come to mind while I was reading John Green's latest was Moskowitz's novel, Invincible Summer.
the book thief, by marcus zusak - Historical and complex, this book has the same literary writing and complexity that John Green's novels have and it's a safe bet that John Green superfans will probably also like this book.
the catcher in the rye, by j.d. salinger - Okay, so yeah, everyone's heard of this book. But not everyone has read it, and if you like Green's novels, especially his first two, this is a must-read as the main characters are similar as is the mood of the books.