Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Amy Cummins

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Noe

Third Advisor

Dr. Tekla Hawkins


This thesis analyzes the way Tumblr and Twitter users converse about a variety of topics in Sarah Dessen’s novels, not predominantly focused on romance. From 2006 to 2016, tweets and blog posts across Tumblr and Twitter platforms have responded to the twelve novels written by Dessen from 1996 to 2015. Incorporating recent social media commentary on a variety of topics within her first six novels from That Summer (1996) to The Truth About Forever (2004) demonstrates how Dessen’s early novels appeals to readers currently on Twitter and Tumblr. In the last decade of Dessen’s writing career, from Just Listen (2006) to her Saint Anything (2015) novels published after Twitter and Tumblr began in 2006 and 2007 are discussed with enthusiasm. Demonstrating the “narrative intimacy” scholar Sara K. Day identifies in readers of YAL, reader response shows readers connect with the protagonists and each other.


Copyright 2016 Liza M. Soria. All Rights Reserved.