Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.
The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.
Source for summary and picture: www.goodreads.com
Oh, boy. Where to start with this book?
I’ve read lots of Sarah Dessen books--all of them, actually--and she’s a very consistent writer, let me tell you that. All of her books seem to contain the same things: misunderstood characters, wacky but much-needed friends, a love interest who is somehow both boring and exciting, and a fairly unemotional main character. Her books can come off as boring and slow, but I’m always somehow drawn in--I don’t know if it’s because I’m a wimp and hate reading books that end sadly, or if it’s just Dessen’s amazing writing. Either way, there’s a reason why I bought Saint Anything just weeks after it came out.
I love Sarah Dessen’s other books, I really do. But Saint Anything, in my opinion, seriously raised her amazingness to a whole new level. I like book friendships, and Layla’s and Sydney’s was one of the best I’ve read about in a while. Layla could definitely come off as a brat sometimes, but she was good at heart, and you could tell that she was just trying to find her way in life.
Another high point was the relatability of the story. Maybe our lives aren’t exactly like Sydney’s, but the main ideas of the book are definitely existent in real life. Feeling invisible? Check. Discovering that people aren’t always what they seem? Double check.
One thing that could’ve been better was the love interest, Mac. I wasn’t really feeling the whole Mac-and-Sydney relationship. It’s not that Mac was a unlikeable, exactly. He was more . . . unrelatable. He just seemed kind of cold and distant and unfeeling, I guess. I don’t know what it was, exactly. He just wasn’t very happy. And I thought that Sydney needed someone happy in her life (which is probably why I liked Layla so much).
Yeesh, this review is long. I’m not going to go into further detail on this book like we usually do (though Kalee and I haven’t really been posting . . . sorry about that), but if you want me to, feel free to leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll add more to give you a better sense of how the book is.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Whoops . . . I forgot to rate it, haha. So I'd give this book . . . a 9/10. Okay, bye!