TITLE: Saint Anything
AUTHOR: Sarah Dessen
PUBLISHER/YEAR: Viking Juvenile
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.
Thoughts and Reactions
You guys, I know I haven't written anything in ages. Again. I'm terrible at consistency, but I've also felt like I haven't had a lot to say. I've read sporadically for the past little while, but between work and some personal things no book has jumped out at me and said Hey You Have to Talk About This! I don't know if that's changed for awhile or just for now or maybe just for this one book, but after putting down Saint Anything I knew I wanted to post. I don't have anything revolutionary to say, but I wanted to chat. I miss just talking about books sometimes, you know?
Sarah Dessen books and summer just go to together; a porch, iced coffee and one of her books are all you need on a hot day. I love the characters and towns she creates and even though the characters are flawed and have problems, you know that things are going to work out for them in one way or another at the end of the day. Sydney is a pretty average girl whose brother has some major issues that have caused her family and others a lot of pain and her trying to figure herself out within that mess was captivating. Family dynamics in a book are so important to me and Dessen creates realistic, if sometimes painful, families to read about. The lack of perfection, the mistakes; it felt all to real sometimes, but in such a good way.
A lot of times the perfect summer book has to be filled with swoons and romance, but with this one, I don't know that was my favourite part. Mack was a great book boyfriend, so down to earth and reliable and I was totally rooting for them the whole time. It's just not what really drew me to the book. The way friendship was portrayed, both good and bad, was spot on and just so good. Losing touch with good friends because of physical distance or a new boyfriend or whatever; the friendships were so relatable.
I basically buy every new Sarah Dessen novel as soon as it comes out because I know I'll devour it. I love the way she writes characters and mixes, serious and real problems with lightness. Saint Anything proves yet again that this is just the type of novel I need in my life.