Genre: YA - Contemporary
Publication: May 5th 2015 by Viking
Synopsis: 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: I mostly stayed away from Sarah Dessen books these past few years because I felt like they were all similar and sort of dull. I liked them but I couldn't see what the big deal was. I think I burned myself out by reading too many, back-to-back. I was a little weary when I downloaded Saint Anything, especially because of the length, but I wanted to give her writing another shot.
Saint Anything made me realize that I've been missing out. Not only did I love the story, I also adored the characters. I felt like Sydney was my friend and I just wanted her to find herself, be with Mac, and just hang out with Layla all the time.
The friendships, romance, and parent relationships all felt real. It had been a while since a book made me feel like this one did. Once I was finished, I missed the characters. I wanted to know more, know they were okay. I hadn't felt a connection to characters since All the Bright Places.
From several other reviews, it seems that this one was a bit different than other Sarah Dessen books, and I'm glad. I was able to definitely enjoy her writing a lot more this time around and am looking forward to her future work. I definitely recommend Saint Anything for anyone looking for a contemporary book to read this summer, this one is great.