I grabbed a copy of Saint Anything off the sale pile at my local bookstore. I had recently read another novel by Sarah Dessen, Once and For All and had really like how much substance and character building she had written into that novel and wanted to try another and see if this was her signature style. Sure enough, Saint Anything matched the depth and her heroine Sydney was complex. Yeah! I know I’m late to discover this author, but I’m excited to find her and will probably quickly get through her backlog of books. 🙂
Saint Anything is about Sydney and her search for a voice and presence in her family. Sydney has always been second to her older brother Peyton. He was charming, good looking, and the apple of her mothers eye. As he grew older, he began to act out until one day he drove drunk, got in an accident and hurt another teenager. Peyton goes to jail and leaves Sydney’s life in pieces. Having to change from private school to public school Sydney has to start all over. In some ways this was a wonderful thing to be among people who didn’t know her past. When she meets Layla Chatham, she gets embraced by her family and finds the support and love from them that was missing at home.
Sydney went through so many emotional ups and downs in this novel. She is angry at her family, feels guilty about the teen that her brother hit, and tries to balance new friends and old friends while still maintaining her own personal identity. Then, of course, she falls in love too, and Mac’s that boy that all mothers should want for their daughters. A prince among teens. LOL.
Sarah Dessen must have gone through every emotion in her teen life to be able to write with such depth and feeling from a teenage girls point of view. Sydney’s self revelations are inspiring for teen girls I’m sure, but also for myself at a (much) more advanced age. I really enjoy how her characters grow into great people and forget I’m reading about 16 year old’s. It does help that the romances are sub plots, at least in the two Dessen books I’ve read so far.
If you haven’t read this novel and are looking for a quick read with depth, look for Saint Anything. It will fill that bucket, for sure. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“I’ve read several Sarah Dessen books and always found them perfectly good summer reads. Nothing extraordinary but never a disappointing read, and Saint Anything fell right into that category. There is nothing particularly noteworthy about this book. I enjoyed the characters and their development, something Sarah Dessen absolutely excels at. But in terms of story and romance, it was lacking.” Pagefuls
“I absolutely loved this book! Sydney’s character was very relatable because like her, I also lost touch with some of my friends when I changed schools. The only event that made me uncomfortable while I was reading was Ames’s character because from his first scene I knew he was creepy. It really annoyed me when Sydney’s mother kept encouraging Ames to come around, but by the end of the book I was happy to read about her change of heart.” The Night Owl Book Blog
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