Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Source: Giveaway Win from Dawn
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.
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen is a must read book for old fans and new alike. In this new thought-provoking novel, Dessen brings back themes from past novels including family, loss, self-discovery, and friendship. She also brings in some very realistic issues that many readers will be able to relate to because the situations happen to normal and everyday families.
Throughout the novel, Sydney is in a battle with what she feels and believes is right versus what her mother is thinking. No matter who you are or what situation you are in, their relationship is relatable on that level. Sydney battles with her conscience on whether she should bring to light to her mother what is really on her mind.
When Sydney meets Layla, they become fast friends and it is just the change of pace that she is needing in this rough patch. Sydney not only becomes friends with Layla, but the whole Chatham family and is welcomed into their world, similar in ways and yet vastly different from her own at the same time. In this time, Sydney develops a special relationship with Mac Chatham and begins to shed that invisibility cloak she felt she had been wearing her whole life. With the Chathams, she gets to step out of the shadow of her older brother Payton for the first time in her life and that is liberating for her.
Dessen leaves the ending of the novel in a way that makes the reader think. Dessen leaves it open-ended in a perfect way so she could write a sequel if she wants to take that route. But she also leaves it so that readers can decide what happens next. But this novel leaves you wanting more from this story and these characters!
This is one of Dessen's greatest novels yet and I would recommend it to any high school aged girl. The character of Sydney goes through many of the changes that any normal teenage girl goes through so it almost feels like she is one of your closest friends as you read along. You feel happiness when she does, sadness when she does, and even the butterflies with her as she falls in love for the first time.
Dessen's books are frequently chosen for the Teen Top Ten list of Fiction for Young Adults. They have been translated into twenty-five languages.
Sarah Dessen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors in creative writing.
She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine.
About the ReviewerEmily, sister to Erin, is a certified social studies teacher and an avid reader of both Young Adult literature and Adult Fiction. Her favorite authors include Sarah Dessen, Sarah Ockler, Susan Colasanti, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Katie Cotugno, and Nicholas Sparks. When she's not reading one of Erin's books, she's probably watching Gilmore Girls or Two Broke Girls. She also enjoys exploring the many historic places of her hometown.