Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Guest Review: Saint Anything

Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Format: ARC
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.

Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is the author of eleven previous novels, which include the New York Times  bestsellers The Moon and More, What Happened to Goodbye, Along for the Ride, Lock and Key, Just Listen, The Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. Her first two books, That Summer and Someone Like You were made into the movie How to Deal starring Mandy Moore.

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.

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About the Reviewer

Emily, 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.


  1. I'm very curious about this. I haven't read any Sarah Dessen book yet though. :) Great review!

  2. I look forward to making the time in my reading schedule for this one. I have seen some great reviews and it seems different than other SD books that I have read. Great review.

  3. I'm curious about it too. My sister is the Dessen reader in the family, so I entered as many contests and giveaways that I could so that she could read this one early. I gave her one condition - if I won it for her, she'd have to review it on here. lol

    I'm reading my first Dessen book now, so I hope I'll get to this one soon.

    I'll pass your compliment on. Emily didn't want to make a Disqus account to talk to anyone who commented. lol

  4. I'm in the middle of my first Dessen book, so I literally have no clue what to expect from any of them.

    I'll pass your comment along to Emily. :)

  5. It has been awhile since I have read her books, but they are decent lighthearted romances for the most part. I hope that you enjoy it.

  6. Thanks, Suzi!

    That's what my sister said too, and that Saint Anything wasn't exactly darker - just more issue heavy.

  7. I really want to read this book! I am a huge fan of Sarah Dessen, and I never miss out any of her books.
    Great review Emily!
    And it's so awesome that your sister reads and reviews too, Erin!:)

  8. I want to read it too, Mishma, but I think I'm going to attempt to read all of Sarah's books in publication order. I just finished That Summer, so I only have ten more left.

    Emily told me to tell you thanks. She doesn't have a Disqus account. She's definitely a reader, but this was her first review. I'd have to say she nailed it. lol


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