Thursday 11 June 2015

{Review} Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

24926018Posted by Donna
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Finished Date: May 30th, 2015
Publishers: Penguin
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 448
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

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.

The Review: Sydney's always been close with her older brother Peyton but when Peyton starts getting into trouble and hanging out with the wrong crowd, it drives a wedge between them. And even more so when Peyton drink drives and injuries a teenage boy and is then sentence to seventeen months in prison. This causes Sydney's life to change. Her life is overshadowed by what her brother as done. Her mother and father barely take notice in her and so Sydney does everything possible to make herself invisible in everyone else's world too. It's not until she starts a new school and makes friends with Chatham's where she suddenly isn't so invisible. Sydney knows she needs to speak up to her family, especially when she seems to be the only one carrying around the guilt for what her brother did. But can they all truly move on? And can Sydney find her lost place in her family?

I've only ever read one other book written by Sarah Dessen and I'm glad I can now say, I've read two and it's a really enjoyable YA contemporary read that I'm glad I've read. 

In Saint Anything, Sarah Dessen writes a deep story about real life events and by writing this, brings awareness to teenagers, not just in regards to the implications of driving drunk but also with trying to have an honest relationship with parents and not hiding your feelings. I really hope this message gets across to teenager the way it speaks to me as a parent. 

I really liked Sydney. She's a teenager that has been through a lot and seems to be suffering for her brother's mistakes. I could understand why her mother did the things she did but she took them out on the wrong person and I felt so bad for Sydney. All she wanted was to fit into the family she loved and couldn't do that because she was always pushed aside for her brother. At times it was emotional to read the emotions that Sydney was going through but I'm glad she had the Chatham's there because they became the family she needed to support her. Layla and Mac we're great! Layla is a best friend everyone wants and is truly a lovely person. And Mac, a quiet guy but nice as well. The romance does take forever to come into the story though, it's a least over the halfway mark. While I enjoyed the first part of the story it did go a little slow because at times it was like there was no attraction between Mac and Sydney. I was starting to worry that nothing would happen but I guess you could say the story focuses more on Layla and Sydney's friendship for the first part and then moves on to Sydney and Mac. 

As I mentioned, Sydney's mother really only focuses on Peyton and really pushes Sydney aside. At times I hated her mother. She was really hard to like and even more towards the end. She frustrated me to no end and I just wished she took more notice in Sydney. And that Sydney's father would have spoken up more. It's clear they weren't the perfect family but once they reconsider their faults, they quickly took to repairing them even though it was a long time coming.

In all, Saint Anything is a story about family, relationships, love and real life events and while I enjoyed Just Listen just a tad more, this is still a good read that will leave you wanting more from Sarah Dessen.

3.5 Flowers! 

Thank you to Penguin for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 


Jodie @ Words Read & Written said...

I loved this one :)

YearningtoRead said...

For one, I am so surprised you haven't read more SD - but also excited because you have allllll the amazing things ahead of you!! I haven't read Just Listen yet - it and this one and Moon and More are the three I have left to read. But THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER. Read it. You will not be sorry. (Also "What Happened to Goodbye" is my second favorite.)

I am sooooooooo excited that this book talks about teen/parent relationships. I've always had an excellent relationship with my parents and I am so sad when I read books that don't have that...or when I talk to friends who had sucky relationships with their parents growing up. It's such an important thing and I can't imagine my life without that amazing friendship. It needs to be addressed more often, rather than just brushed aside as "the norm".

I really can't wait to read this now! I'll have to wait until it comes out in paperback (Since that's how I collect all her books) but I'm really stoked. <3 Great review!

Sierra @ Yearning to Read

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