Book: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Synopsis: Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parent’s 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 the the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Charathams, 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.
Review (Spoilers): This book was very quick and fast paced. I found myself really indulging in the characters. I wish we got more from the plot, though. The dialogue was very smooth, and helped the conversations between characters very real.
Characters: Sydney was an okay character. Half the things Sydney did was not realistic. I didn’t like how she didn’t communicate with her parents, and it made them seem like villains. I felt that she was a very surface character. There was no way for me to connect to her and her story. I really wished we got perspectives from other characters.
Layla was such a good character. The way she supported Sydney and helped her with Ames, a character who was useless and did nothing for the plot. Their friendship was something that really developed the book. I was sad to see her pushed to the side towards the end.
Mac and Sydney romance was very nice. It was there, but it didn’t take away from the overall theme. He helped her along, but in the end she did it for herself.
Plot: The overall theme for this book is something that we can really take with us. I didn’t like the way the plot taught it. Lack of communication was what really caused it. If Sydney had communicated more with her parents a lot of problems could have been solved. Her parents won’t automatically know what she’s thinking or what goes on while their gone, Ames being a creep, if Sydney doesn’t tell them.
I felt that the book was just a lot of different moments put together, it didn’t flow nicely. The moments were all so cute. It was very fast because of that. The book took me probably four hours to read. The ending did please me. It’s always satisfying when endings solve everything. It was a very loose ending. I spent most of my brain energy understanding what happened because it was all so fast. Sydney’s journey was fun to be a part of.
Writing Style: Saint Anything was, like most contemporaries, easy. There was no slang or made up words. It was very smooth. Sadly, I didn’t feel connected to the story. I was genuinely wanting to learn about the characters, but I wasn’t sucked into the story. That did lead to a drop in my rating.
Overall, it was good. My first Sarah Dessen book. I don’t think I will be picking up anymore in the near future. That may change next summer when my want for contemporaries is at its peak.