Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking (Penguin Group)
Favorite Quote: “You only really fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together.”
Synopsis: 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.
Review: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This was my first Sarah Dessen book and I kinda have to say…I expected more from all the hype surrounding her. Not to say I didn’t enjoy the book or writing, because I did enjoy the overall story but I felt that it lacked…somewhere just a bit.
The story follows the main character Sydney and her family troubles. Her brother is in prison and she is feeling invisible and guilty over what her brother did. She feels like no one can see her and yet she gets stuck with her brother Peyton’s mess.
I think Dessen did a fabulous job writing the emotions and teenage dialogue. I also however felt some characters fell flat, specifically Mac. Yeah he is sweet and protective but I feel like he deserved more development. The times they spent at Seaside Pizza were probably my favorite, because well…PIZZA. DUH.
Along this story we also have Ames who is her brothers best friend and super freaking creepy. Which also is an underlying theme/character that Sydney has to deal with throughout the book. Her mother is also a character I wasn’t a big fan of. She was so controlling and harsh with Sydney and her father just seemed to only want to eat and avoid life altogether.
But we see Sydney grow from slightly shy and feeling invisible to gaining friends and a love interest. She always does the right thing and fights to keep the people in her life that make her feel seen. Basically the people that can fix her because she feels totally broken and it’s great to see how she transitions through the story with her friends (old and new) and family. She does try to find out how she feels about her family and life as well as try to navigate being seen and heard. I wished we had gotten to know Mac more and see a little more into his character. Overall he wasn’t a bad guy or character to read about, just wish I had more.
I can’t say that this book changed my life or left me wanting more. The ending felt a bit rushed and I feel like the build up was kind of a let down. I expected this story to really deal with some of the issues laid in this book but it kind of skimmed past and seemed to be rushed to give us an ending.
So overall I did like the book and enjoyed my time reading it. I do think the book is definitely worth a read if you like contemporaries and want a quick read. The writing itself was enjoyable and I did really loved the concept behind the “Saint Anything.” (Points if you know what I’m taking about, you get a slice of pizza, or two.)
I also craved pizza and fries through the whole book so be prepared to eat some during/after reading, I’m just saying…not complaining though. 😉