Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

23009402Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Pages: 432
Year: 2015
Publisher: Viking Books (Penguin Random House)
Time taken to read: 6 days
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads synopsisPeyton, 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.

Last week I had the rare treat of discovering a very new book, published within the last 6 months. It was my second Sarah Dessen book (I just finished my third), and it was very good. That is what I have found in my experiences with Sarah Dessen so far. Her books are very good. Her characters feel very real, and they’re well written. But I have yet to find a Sarah Dessen book that is amazing, one that I just can’t put down. It is true that I’m not easily impressed, though, so that may be a part of it.

I think my favorite part of Saint Anything was Sydney’s mother’s relationship with her son (Sydney’s brother) Peyton. She always managed to find a way to ignore the fact that her son was responsible for the accident. While that would have made me furious in real life, it was really neat to read about. I felt the same way about Ames’s character, who was so gross, yet I was eager to read scenes with him because I knew something was going to happen with him and Sydney and I knew it was going to be great (and it was). (I don’t mean that I wanted that to happen to her. I just mean that it was important to the story and it was entertaining. Y’all know what I mean.)

One of my biggest problems with the book was the spatial descriptions. There were certain scenes that I just couldn’t picture in my head. I could not get an image of the sinkhole, which I felt was really important. I also didn’t understand what the “ring” was on the carousel. The carousel itself was actually an issue for me because it only came up once. It is on the front cover, so I thought it would be more prominent. And if I found something that cool right in my backyard, I’d be out there all the time. Overall, though, it was good. Not a must-read or anything, but if you have the time and you’re looking for something to read, I’d recommend it.

  1. I have to say that Sydney’s mother was the exact reason why I didn’t love this book. She was too controlling and kind of made me irritated (that was probably the point though, seeing that Dessen often writes about flawed characters). However, I have to agree that Sarah Dessen does a great job creating her characters and making them realistic as possible.

  2. Hi! The ring in the carousel is actually a brass ring. On older carousels, you can reach up to grab the brass (or sometimes gold) rings when you ride on a horse that goes up and down. I enjoyed your review, but I didn’t like Sydney’s mother (too controlling) or Ames (too creepy), but I loved Layla’s character the most! Thanks for following my blog by the way! I want to follow you!

    • Kate Conroy said:

      Interesting, thanks, I’ve never heard of that before! It looks like you followed my old URL that I don’t use anymore, which I really should get around to deleting, so be sure to follow this one instead 🙂

      • You’re welcome! I go to an older amusement park that has a carousel with brass rings, and my sister catches them a lot! You can update your name to send people to your new blog too! I’ll try to follow you there!

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