Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
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.
About the Author: Sarah Dessen is one of the most popular writers for young adults. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold more than nine million copies. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine. Visit her online at http://www.sarahdessen.com.
Genre: teen, contemporary, romance, realistic fiction
More Info: paperback, 417 pages, published by Viking on May 5, 2015
Sydney Stanford believes she is invisible, overshadowed by her older brother, Peyton. He was always the center of attention, especially when he started to spiral out of control. He has made too many mistakes, including B&E, drugs, and drunk driving. The DUI was not the only consequence, that fatal night got Peyton sentenced to prison since he hit young David Ibarra, who ended up paralyzed due to the accident.
The emotions were so real, so honest. Sydney is trying to find a way to burden all of the guilt of her family. She hasn’t really forgiven her brother for what he did, and she feels like she should apologize to David, even though it won’t bring his legs back. She also has to pay for her brother’s mistake, which is unfair.
All of this equals a brother who is serving time, a mother who is trying to cope, and a father who is traveling. Sydney is just stuck in the middle. 1 + 1 = 2 and a new school. There she makes some new friends, while also maintaining previous relationships. Having a social life is hard work.
At Seaside Pizza, she meets the Chatham family. Their world is so different from her own and it is refreshing. Layla is a food enthusiast, especially for french fries. Her older brother, Mac, is now a healthy (and hot) man who loves to “tinker.” Their other friend, Eric, has a very, very large ego. And finally Irv, is an enormous and sensible guy. They make a strange tag team and a diverse band.
Her friendship with Layla is true, and Sydney is loyal despite Layla’s horrible taste in men. The attraction between Syd and Mac is progressive, not love at first sight; although Mac assures her she was not invisible the first time they met, and I think this makes her feel noticed, special.
“‘You had on a shirt with mushrooms on it, and your hair was pulled back. Silver earrings. Pepperoni slice. No lollipop.'”
Eric shows some interest
in Sydney in Layla, but doesn’t quite make the cut. Eric will also do anything to get to the top of the music business to the annoyance of the rest of the crew. But he has the talent to spin a song in a new direction. *whispers* “Don’t tell him that or he might puff up so much he will float away like a balloon.”
Finally, the added conflict with Ames, Peyton’s best friend, tipped the scale. He was creepy, and had me crawling out of my skin. Other side notes: don’t worry the carousel on the cover will come into play and the title will be explained eventually.
Shame on me, but this is actually my first book from Sarah Dessen. I must say that I am pleased. Her writing hits home no matter the situation. It is real (fiction) and raw. It displays the deeper side of families and friends, putting into words a reader’s own experiences. I am already searching for my next read from Sarah Dessen. If you have any suggestions, comment below. This is a fluid novel, quiet but beautiful, and not to be overlooked.
I must say, that this is one of those books that you can’t put down. I may or may not have stayed up until 1:00 in the morning to finish. “One more chapter” ended up as 12 more chapters, and I honestly had no idea how late it was until I closed the cover.
I picked this up at Meijer for $8.24. It was an impulse buy since the price was so low, and it was worth it.
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One (1) new paperback copy of Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
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Begins: 7/25/16 at 12:00 AM EST
Ends: 8/15/26 at 12:00 AM EST