Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Okay, I admit it. I am a Sarah Dessen fanatic. I am  that patron that waits around the circ desk for every new Sarah Dessen novel.  Recently, Ms. S. gave me an advanced copy of the new Dessen.  
(I have the best job & work with the best people).  

Book Talk 

Sydney has always felt invisible.

Sydney's brother, Peyton, has always been the focus of the family’s attention and, lately, a concern. Peyton is handsome and charismatic, but seems bent on self-destruction. Now, after a drunk-driving accident that crippled a boy, Peyton’s serving some serious jail time, and Sydney is on her own, questioning her place in the family and the world.

When Sydney meets the Chatham family, she is quickly drawn into their warm, chaotic circle, and Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance for the first time. There’s effervescent Layla, who constantly falls for the wrong guy, Rosie, who’s had her own fall from grace, and Mrs. Chatham, who even though ailing is the heart of the family. But it’s with older brother Mac—quiet, watchful, and protective—that Sydney finally feels seen, really seen, at last. Sydney must now try and navigate her new place and find her voice to apologize to the victim of her brother's accident. 

Book talk provided by Amazon


In a Sarah Dessen fashion, Dessen explores the feelings of grief, finding oneself, and renewal. I think this is one of Sarah Dessen's best books since Lock and Key. Although it did have some romance in it, the books focus was on Sydney finding herself and her voice. I enjoyed the depth Dessen added to this novel and I really enjoyed the Chatham family's dynamic.  I think the Chatham family's dynamic was the magic that made this book. 

Although it does have some wonderful elements to it,  it does have some darker elements to it as well. 

These elements are no stranger to Dessen. 
I feel  like  it is reminiscent of some of Dessen's previous works such as  Just Listen or Dreamland. I would not suggest this to sensitive readers  

(This is besides for the obvious reasons such as the drunk driving accident & drugs that her brother was involved with) 

There is a scene where Sydney is involved in an attempted rape. I found this portion and the scenes leading up to it to be upsetting. Sydney's best friend also faces some dating woes that hints at some verbal abuse. Even though I felt a little uncomfortable, I felt like it was a great introduction to introduce our teens and tweens to these issues. As we know, these are issues that teens deal with on a daily basis & Dessen's ability to make her books so relatable is what makes her so successful. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I feel like Dessen is back! I look foward to sharing this book with my older teens. 

Look for Dessen's new novel to be released May 5.


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