Book Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (ARC)

Saint Anything by Sarah DessenAuthor:  Sarah Dessen

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

432 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Shout out to Kelly from Live, Love, Read for letting me borrow this ARC!

I’ve been a fan of Sarah Dessen since I was in high school and after having read Saint Anything, I’ve now read all of her books. Because this was written by Sarah Dessen, it is, of course, very enjoyable, but it’s not my favorite Dessen book by far.

I think the main reason I didn’t enjoy it as much is because it’s…loud? It’s loud about what it’s trying to say, and the reason I’ve enjoyed so many of her other books (especially Just Listen and The Truth about Forever– my favorite Dessens) is because they are quiet and earnest in the message that’s coming across, whether it’s about friendship, family, love, or growing up. Personally, I saw a lot of the story coming, especially the part revolving around the creepy older family-friend. It’s obvious, and I think that’s what I didn’t like about it. I definitely think this is one of those it’s-not-you-it’s-ME things because I know several people who’ve loved Saint Anything.

HOWEVER, it’s still Sarah Dessen and its pages are still full of her wonderful, easy-going writing. Dessen has this amazing knack of writing absolutely perfect conversations between friends about every day nonsense. Like I always do, I LOVED the friendship storyline in the book, especially the one between Sydney, our main character, and Layla, the French-fry-obsessed girl she meets at her new school. Plus, Sarah Dessen is always able to make me fall for the boy even when he is practically ordinary (in the best way). I also thought it was interesting to see the dichotomy between Sydney’s rather uptight family and Layla’s (the Chathams) somewhat crazy, loud, and wonderfully fun family. (Quick note to say I think the storyline with Sydney’s super-controlling, over the top mom went on WAY too long)

The bottom line: So – did I like this one or not? I did. Of course I did. I always enjoy Sarah Dessen’s writing and characters. I was just a little disappointed in how obvious it was. Despite my personal opinions about Saint Anything’s shortcomings, I still think A LOT of people will fall head over heels for this one. Some people prefer books that are straight-forward and apparent with their message. That’s this one. No matter what, I will read EVERYTHING Sarah Dessen writes. Forever.

Rating: 6 – good, but not great

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10 thoughts on “Book Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (ARC)

  1. Pingback: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen | Review - Girl in the Pages

  2. I totally agree, this was a fun summer read and one that will be enjoyable for returning Dessen readers but not one I’d recommend for new ones. The writing is still simple but beautiful but not one that is easily quotable as TAF or Just Listen. I did enjoy the throwback to This Lullaby with the mention of Spinnerbait though. And the yummy food references was a huge plus. Great review!

  3. Interesting review, pity you didn’t enjoy Saint Anything as much as Sarah Dessen’s other books. Looking forward to reading it. I’m catching up on Sarah Dessen books at the moment, only started reading her recently. Absolutely love Just Listen and The Truth About Forever.

  4. Interesting. I really like Sarah Dessen, but I’m waiting to pick this up until after I’ve finished all of her earlier books I haven’t read yet. I feel like this book is definitely darker than the rest, but I’m sure that since it’s Sarah Dessen, it’ll be okay!

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