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

Waiting on Wednesday: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!Saint Anything

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Author: Sarah Dessen

Release date: May 5, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

Why I’m excited: Totally not ashamed to admit I am part of Sarah Dessen’s “legion” of fans. I love her books. They always make me inexplicably happy and warm. They’re sweet and fun and lovely. I am so freaking excited for a new one. Six months is a long time to wait but I had to talk about it. I love books that focus on family and the Chathams sound a lot like my “a warm, chaotic family”. Absolutely one of my most anticipated reads of 2015!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To In 2015

Holy crap, this is hard. You can check out my 2015 releases shelf on Goodreads (which currently has a whopping 64 books on it!) to see that I am excited for A LOT of books coming out in 2015. Thankfully, in January we’ve got a TTT post about debuts coming out in 2015, so that helps a little. This list is obviously not going to include all the books I’m excited about but here’s the ten that I am dying to read.

My Heart & Other Black HolesSimon vs the Homo Sapiens AgendaThe Fill-In Boyfriend

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga…because it sounds deep and sad and lovely and perfect winter weather.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli…because I got an ARC of this at the Decatur Book Festival and I think it sounds really great.

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West…because it sounds suitably sweet and adorable.

A Darker Shade final for IreneSaint Anything

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab…because parallel universes.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig…because I need it.

Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day…because I LOVED The Black Hour. 

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen…because NEW SARAH DESSEN!

The Prom Goer's Interstellar ExcursionPip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures

The Prom Goer’s Interstellar Excursion by Chris McCoy…because oh my goodness it sounds perfect and unique and like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures by Maggie Stiefvater…because – do I really need to explain this one?

Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid…because he’s a really genuine person and I liked Let’s Get Lost and I’m excited to read what’s next from him.

Bonus:

Red QueenWherever You Go

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard…because it sounds epic

Wherever You Go by Pat Zietlow Miller…because I adored Sophie’s Squash 

What books are you looking forward to in 2015? Are you excited about any of the books on my list? 

Top Ten Tuesday: authors I own the most books from

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From

There is only one author who I love enough that I have bought (and read) almost every single book he’s ever published – Ian Rankin. When going through my shelves to do this TTT, I found that, while I have one or two books by a lot of authors, there aren’t many that I have several by, which is why I don’t have a full list of ten authors this week. I’m sure there are more authors that I have several books by, but a lot of my books are currently packed up unfortunately. These eight authors are just ones I found readily on my shelves. All names linked to the author’s website except William McIlvanney (because he doesn’t have one).

Ian Rankin – thirty books, I believe, but I actually own more than one copy for a couple of them.

This picture is from when I first met Ian Rankin. 🙂

Me with the lovely Ian Rankin

JK Rowling – ten books

Stephen King – nine books; my dad owns all of them, but I personally own nine books by Stephen King.

Sarah Dessen – seven books

John Green – five books

William McIlvanney – five books

Melissa de la Cruz – five books

James Dashner – five books

Which authors do you own lots of books by?