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!