Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Where did I get it? Given as a gift
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.
From previous experience with Sarah Dessen’s novels I started Saint Anything not really expecting to like it very much. However that was not the case!
I felt genuinely sorry for Sydney as she was constantly rated behind her brother, Peyton, in terms of importance. Her mother was portrayed well and I felt frustrated when she took away Sydney’s privileges and over-looked Sydney’s point of view on the matter.
The rest of Sydney’s family did not really play that big a role in the plot. This wasn’t really an issue for me, other than I would have liked to see more into Peyton’s mind and what he was thinking, wasting his life like that!
The Chatham family were well written and I felt all the siblings shared a realistic love-hate relationship with each other. The family restaurant that the family owned was a nice touch to the novel and all that talk of pizza and fries has left me feeling very hungry!
The romance in the novel was nicely balanced out with the issues that Sydney was going through at home and the friendship that Layla and the MC shared was one that I wish everyone could experience.
One problem I did have with Saint Anything, however was the ending. It was a slight cliff-hanger and I would like to have seen what happened next. Considering this is most likely a stand-alone novel I probably won’t have the chance to see how David Ibarra reacted and this lowered the over-all rating for me.
I would probably recommend this book and I will definitely be considering reading more of Sarah Dessen’s work in the future.