Monday, April 27, 2015

Upcoming Release: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Expected Publication: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
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.

My Thoughts
Saint Anything is a perfect example of Sarah Dessen’s ability to pen a worthy Young Adult contemporary that’s filled with a great cast and a story that allows for a sense of connection.

In this novel, we meet Sydney who has always been overshadowed by her bigger-than-life older brother Peyton. Having the spotlight on him was the norm to her existence and that included her parents doting constant attention on him despite his transgressions. So when Peyton is charged with a drunk driving conviction that leaves a fifteen year old boy paralyzed, Sydney finds herself lost and not quite sure how to adjust to the new family dynamics. She ultimately makes a drastic decision to switch from her small private school to Jackson High School to alleviate some financial pressure on her parents, and this is where she meets the Chatham family.

Making new friends and redefining what’s important to her, Sydney finally gets a chance to feel a part of something and for once be noticed. The bond she creates with Mac and Layla opens Sydney’s eyes to true friendship and familial connection, which is always a good feeling to experience when reading one of Dessen’s novels.

As with most of her other books, I absolutely love how Dessen doesn’t feel the need to make a romance the center of her books. She places more of an emphasis on friendships, family dynamics and character self-development, which was clearly evident in this book.

The light romance between Mac and Sydney was fun to witness because it was so subtle, yet meaningful. I enjoyed their scenes together, but most of all I appreciated what they came to mean to each other. The saint charm he gave her was a nice gesture because I know how much something like that means to those that believe in protectors. Very heartwarming.

Overall Saint Anything was signature of Dessen’s ability create a meaningful story about family and friends. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.
4 Snowflakes


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