Monday, May 4, 2015

Saint Anything, by Sarah Dessen

When I was student teaching in an Honors, single-gender girls program, Sarah Dessen was the fan favorite - my students were constantly passing around her novels, looking for similar authors, and talking about her characters and stories. It's been a while, though, since I've read one of her novels, so I was excited to give Saint Anything a try on NetGalley. 

Saint AnythingSaint Anything is about high schooler Sydney, who's trying to survive in the aftermath of her older brother's terrible decision. Her brother, Peyton, despite paralyzing another boy in a drunk driving incident, remains perfect in her mother's eyes. Sydney, obviously, feels utterly invisible and neglected. I think a lot of kids can relate to that feeling, of being constantly overshadowed by a sibling, and never feeling like they're "good enough". Sydney switches schools from her private, snooty school, to the local public school, and makes a group of friends who help her navigate through the wake of her family's experiences. At the heart of this group of friends are brother and sister duo Mac and Layla, who have family issues of their own. Their guidance and attitudes help Sydney better understand her own problems and her parents' reactions. 

I think that readers who are already Dessen fans will love this novel. However, I'm not sure that new readers will find it as thrilling. The novel had a more psychological slant to it than some of her other romances, and it just didn't seem to 'move' as much as some of her other novels did. I will still recommend it, though!

Also Try: Anything by Sarah Dessen, Susane Colesanti

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