contemporary, young adult

Book Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen


Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Length: 432, Hardback
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Folded Pages

Sydney has always felt invisible. She’s grown accustomed to her brother, Peyton, being the focus of the family’s attention and, lately, concern. Peyton is handsome and charismatic, but seems bent on self-destruction. Now, after a drunk-driving accident that crippled a boy, Peyton’s serving some serious jail time, and Sydney is on her own, questioning her place in the family and the world.

Then she meets the Chatham family. Drawn into their warm, chaotic circle, Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance for the first time. There’s effervescent Layla, who constantly falls for the wrong guy, Rosie, who’s had her own fall from grace, and Mrs. Chatham, who even though ailing is the heart of the family. But it’s with older brother Mac—quiet, watchful, and protective—that Sydney finally feels seen, really seen, at last.

Saint Anything is Sarah Dessen’s deepest and most psychologically probing novel yet, telling an engrossing story of a girl discovering friendship, love, and herself.

I honestly can’t say enough how much I love Sarah Dessen. Her books deal with topics that everyone struggles with and gives girls someone to relate to and look up to no matter how they handle their problems. Dessen achieves this and more in Saint Anything.

I truly loved Sydney. She was flawed but cohesive as a character. She made consistent choices and while I sometimes found her hard to read, it was more than I couldn’t deal with what was happening in the book because of her choices than her character. I physically cringed and had to stop reading at certain parts because it was hard to handle but Dessen covers a sensitive issue.

The pacing was good for the most part. I think there were a few points where it slowed it a little too much for my liking and parts that also went a little too fast. Which is why I can’t give this book five folded pages.

However, I truly enjoyed it and it just adds to my Sarah Dessen love. If you haven’t noticed I’ve been rereading her books lately and I can’t wait to dive back into more of them!

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen”

  1. I have a small but totally horrifying confession to make. I have never read Sarah Dessen *gasp* I suppose it’s not that much of a shock since I rarely venture into contemporary. But I am so glad you enjoyed it and you found a trusted author who can handle the issues you identify with in style!


    1. I’ve loved Sarah Dessen since middle school. I’ve read all of her books (and am doing a reread of them all). I can’t believe you haven’t picked her up. I’ve never really associated her with contemporary though I know she is, it always just feels like I’m talking to a friend when I read her books.


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