Tuesday, August 2, 2016

REVIEW: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Viking Books
Source: Miami Dade Public Library
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Sydney's handsome, charismatic older brother, Peyton, has always dominated the family, demanding and receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention. And when Peyton's involvement in a drunk driving episode sends him to jail, Sydney feels increasingly rootless and invisible, worried that her parents are unconcerned about the real victim: the boy Peyton hit and seriously injured. Meanwhile, Sydney becomes friends with the Chathams, a warm, close-knit, eccentric family, and their friendship helps her understand that she is not responsible for Peyton's mistakes. Once again, the hugely popular Sarah Dessen tells an engrossing story of a girl discovering friendship, love, and herself.

Holy cow, guys! I hate that Sarah Dessen always makes me love all of her books. Especially this one. I seriously couldn't put it down. We start with a little bit of back story about Sydney and her brother Peyton's criminal background. As can be expected, her brother's history has detrimental effects on more than just him. It has left lasting effects on his entire family, including Sydney. She finds herself feeling ostracized and wanting to get away. This is where the story starts to take off. Once she meets the Chathoms, they slowly begin to change her views on herself, the situation with her brother, and her life in general. 

Sydney has a really hard time adjusting to the devastating actions of her older brother, Peyton. She feels left out and ignored by her parents and blames her brother and his actions for that feeling. She also has a hard time dealing with the fact that her parents have seemingly forgotten and ignored the little boy that was severely injured and paralyzed due to Peyton's actions. This gives Sydney a feeling of guilt because she feels that someone should care about the boy that had his life changed forever. 

I was a bit iffy with my feelings about Sydney's parents, particularly her mother. I had a hard time relating to her because I had the same feeling that Sydney had: they shouldn't forget about the little boy who was injured. I felt like she was being so selfish by ignoring the event and ignoring Peyton's role in everything. On the other hand, I also understood that was just her way of coping with the whole situation which makes me feel for her a bit. I didn't really care for her father at all. He seemed kind of insignificant and wimpy throughout the book.

The real MVP of this story is the Chatham family! From the moment we meet Layla we know that she is someone important in Sydney's life. She's such a free spirit and never judges Sydney for any of the things that Sydney judges herself on and it's so beautiful to see their friendship bloom. Then there's Layla's older brother Mac...can you say swooooooonnnnn!!! Anyway, Mac is the perfect older brother to Layla and and even more perfect boyfriend to Sydney! He's so kind and caring to everyone he meets it's refreshing to see. Mrs. Chatham plays a pretty large role in Sydney's life too but on a much smaller scope. Although her scenes are small in comparison to Layla and Mac's, her role is pivotal in allowing Sydney to release all the guilt she feels because of her brother, and helps her to reconcile her relationship with her brother in a way her parents could never do. Can I just say I freakin' love that family!!

So overall, I have to say that of all the Sarah Dessen books i've read, this one was by far my absolute favorite and I think everyone should get there hands on a copy and read it! I'm 1000% sure you'll love it as much as I did!