Hey guys! I’m participating in the Penguin #ReadADessen campaign, in anticipation of Sarah Dessen’s new book “Once and For All“, I’m bringing you guys a review for my latest Sarah Dessen read, “Saint Anything”! There’s also a giveaway link at the bottom of the page, to join in for a chance to win a paperback set of ALL of Sarah Dessen’s books!
Sarah Dessen is one of the first authors I ever read! Even before having a computer or internet to find out about books, I somehow heard about her and gave her stories a try. It’s kind of special, because even when you have no resources and no way to learn about books, she’s one of those authors you still hear about.
I haven’t picked up her books in YEARS, so when Penguin offered me the opportunity to read one of her books, I JUMPED AT IT!
Thank you Penguin Teen for providing me a paperback copy of Saint Anything.
by Sarah Dessen
Publication Date: May 5, 2015.
Goodreads Rating: 4.05 (35,811 Ratings)
My Rating: 3.5 stars (⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆)
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.
I’ll start by saying, that just like every other Sarah Dessen book I’ve read, this is a very enjoyable read. BUT unlike other of her books, this one doesn’t have a single moment where the book stands out from her previous work. If I were to recommend any of her books, I’d probably skip this one, just because there’s no memorable moments in it.
Still, the story is really good! Sydney has an older brother who gets sentenced to jail time, at the same time she –emotionally– loses her parents. They’re completely invested in the brother who messed up, and she loses any attention from her parents; unless she messes up a little and they completely overreact to her actions.
I’ve seen people mention that the over-controlling mother was too much, but let me tell you guys… THIS IS EXACTLY HOW MY FATHER REACTS TO THINGS! So yeah, I felt connected to Sydney because of how overprotected she was. Like her, we both have an older brother who messed up too much, and now we pay the consequences of what THEY did. This might seem stupid for some, but for others, this is our reality… so seeing this story and seeing how Sydney deals with things, gives us a little light.
While the story has a romance developing, this isn’t a book that revolves around romance. It’s beautiful! The guy is amazing and supportive and you root for him from the start, but this is not a book about Sydney finding love. This is a book about Sydney finding her voice and becoming visible in the eyes of her parents. This is a book about Sydney becoming her own person and not living behind the shadow of her brother.
The story might not have any memorable moments, but Sydney’s journey is amazing and relateable. The story deals with family, love, loss, recovery, and romance. So many elements from contemporary YA in one book!
Overall rating: 3.5 stars
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen comes out on June 6th 2017!
As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.
Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.
Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.