Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen – My Favorite Title, Yet

23009402Published: May 5th, 2015 by: Viking Juvenile

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Ficton

Format: ebook Source: Library

My Rating: 4.5 Stars Add To Goodreads

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.


4.5 STARS (1)

I was gonna bring you mini reviews of the last 3 Dessen titles that I read, but decided this one deserves its own post. I have at least 2 more of her books to read (I think), but I’m just gonna go ahead and say this may be my favorite of her books. I absolutely love this story, the characters, and of course the setting of Lakeview. This story covers a lot of stuff that people deal with in the real world, which is why I connected with it so well. Well, not the drunk driving brother who almost killed a pedestrian, but all the other things…..yeah, I got it. I won’t go over the synopsis (please read it), but rather what I liked and disliked.

What I Liked

We have another misunderstood teen girl, whose brother is the favorite of the family, it seems. Even with him being in prison, he is front and center of the household. The only way that Sydney can try to cope with what he did is leave her old school (life) behind and start anew. I love how Dessen brings her characters to life. Sydney both made me proud and annoyed me. Only, my annoyance isn’t really warranted because I’ve been there. I realized how hypocritical it was of me to scream at her to open her mouth. She made me proud by making friends and opening up to them; even when she was scared to do those things with her old friends. Layla and Mac get Sydney, and she holds on tight to that feeling of being understood. 

The friendships portrayed in this story are pretty much the same in all of Dessen’s novels; two girls from different walks of life become best friends, best friend befriends brother, soon best friend and brother fall in love. I love the familiarity of the writing. I didn’t get many feels from this, since there was really a lot of “heavy” going on, but I do like the direction that it went by the time the end rolled around. 

In the end, I love how Sydney and Peyton worked out what was bothering them. And to think, Sydney had the wrong impression of him for so long. I was overjoyed when Peyton finally made his mom see the light a little. I get that she supports her son, but she was acting as if he was away at college and not in prison for paralyzing someone. 

Dessen showed how a family cares for each other and it gives readers insight into what may go on in other families. The Chatham family is like a mirror image of my past and present. My mother was my top priority in high school and afterwards, so Layla and Mac became me and my brother. It was really scary to be inside this book, bringing back those memories. Instead of cancer like my mom had, the Chatham family deals with their mom’s MS (multiple sclerosis). I’m not sure how familiar any of you are with Transverse Myelitis, but it is almost identical to MS, and that’s what my sister has. So to say that I know the scares of the complications that the disease causes that family, would be a big understatement. Again, it was scary with how much of my life was reflected in this book. I guess that’s why I love it so much.

What I Disliked

Julie, Sydney’s mom, was not a favorite of mine. First of all, I really don’t like the way she rarely paid any attention to the girl. Secondly, she refused to see the damage that her son caused. It was always excuse after excuse. And thirdly, the way she was so keen on letting Ames stay with Sydney while she and her husband went out of town, was the final straw. OMG, guys, this made me so heated! Ames is Peyton’s best friend, and he has Julie wrapped around his finger. Ames is creepy and always staring at Sydney, so she doesn’t want to be alone with him. Of course, her mom doesn’t see any of this because she’s too busy organizing for Peyton’s prison visits! It made me so angry whenever he was in the picture. I just…..I can’t even really get into why this freaked me the hell out. I just really understood Sydney a lot throughout this book. Ames is a slimy snake and I really hate him.


Yes. A million times yes! I may be biased because so much of this book reminded me of what I’ve been through. I would like to think that it’s just an amazing story altogether, and Dessen gives you her best. However, if you are a Dessen virgin, I suggest starting with one of her more lighter novels to break you in. This one carries a lot of weight, and it may not be the lighthearted, feel-good story that you are looking for. Still, you should absolutely read this book!


Also by this author: The Moon and More | Keeping the Moon / Along for the Ride | The Truth About Forever | What Happened To Goodbye | Lock and Key



27 thoughts on “Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen – My Favorite Title, Yet

  1. It’s amazing when you pick up a story that feels like it was written just for you. I can see how your personal experiences would make this resonate with you. Dessen has been hit and miss for me, but this sounds wonderful. My favorite read from her is Just Listen, but I read it a long time ago. It was an emotionally heavy book, too. Wonderful review, Lekeisha! 🙂


  2. I have been reading Sarah Dessen for years, but I am so behind on her books. I know she switches between lighter and heavier books so its good to know this is on the lighter side.

    I saw your other reviews, I like all her books but like you I can take or leave Along for The Ride


  3. Gosh, girl you really are on a DESSEN streak these days and I love it! ❤ I'm glad that you liked this one because I know there were some you didn't care for! When I saw this was yet another Dessen book I was crossing my fingers and hoped you liked it! But sure, there were some thing you didn't really care for but ultimately you did like it. ❤


  4. Yay, this may be the one for me to start with since it’s your favorite of hers! Definitely sounds good but maybe I will take your advice and start lighter.


  5. Now, that is some serious mommy favoritism. And I don’t blame you for being icked out by the mom leaving the creepy friend there. I know someone who was raped under similar circumstances.

    Neat that she forged ahead and found her comfort place with a new set of friends.


  6. This is her latest novel and I am glad you were able to enjoy this one a lot and that it was such a good read for you! After hearing all about her books from you I have ordered two of her books – This Lullaby and another one… which I have already forgotten the title of. Whoops. I’ll let you know when I receive it. I hope I’ll be able to like them just as much as you have been ❤


I love comments, and try to reply as often as I can. Know that I read each and every one.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s